Cooks share how to make dinner from as little as £1 per person

How to eat for £1 per portion: Chefs and food bloggers reveal how to whip up budget meals such as pesto eggs, gnocchi soup and crab cakes by using tinned goods and frozen veg during the cost of living crisis

  • Miguel Barclay, who is famed for creating meals for £1 or less, has teamed up with WW (formerly Weight Watchers) for their #savepointsavepounds campaign 
  •  Lorna Cooper from Paisley near Glasgow shared her money-saving recipes 
  • UK-based food writer Lola Milne, who published Take One Tin in January 2020, has revealed how to make restaurant-quality meals such as crab cakes

As the nation continues to face rising food prices, with inflation today hitting nine per cent –  chefs have shared their easy recipes to make delicious home cooked meals without breaking the bank, including rich gnocchi soup, tasty pesto eggs and indulgent crab cakes.

Miguel Barclay, who is famed for creating meals for £1 or less, has teamed up with WW (formerly Weight Watchers) for their  #savepointsavepounds campaign to make weight-loss friendly meals which cost £1 or less per portion.

‘I want to get people cooking,’ he told FEMAIL. ‘And I want them to know that when you start cooking from scratch using fresh ingredients, your shopping bills go down. There is no cheaper way of eating good food.’

His recipes include a delicious brunch treat of a potato frittata and  cabbage ribbon stir fry which is sure to go down a treat at dinner.

Elsewhere, mother of mother-of-five Lorna Cooper  from Paisley near Glasgow previously shared some of her money-saving recipes with FEMAIL.

Miguel Barclay (pictured)  who is famed for creating meals for £1 or less, has teamed up with WW (formerly Weight Watchers) for their #savepointsavepounds campaign to make weight-loss friendly meals.

Elsewhere, mother of mother-of-five Lorna Cooper (left)  from Paisley near Glasgow previously shared some of her money-saving recipes with FEMAIL. While Lola Milne (right), who published Take One Tin in January 2020, has revealed how to make restaurant-quality meals such as Vietnamese crab cakes and banoffee pi

Lorna helps struggling parents feed their families for £20 a week and has racked up more than half a million followers on her Facebook page where she regularly shares money-saving tips and homecooked meal ideas. 

Speaking to FEMAIL Lorna, who has three children of her own and two step-children, said she freezes a lot of fresh produce including vegetables, cheese and meat. In fact, she relies so heavily on her freezer that she’s invested in three.

‘I’ve got a freezer under the stairs and I sacrificed my dishwasher when it broke and put an under-counter freezer in there so that I could save some more money,’ she said.

‘During lockdown I found a local wholesalers who delivers to restaurants and cafes that started delivering to people’s houses. I ordered a 5kg block of cheese – it was a great buy, I chopped it up and put it in the freezer.’  

Triple Michelin-starred chef Tom Kerridge has shared a cooking video featuring a budget-friendly recipe, featuring Super Noodles, which cost 70p a pack

The 48-year-old chef, pictured here with some of his more expensive culinary creations is better known for creating high-end meals at his Marlow gastropubs

Meanwhile, the author of cookbook that celebrates tinned ingredients has shared her top tips for cooking with a low budget.

Speaking exclusively to Femail UK-based food writer Lola Milne, who published Take One Tin in January 2020, has revealed how to make restaurant-quality meals such as Vietnamese crab cakes and banoffee pie.

‘Tins are such a wonderfully everyday thing, we all have them stashed in our cupboards and use them often, maybe even daily,’ she explained. ‘They’re a brilliant way to eat fruit and veg that aren’t in season and that haven’t been flown thousands of miles. I hadn’t really seen them focused on, celebrated or elevated before.’ 

Budget-savvy mums have shared their top tips and tricks for keeping their family grocery costs down, as well as the cheap meal staples they make before pay day (meal prep pictured)

Fancy splashing out on something a bit more high end while still keeping in budget?  Ben Ebbrell, co-founder and chef at Sorted Food, has revealed his easy recipe for a beef wellington, which costs just £9.94 for four people 

He breaks a few of the traditional rules for the classic British dish, but still delivers a show-stopping dinner packed full of flavour. From using sliced white bread to adding sausages to the beef mix, and incorporating tinned oxtail soup to create a flavoursome gravy jus, he even manages to include a side dish and a starter for less than £2.50 per portion (based on shopping at a supermarket).

