Kitchen know-how: create 540 meals with £100

For those of you who may have had a peek at my blog before reading this article, or potentially follow it, you will have seen that I am a great advocate of saving money where possible. I am in love with the frugal lifestyle because in my opinion you don’t need to spend thousands to gain great quality dishes in the kitchen – all you need is a little inspiration and a lot of know-how.

Over my years as a thrifty student, I have managed to gain many skills and assets that have helped me spend pennies on things that would normally eat away at m budget. I’ve fed myself and one other for as little as 19p per meal and with this know-how I’ve managed to save thousands!

It is these hints, tips, and recipes I dedicate my blog too because if I can do it there’s no reason why you can’t too!

Now, I am aware many families incur many expenses that I (as a student) haven’t encountered yet – mainly those orientated around children and the like. But that doesn’t mean that some of these tips won’t bee useful; the majority are transferable and will still allow you a few spare pennies!

1. Shop local (for bits and bobs only)

Everyone knows that shopping local doesn’t work on a tight budget especially for your weekly shops. However, forgotten an integral fruit or vegetable for your dinner tonight? Then head down to your local fruit and vegetable store (and I’m not talking about Spar!) I’m talking about the authentic, fresh from the stem, food goodness! You’ll find that fruit and vegetables are a lot cheaper (and triple the size) than nipping to Tesco. And plus, you’re helping a local business in the process too – it’s a win/win!

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How to Cook: Gumbo

This simple 5-step Gumbo recipe was inspired by: Cotter Crunch and it has fast become one of my favourite go to dinners/lunches. It’s blend of spice enriched tomato base paired with a tonne of vegetables makes it as satisfying as it is delightful. It has the ability to transport you to a thousand different places with each spoonful, and the paprika really gives it the kick every dish needs.

If you’re looking for an easy re-heatable lunch – or just fancy something different for you dinner – then this is a must try! Plus it makes approximately 8 servings so what are you waiting for?!

Gumbo

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How to Cook: Bacon and Mushroom Tagliatelle

If you’ve been following my social media platforms at the minute you will know I can’t shut up talking about this absolutely delightful dish. Bacon and Mushroom Tagliatelle was a staple in our house until Schwartz discontinued the packet mix and mum had no herbs to whip it up herself. The dish had almost gone extinct from memory until at Easter I decided to take it upon myself to do an exact recreation. And by exact, I mean perfect!

Armed with a tin of tomatoes, tomato puree, and a variety of herbs, I set to work. The end result was mind-blowing, it was like that scene in Ratatouille where the food critic had full-on food nostalgia!

Now I know what you’re thinking, “come on Anna, it’s hardly a notable achievement is it?” Well, here is where you are oh so very wrong. Yes, herbs may be down there on your list of experimental condiments but I tell you this one slip of the hand with some Rosemary or Thyme and the dish has gone rogue without any hope of returning.

Equally if you’re new to the practice of herbs, spices, and all things home-cooking then this dish is a great starting point to build your kitchen confidence! So shake away my dear followers – SHAKE AWAY!

Bacon_and_Mushroom_Tagliatelle.

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How to Cook: Stir Fry

I love making stir fry for many reasons; it’s quick, easy, versatile, and allows me to eat my 5 a day in one delicious helping! There are so many combinations of sauces, vegetables, and seasonings to try that if I did a recipe for each one it’ll never end! So wy not take this as a base and then chop, change, and experiment your way through some more flavours? Trust me, you will never get bored of this 20 minute dish.

Beef_Stir_Fry

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How to Cook: Beef Cacciatore

Leftover passata and cream cheese? Fear not, I have a great recipe for you to try out. This beef cacciatore is so versatile, if haven’t got any beef (or don’t like it) then simply change the recipe to chicken and it works just as well (if not better!) You can also add whatever vegetables your heart desires, I opted for a casserole mix as this was pretty cheap in Iceland and worked really well with the creaminess of the sauce.

I prefer to pair this recipe with some rice but it will work well with anything. This time round I attempted egg friend rice, which was…well…interesting. Suffice to say, for my first attempt, it didn’t go quite to plan but it still tasted delicious!

Beef_Cacciatore

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