How to make Simple Ingredients Stretch Further than One Meal

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Okay, so you have your list and you know where they place all the bargains in the particular supermarket you use, so you know where to look. But I am now going to show you how you can make ingredients for a meal last for more than one day so you are getting the maximum amount of meals for your money. So let’s assume next week’s menu list looks something like this:

Monday: Home-made vegetable soup

Tuesday: Spaghetti Bolognese

Wednesday: Beef-burgers and chunky chips

Thursday: Stuffed jacket potatoes

Friday: Roast chicken dinner

Saturday: Stir-fry

Sunday: Traditional roast

On Monday, you would make your vegetable soup using up any fresh veg you have left over from Sunday, with the addition of some onions, chicken stock and a pinch of mixed herbs. If you don’t have a lot of veg left, a bag of frozen mixed veg added works well too. Don’t add too much water and when cooked, puree to a thick consistency. Save around a third for tomorrow and then add extra water or milk until you reach desired consistency. Serve with home-made crusty bread.

Tuesday: Use your saved veg as a base for your Bolognese sauce. (This is a super way of getting extra veg into your kids without them noticing too.) Add fresh mince, onions, tinned tomatoes and garlic if liked. Make sure you have bought an economy pack of mince and save half for tomorrow. Serve with garlic bread made from the left-over bread from yesterday.

Wednesday: Use the other half of the mince to make burgers with some grated onion if you like. Spray with a little Fry-light and place in the fridge to chill. Make chunky chips from large potatoes, (preferably from a sack so you have plenty left over,) leaving the skin on for maximum nutrition. Cut into wedges, par-boil for around eight minutes, drain well and shake to roughen the edges. You can sprinkle with some paprika if you like them spicy. Spray with Fry-light and cook in the oven for around 30-40 minutes, adding the burgers about half-way through.

Thursday: Using more potatoes from the sack, scrub and prick with a fork. Cook for about 15 minutes in the microwave to cut down on energy costs in the oven. When cooked, cut in half and scoop out the innards, leaving a shell behind. Mash with a little butter, milk and some crispy bacon bits. (You can buy these extremely cheaply and if you are chopping them, no-one knows they were mis-shaped in the first place!) Pile back in the shells and serve with baked beans.

Friday: Look out for special deals on chickens and roast one for dinner. While the oven is on, add potatoes and some veg, (peppers, courgettes etc.) to roast so you can have an all-in-one meal. Pile the veg in, (saving some for tomorrow and Sunday,) so that you can fill your family without using too much of the chicken.

Saturday: Use left-over chicken for a super stir-fry, adding onions, garlic, and veg bought for yesterday. Add a pack of noodles to fill everyone up.

Sunday: Traditional roast dinner, using a slow-roast piece of beef which is deliciously tender, (and cheap) and some of the potatoes and veg you have saved. Save some of the beef and mashed potatoes for making a cottage pie the following day.

And then the week starts again! I hope you now have some ideas on how to make your ingredients into more than ‘one-off meals’ and look forward to catching up with you again soon.