Elsewhere, triple Michelin-starred chef Tom Kerridge has been called a ‘bloody champ’ for creating a budget recipe with Super Noodles to help people during the cost of living crisis. 

Meanwhile,  budget-savvy mum Erin, who runs healthy mummy blog, shared her top tips and tricks for keeping their family grocery costs down.

She regularly sets herself the challenge of trying to make as many healthy meals for as little cost as possible, and shared recipes for a healthy protein bowl. 

Here they share their recipes with FEMAIL…



Adding the pesto before you fry your eggs means it incorporates into the eggs as they set, giving you delicious pesto-infused eggs: perfect served for brunch with some potatoes and spinach.

98p per portion 

To make 1 portion

  • 1 potato, chopped into 2cm dice (no need to peel), 11p
  • 1 tbsp shop-bought pesto, (85p for 190g jar, 10p per tablespoon) 
  • 2 eggs (15p each)
  • A few cherry tomatoes, quartered (50p per 250g pack, 12p per portion)
  • Handful of spinach (£1.00 for a 300g bag, 7p per portion) 
  • Handful of grated Parmesan cheese (£1.50 for 170g, 15p portion) 
  • Olive oil (80p per 100ml, 8p per portion) 
  • Salt (40p per kg) and pepper (12p per 10g), 5p per portion

TOTAL: 98p 

To cook  

1. Preheat your oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. 

2. Spread out the diced potato on a baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil and season with a pinch of salt. 

3. Roast  for about 20 minutes, or until cooked through. Remove from the oven  and set aside. 

4.  Place a frying pan over a medium heat and add the pesto and a glug of olive oil. 

5. Break in the eggs and add the tomatoes (keeping the tomatoes on one side of the pan, away from the eggs). Once the eggs are cooked, remove the pan from the heat. Add the spinach and potatoes to the pan and mix everything together. 

6. Once the spinach has wilted, season, then serve topped with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.



This is a bit like a Spanish omelette, but with a couple of shortcuts and a few extra ingredients. 

Frittatas are a great way to use up leftovers – you can swap the ingredients around depending on what you have in the fridge.

99p per portion 

To make 1 portion

  •  A few baby potatoes, halved (90p per kg), 9p per portion
  • A few slices of onion (65p per kg), 9p per portion
  •  A few pieces of long-stem broccoli (£1.15 per 100g), 15p per portion
  • 3 eggs, beaten (15p each)
  • Small handful of crumbled feta cheese (£3.75/kg), 8p per portion
  • Olive oil (80p per 100ml, 8p per portion)
  •  Salt (40p per kg) and pepper (12p per 10g), 5p per portion 


To cook



Dumplings are a great addition to soups, so why not gnocchi? I know it sounds strange, but it really does work brilliantly. If you don’t want to blend the soup, just chop the onion extra small and make a chunkier, more rustic version.

£1 per portion 

To make 1 portion

  • 1⁄2 onion, diced (26p each, 13p per portion) 
  • 1 garlic clove, diced (21p per bulb, 2p per clove)
  • 200g chopped tomatoes (from a 400g tin) 200ml water, 34p
  • 1⁄2 vegetable stock cube (55p per pack of 12, 3p per cube)
  • Handful of shop-bought gnocchi (£1.60 per 500g pack), 30p per portion
  • Splash of single cream (£1.05 per 300ml pack), 5p per portion
  • Olive oil (80p per 100ml, 8p per portion)
  •  Salt (40p per kg) and pepper (12p per 10g), 5p per portion 

TOTAL: £1 

To cook

1. Pan-fry the onions in a splash of olive oil over a medium–low heat for about 7 minutes, seasoning with salt and pepper. 

2. Add the garlic and continue to fry for a few more minutes. 

3. Next, add the chopped tomatoes, and water, and crumble in the stock cube. Simmer for about 10 minutes, adding an extra splash of water if it looks too thick. If it looks too watery, just simmer for a little longer.

4. Transfer the soup to a blender (or use a stick blender) and blend the soup until smooth. Return to the pan, then add the gnocchi and simmer for another 3–5 minutes until the gnocchi is cooked through. Serve with a splash of cream.


With every book I write, I spend a week getting obsessed with making falafel easier and easier, and now I think I’ve finally done it! Oven-roast the chickpeas for that falafel crunch, and chuck in the rest of the usual ingredients for that classic flavour

95p per portion 

To make 1 portion

  • 100g chickpeas (from a 400g tin), 45p per tin, 19p per portion 
  • 1 tsp ground cumin (70p per 40g), 7p per portion
  • Small handful of coriander, chopped, 10p
  • 1 pitta bread, toasted (45p per pack of six), 8p
  • Salad (lettuce, onion and tomatoes), 45p per bag, 30p per portion
  • Dollop of hummus, 69p per jar, 8p per serving
  •  Olive oil (80p per 100ml, 8p per portion) 
  • Salt (40p per kg) and pepper (12p per 10g), 5p per portion 

TOTAL: 95p 

To cook



A lovely summer dish, and easy to scale up to enjoy with friends: just place a big bowlful in the middle of the table and everyone can dig in and make their own lettuce wraps. 

Larb is usually made with meat, but here I’ve swapped it for tiny cauliflower florets for a veg-based version that’s just as tasty.

89p per portion  

To make 1 portion

  •   1⁄2 red onion, finely diced (26p each, 13p per portion)
  • 1⁄4 head of cauliflower, chopped into small florets (88p each, 22p per portion)
  • 1 garlic clove, grated or crushed (21p per bulb, 2p per clove)
  • Pinch of dried chilli flakes (21 p/10g), 5p per portion
  • Pinch of curry powder  (21 p/10g), 5p per portion
  • A few lettuce leaves (45p each) 10p per portion 
  • Small handful of coriander, chopped, 10p 
  •  1⁄2 lime (18p each, 9 per lime) 
  • Olive oil (80p per 100ml, 8p per portion) 
  • Salt (40p per kg) and pepper (12p per 10g), 5p per portion 

89p per portion 

To cook 



Sneak some extra greens into your meal with this simple and healthy swap from noodles to cabbage.

 Just cut it into strips and it’ll do a similar job – and you don’t need to boil the ribbons first, so that’s some washing-up saved, too. 

Here I’ve used one of my favourite dipping sauces as a sauce for the ribbon.

52p per portion 

To make 

  • 1/8 white cabbage, cut into strips (96p per head, 12 per potion)
  • 1⁄2 red onion, cut into wedges (26p each, 13p per portion)
  • 1 carrot, cut into matchsticks (50p per kg, 1p per portion)
  • 1 spring onion, roughly chopped  (40p per bunch, 4p per portion)
  • 1 garlic clove, sliced 1 tbsp  (21p per bulb, 2p per clove)
  • Chinese crispy chilli sauce in oil, plus 1 tsp to garnish (74p per 100ml, 7p per portion) 
  • Sesame oil (76p per 100ml, 8p per portion)
  • Salt (40p per kg) and pepper (12p per 10g), 5p per portion 

TOTAL: 52p 

To cook 



Really quick and easy, this is a huge shortcut to some delicious food with only a few ingredients. 

The key to this dish is to use a fine grater to create a fluffy mound of Cheddar that will combine with a splash of cream to create a ‘no-cook’ cheesy paste. It’s also a delicious way to use up any stale bread you have lying around.

95p per portion 

To make 1 portion

  • Small handful of finely grated Cheddar cheese  (£6.60 per kg, 7p per portion)  
  • Splash of single cream (£1.05 per 300ml pack), 5p per portion
  • 2 portobello mushrooms (£1.50 per pack, 30p portion)
  • Small handful of chopped stale bread (39p per loaf, 5p per portion)
  • A few thin slices of leek (£3.00 per kg, 25p per portion)
  • Handful of rocket  (£1.00/100g, 10p per portion) 
  • Olive oil (80p per 100ml, 8p per portion) 
  • Salt (40p per kg) and pepper (12p per 10g), 5p per portion 

Total: 95p per portion 

To cook



Miguel’s tips on saving money at the supermarket  


‘My biggest tip is to buy regular ingredients that the supermarkets are fighting a price war with. 

‘For example, no supermarket is fighting to have the cheapest Manchego cheese, but they are fighting to have the cheapest cheddar, so why not take advantage of this and buy cheddar instead. 

‘Supermarkets want to be seen to have the cheapest onions, so they purposefully make less margin on this product. 

‘But they don’t care about having the cheapest shallots so you’ll be paying a lot more for those. 

‘Shop wisely and take advantage of the games they are playing. 


‘Don’t pay extra for pre-chopped or processed food. 

‘Chop it yourself and save the extra money that you would have been paying a factory to chop it for you.


‘Don’t buy jars of pre-made pasta sauces, you can do a great job yourself with a tin of tomatoes and some garlic. It’s so simple and way healthier too.’


‘A squeeze of lemon is perfect to help elevate a dish with a sharp contrasting flavour. 

‘Try it in anything from a Bolognese to a fresh salad. 

‘A sprinkle of curry powder is a great addition to anything from veg to roasted meat and will certainly excite the taste buds.’


‘People often think that it’s expensive and time-consuming to make vegan food at home, but quite the opposite is true. 

‘At first you might be a bit stuck for ideas as this is a dramatic change in thinking but as soon as you start getting more comfortable with it you’ll actually save time and money. 

‘I’ve written a whole book of £1 vegan meals and another book of £1 meat-free meals that prove exactly this.

‘I like finding new ways to hit that £1 mark, by looking for new products and hacks. 

‘Linda McCartney’s are one of the original meat-free pioneers so they’ve got their products down. 

‘Their famous Linda McCartney’s Vegetarian Sausages are usually around £2 for a pack of six, and you can turn those into so many dishes from hot dogs to casseroles and proper comfort-food meals.


‘Go back to basics. Start cooking from scratch. There are no ingredients labels on fresh ingredients, the ingredients are just the items you put into your basket. This is how you know what you’re eating and how you keep control of what you are putting into your body.

‘If you are used to a meat and three veg kind of diet, then jumping straight into cooking from scratch can be daunting. 

‘Try keeping some meat-free alternatives in the freezer.


‘Sometimes it can be fun to take a chance on buying something reduced that you’ve never cooked before. I think it’s important to keep things interesting and challenge yourself. 

‘But when you’re in a rush after a long day, there is a comfort in already having decided what you’re cooking, sticking with a tried and tested recipe and making life easy for yourself. Plus if you’re on a budget not straying from the weekly meal plan is essential. So it really depends on lots of factors if you’re going to take a gamble. 


Mob Kitchen’s Brown Butter Miso Udon 

Love brown butter? Love miso? Love a jammy egg? Then this quick and easy dish is the one for you.

Serves 4, £4.25 total, £1.06 per portion

Ingredients (for four)

  • 600g Udon, £2.75/kg (£1.65)
  • 4 Eggs (15p each, 60p total)
  • 3 Large Cloves of Garlic (21p per bulb, 2p per clove, 6p total)
  • 1 Banana Shallot, 5p
  • 150g Unsalted Butter(£7.00 per kg, £1.05)
  • 1 ½ Tbsp Red Miso (£1.57/100g, 16p per portion) 
  • ½ Lemon (13p)
  • 30g Parmesan (£1.50 for 170g, 34p)
  • 1 Sheet of Nori (£16.45/100g, 16p)
  • Salt (40p per kg) and pepper (12p per 10g), 5p per portion 




1.  Bring a pot of salted water to boil then add your udon and cook according to packet instructions. Drain your udon, keeping the noodle water.

2.  Pop your eggs into another pot of boiling water and cook for 6 ½ mins to get perfect jammy eggs. Once boiled, pop them into an ice-cold water bath to stop them from cooking. 

3. Mince your garlic and finely slice your shallot. 

4. On medium-low heat, melt the butter in a pan, continuously stirring and when it starts to smell nutty, add the garlic and shallot. Lower the heat then add your miso paste. Loosen the mix up with a splash of noodle water.

5. Then add your udon to the sauce and season well with salt and pepper. 

Squeeze in half a lemon. Stir your noodle gently you get a thick, glossy sauce and give it a good shake in the pan. 

6. Peel your eggs. 

7/Grate over parmesan and lemon zest. 

Serve with your perfect jammy eggs and nori, and tuck in




Beef Wellington for £2.50 a head 

Ben’s Budget Beef Wellington Recipe, 

Serves four for £9.73, £2.44 per head


 For the meat filling:

  • 500g beef mince (£1.90)
  • 220g sausage meat (£1.89 per kg, 42p)
  • 1 tbsp gravy granules (13p per kg, 1p)

For the pate:

  • 3 tbsp oil (Olive oil (80p per 100ml, 8p per portion)
  • 4 rashers smoked bacon (£1.75 for 12 rashers, 44p per portion)
  • 1 onion, peeled (26p) 
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled (10p)
  • 400g mushrooms (£2 per kg, 80p)
  • 250g chicken livers (£1.25)
  • 1 tbsp mustard (24.3p/100g, 3p per portion)
  • 1 tbsp gravy granules ((13p per kg, 1p)

For pancakes

  • 1 loaf white sliced bread, 39p

To build

1 roll puff pastry, £1

1 tbsp mustard (24.3p/100g, 3p per portion)

  • For the gravy
  • 220g sausage meat (£1.89 per kg, 42p)
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled (8p)
  • 1 can oxtail soup, 90p
  • 1 tbsp gravy granules (13p per kg, 1p)

For the ‘Choucroute’

  • 2 tbsp oil Olive oil (80p per 100ml, 8p per portion)
  • 4 rashers smoked bacon (£1.75 for 12 rashers, 44p per portion)
  • 3 carrots (50p per kg, 3p per portion)
  • 1 white cabbage (96p)
  • 1 tbsp mustard (24.3p/100g, 3p per portion)

TOTAL: £9.97



For the meat filling

Fold together the beef, sausage meat, gravy granules and a generous pinch of salt and pepper (with any herbs harvested from the allotment / garden / foraged). Beat the mix well to get a homogenous beef sausage mixture. Lightly oil a double layer of cling film and tip on the mixture, form into a thick sausage shape and use the cling film to tightly wrap the sausage up. Chill in the freezer for 20 minutes.

For the pâté

Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a high heat. Chop the bacon then add it to the pan and fry it until it is golden and crisp. Meanwhile, finely dice the onion and mince the garlic. Add these to the pan along with a very generous grind of black pepper. Cook for 3-4 minutes until lightly golden.

Slice the mushrooms and then add them to the pan along with a pinch of salt and sauté until starting to soften and colour lightly. (Add in with any herbs harvested from the allotment / garden / foraged)

Add in the chicken livers, mustard and gravy granules, then stir well to combine. Cook for 5-6 minutes until the pan is dry and the livers have coloured well.

Tip the entire pan into the bowl of a food processor and blitz until smooth, before tasting and adjusting the seasoning. Tip the mixture onto a large tray, spread out and cool quickly in the freezer.

For the ‘pancakes’

Remove the crusts from 6 slices of bread and keep the rest to one side. Lay the bread slices over a clean work surface, overlapping their edges so that you end up with one rectangle of bread. 

Use a rolling pin to flatten out the rectangle fully. The bread slices should bond together slightly. Use your fingers if needed to compress the slices.


To build and cook

Preheat the oven to 230℃. Place a heavy tray in the oven.

Lay the puff pastry out on a large sheet of baking paper. Lay the bread rectangle over the pastry, ensuring there is a 2.5cm gap all the way around (You will have to trim the slices) Spread the cooled pate over the bread into an even 0.5 cm layer. Remove the cling film from the chilled beef mixture and place in the middle of the pate rectangle.

Use the baking paper to lift the pastry and wrap it, and the bread and pate, over the meat mixture to form a wellington shape. Seal the pastry all the way round and trim off the excess. Lift the entire wellington on the pre-heated tray in the oven and bake for 20 minutes until the pastry is golden brown all over. Reduce the heat to 180℃ and continue to cook for a further 25 minutes until the filling is piping hot throughout. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 15 minutes.

For the gravy

Place a large frying pan over a high heat. Remove the sausage meat from the casing and tip into the pan. Fry, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes until crispy and golden all over.

Finely chop the garlic and then add it to the pan and cook for 30 seconds before adding the oxtail soup and gravy granules. Whisk to a simmer and then reduce the heat to low once the gravy has thickened.

For the choucroute

Heat the oil in a large casserole pan over a high heat. Chop the bacon and fry it in the oil until crisp. Peel and shred the carrot and add it to the pan, season and continue to cook for 5 minutes.

Shred the cabbage and add it to the pan along with the mustard and a splash of water and stir well. Cover the pan and allow the cabbage to wilt. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

To serve

Serve excess pate with fried bread croutes and mustard as a starter.

Carve the wellington and serve alongside the choucroute and gravy.




Tom Kerridge’s ‘pimped up’ super noodles 

79p per portion

Triple Michelin-starred chef Tom Kerridge has been called a ‘bloody champ’ for creating a budget recipe with Super Noodles to help people during the cost of living crisis.

According to the television cook, 48, who owns two Marlow gastropubs, the meal can be whipped up in just four minutes.

A video of Tom preparing the meal, which was shared on social media, shows him combining the Chow Mein flavoured instant noodles with half a cabbage, a carrot, two spring onions, a vegetable stock cube, some frozen peas and soy sauce.

During the video (pictured) the chef showed how to put the basic meal together, using minimal equipment including a kettle, pan, and potato peeler


  •  Chow Mein flavoured instant noodles (59p)
  • Half a cabbage (48p)
  • Carrot (1p)
  •  Vegetable stock cube (3p)
  • Half a cup of frozen peas (90p per kg, 10p per portion)
  • A dash of soy sauce (40p per 100,;, 4p per portion)
  • Two spring onions (8p)

TOTAL: 79p 


1. Add two mugs of boiling water to a pan and bring to a boil

2. Add pack of super noodles and flavouring 

3. Crush stock cube and add to pan and turn down heat

4. Peel carrot, cut ends off and grate it

5. Chop cabbage finely

6. Add frozen peas and cabbage to pan and turn up heat

7. Chop spring onions and add to pan with carrot

8. Add dash of soy sauce and stir 



Lorna’s favourite recipes which take 20 minutes and cost £1 or less per person



 20 mins prep/cooking • Serves 4

£1.09 total, 28p per portion 


1 tbsp oil   (80p per 100ml, 8p per portion)

¼ large sweet potato, peeled and finely grated (54p per kg, 3p per portion) 

200g frozen baby spinach (1.65/kg), 33p per portion

4 eggs (15p each, 60p total) 

Pinch of salt and pepper, 5p per portion


Preheat the oven to 180°C/Fan 160°C/Gas 5. 

Grease four holes of a regular-sized muffin tray with oil. Using your fingers, line the greased muffin holes with the sweet potato, pressing to form a crust on the bottom and sides. 

Bake the sweet potato crusts for 5–8 minutes, then remove from the oven. 

Add the baby spinach on top of the sweet potato and crack an egg onto each crust. 

Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and return to the oven to bake for a further 8–10 minutes, or until the egg whites are cooked.


£3.12 total,  78p per portion


10 mins prep • 20 mins cooking • Serves 4


1 tbsp veg oil  (80p per 100ml, 8p per portion)

1 onion, diced (26p) 

3 garlic cloves, minced (6p)

200g frozen peppers  (£2.00/kg), 40p

½ tsp brown sugar (£1.58 per kg), 2p

1 tsp chipotle paste (£1.10/100g), 10p

400g tin chopped tomatoes, 34p

2 large chicken breasts, £1.86


Heat the oil in a large frying pan and fry the onion for 5 minutes. 

Add the garlic and peppers, and cook for 3 minutes more. 

Stir in the sugar, chipotle paste and tomatoes, then add the chicken. 

Simmer for 20 minutes. 

Remove the chicken and shred with two forks. 

Add it back into the sauce and stir well. Serve with rice. 

TOTAL: £3.12



£3.50 total, 88p per person 

It sounds like a weird combo, but it works! And it’s a vegan recipe to have up your sleeve

20 mins or less • Serves 4

  • 1 tbsp oil  (80p per 100ml, 8p per portion)
  • 1 onion, chopped , 26p
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed, 6p
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds , 7p per portion
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds, 7p per portion
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric. 7p per portion
  • 1 tsp ground cumin, 7p per portion
  • 1 tsp ground coriander, 7p per portion
  • 1 tsp chilli powder, 7p per portion
  • 1 tsp salt, 1p 
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree, 5p
  • 2 tins chickpeas, drained , 45p each, 90p total
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes, 38p
  • 200g frozen cauliflower, 24p
  • 200g frozen broccoli, 18p
  • 250ml vegetable stock, 5p
  • 1 tin mandarins in juice, 80p
  • 1 tsp garam masala, 7p


Heat the oil in a large frying pan. 

Cook the onion, garlic, cumin seeds and mustard seeds for 3–5 minutes, or until the onion has softened. 

Add the ground turmeric, cumin, coriander, chilli powder and salt. 

Stir in the tomato puree and cook for 2 minutes. 

Stir in the chickpeas, tomatoes, veg and vegetable stock. 

Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. 

Add the drained mandarins and heat through. 

Remove from the heat and mix in the garam masala. 

Serve with rice. 

 Total: £3.50

Per portion: 88p 


Tomato, lentil & aubergine ragú 

When I was growing up, my aunty Sophie often made a big pan of tomatoey lentils when we went round.

This version is a nod to a traditional Italian meat ragú, but I have added soft aubergine instead and served with soft polenta & wilted greens.

£5.57 total, 93p per portion 



  • 6 tablespoons olive oil, 48p
  • 2 onions, finely chopped, 52p
  • 2 aubergines, cut into 2.5cm cubes, £1.50
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped, 4p
  • ½ teaspoon fennel seeds, 7p
  • 2 bay leaves, 15p
  • pinch of chilli flakes, 7p
  • 200ml red wine (optional), 93p
  • 2 × 400g tins beluga lentils, drained and rinsed, £1 (50p each)
  • 2 × 400g tins chopped tomatoes, 76p
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, 5p

TOTAL: £5.47



In a large frying pan, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil, add the onions and soften over a low heat for about 10–15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in another frying pan, heat the remaining oil, add the aubergines and a pinch of salt, then fry on high for 5–10 minutes, stirring often until the aubergine cubes are golden. Set aside.

By this point, the onions should be soft and tinged golden. Add the garlic, fennel seeds, bay leaves and chilli flakes. 

Fry for a further 2–3 minutes, then tip in the wine. 

Bring to the boil and boil until it has reduced by two-thirds in volume (this shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes). 

Last but not least, add the lentils, tomatoes and the browned aubergine cubes. 

Season and reduce the heat, then simmer for 15–20 minutes until the sauce has thickened a little and the aubergine is buttery soft.

Just before serving, fish out the bay leaves. 

This ragù is great with soft polenta, pasta or served simply with a hunk of bread.

Vietnamese crab cakes 

These are inspired by a Vietnamese dish of fish marinated in lots of turmeric, ginger and garlic, pan-fried and served with the classic Vietnamese dressing Nuóc cham.

I’ve repurposed these flavours into crisp crab cakes.

£4 total, £2 per portion 



  • 2 × 170g tins lump crab meat, drained, £2.44
  • 2.5cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated (about 1½ tablespoons when grated), 10p
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped, 10p
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped, 2p
  • 15g dill, finely chopped, 30p
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric, 7p
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped, 10p
  • 10 tablespoons dried breadcrumbs, 5p
  • 2 eggs, beaten, 30p
  • 1 tablespoon flavourless oil (such as sunflower), 8p


  • 4 teaspoons fish sauce, 10p
  • juice of 1 lime, 18p
  • 4 teaspoons soft brown sugar, 4p
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped, 10p
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped, 2p

TOTAL:  £4,00


To make the crab cakes

Mix the crab, ginger, chilli, garlic, dill, turmeric, shallots, 4 tablespoons of the breadcrumbs and half the beaten eggs in a bowl. 

Shape into eight patties and stick in the fridge to firm up for at least 20 minutes.

To make the dressing

 Mix all the ingredients with 2 tablespoons of water, check the balance of sour, sweet and salty and adjust accordingly.

Just before frying, dip each cake in the remaining beaten egg and then into the remaining breadcrumbs to coat. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat and fry the cakes for 4 minutes per side until golden.

Serve alongside the dressing, for drizzling or dunking.

Tip: Try nestling a crab cake in a lettuce leaf with some finely sliced cucumber, then drizzle with the dressing.

Banoffee pie with hazelnut cream 

 What is not to love about sweet banana, buttery biscuits and a load of nutty, chocolate cream? 

I feel my Granny Susan, who ate bananas with double cream and a sprinkling of caster sugar, would agree.

£7.32  total, 92p per person 



  • 325g digestive biscuits, 39p
  • 200g slightly salted butter, melted, £1.56
  • 100g blanched hazelnuts, toasted and finely chopped, £1.05


  • 125g golden caster sugar, 28p
  • 397g tin condensed milk, £1
  • 125g slightly salted butter, cut into small pieces, 98p


  • 3–4 bananas, 36p
  • squeeze of lemon juice, 25p
  • 300ml double cream, £1.20
  • 3 tablespoons Nutella, 40p

TOTAL: £7.32



Begin with the case: in a food-processor, blitz the digestives until you have fine crumbs (alternatively, put into a freezer bag and whack with a rolling pin). 

Tip into a bowl with the melted butter and 75g of the chopped hazelnuts, and mix to combine.

Press the mixture into a 26cm loose-based tart tin, then pop in the fridge while you make the filling.

For the filling

Add the sugar to a large, non-stick frying pan, put over a low-medium heat and allow to melt: do not stir! 

Once melted, turn up the heat and simmer hard until it has turned a deep, golden colour.

Turn the heat to low and slowly stir in the condensed milk. 

It may not come together immediately; keep stirring and it will become smooth and uniform in colour, about 10 minutes. Add the butter, stirring until melted and combined. 

Pour into your chilled case, smooth the surface and put back into the fridge for at least 1 hour.

When you’re ready to serve, peel and slice the bananas, toss with a little lemon juice (this will stop them going brown) and lay over the caramel. 

Whip the cream to soft peaks, fold in the Nutella, then spread over the bananas. 

Sprinkle over the reserved hazelnuts to serve.

Tip: If you’ve got time to spare and prefer a less labour intensive approach, an alternative method for the caramel layer is to place the unopened tin of condensed milk in a saucepan. 

Cover with boiling water, then simmer over a low heat, uncovered (checking the water level remains at least 2.5cm above the tin) for about 3 hours. 

Allow to cool completely before opening and tipping the contents into the prepared case.

Healthy Mummy’s ‘protein packed turkey burrito bowl’ on a budget

Serves four, 440 calories per serve

 £6.56 total, £1.64 each


This protein-packed turkey burrito bowl is a great meal option (pictured) either for lunch or dinner

  • Half a cup of brown rice, uncooked, 20p
  • One avocado, sliced, 95p
  • 400 grams of chopped tomatoes, tinned, 83p
  • 200 grams of black beans, tinned, 25p
  • 500 grams of turkey mince, £2.65
  • One tablespoon of coconut oil, 8p
  • One bell pepper, sliced, 45p
  • One red onion, peeled and sliced, 26p
  • One corn cob with kernels cut off, 32p
  • Half a teaspoon of ground coriander, 7p
  • Half a teaspoon of ground cumin, 7p
  • Quarter of a teaspoon of cayenne pepper, 7p
  • One tablespoon of fresh coriander, chopped, 7p
  • Two limes, one zested and one quartered, 36p

TOTAL: £6.56

Per portion: £1.64 


1. Cook rice as per packet instructions.

2. In a hot fry pan heat half of the coconut oil. Add capsicum, onion and corn and sauté until soft. Place in bowl and set aside.

3. In the same fry pan heat the rest of the coconut oil, then add mince, spices, lime zest and fresh coriander.

4. Cook until mince is browned.

5. Add the tinned tomatoes and black beans, and simmer for five minutes.

6. Portion out rice, turkey mince, and capsicum mix into bowls. Add fresh lime and sliced avocado to serve.

7. If freezing, leave out the fresh lime and avocado. Pop into plastic tubs with lids once cooled and freeze for up to two months.

Source: Healthy Mummy

Healthy Mummy’s ‘budget beef stew’ 

Serves four, 356 calories per serve

£4.37 total, £1.10 each 


This budget beef stew (pictured) only amounts to 356 calories per serve

  • 320 grams stewing steak or beef chunks, eg lean chuck steak, £2.75
  • One tablespoon of plain wholemeal flour, 5p
  • One tablespoon of extra Virgin olive oil, 8p
  • Two cloves of chopped garlic, 4p
  • Two chopped brown onions, 50p
  • Two cups liquid beef stock, salt reduced, 10p
  • One tablespoon of Dijon mustard, 3p
  • One tablespoon of Worcestershire Sauce, 5p
  • Two teaspoons of dried Italian herbs, 7p
  • Four diced carrots, 5p
  • Four cubed potatoes, 55p
  • Two tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley, 10p


1. Cube the meat and place in a large bowl, season with pepper. Add the flour and toss the meat until it is coated. Set aside.

2. Heat the olive oil in a heavy-based saucepan or casserole dish with a lid, over a medium heat. Add beef and any flour from the bottom of the bowl and brown for two to three minutes. Add onion, garlic and carrot and cook for one minute more.

3. Add the stock, Dijon, Worcestershire sauce and dried herbs to the pot. Stir to combine and scrape the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.

4. Add potato, bring to the boil, then cover and reduce heat to very low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for one to one and a half hours until the meat is very tender.

5. Divide between four bowls and garnish with parsley to serve. Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for two to three days in an airtight container or freeze to defrost for another meal.

Source: Healthy Mummy

  • Take One Tin by Lola Milne is published by Kyle Books, £14.99. Photography by Lizzie Mayson 
  • Join Miguel and start cooking healthy, delicious meals from scratch. Visit to get 50% off today. #savepointssavepounds 
  •  Feed Your Family for £20 a Week…In a Hurry! by Lorna Cooper (Seven Dials) is out now and costs £16.99.

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