Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Cheap Budget Meals - Tasty Homemade Recipes Within Budget! Veggie Macaroni Cheese

Following a successful month of budgeting during February's Great British Budget I am keen to carry on as we have been and share some budgeting recipes.
Every week I am going to post a new, cheap, budget recipe.
I want to show you that when on a tight budget you can still enjoy tasty, nutritious home cooked meals.
We live on a tight budget and I am always trying to come up with new ideas for our meals.
To begin with here are some of my budgeting tips:
* Keep a good store cupboard. Its amazing how a few herbs and spices can transform a meal. Keep in cupboard essentials like flour, seasoning and stock cubes as they always come in handy!
* When you go shopping always check out the reduced section for fresh meat and fish that you can freeze. I have picked up some great bargains here, like 2 pieces of salmon fillet for £1!
* Always look at the "value" version of foods. We buy value pasta for 30p, rice for 40p, corn flakes for 33p to name a few and they taste exactly the same!
* Save any leftovers! Either freeze them for another day or bulk them out the following day with extra vegetables to not only get added nutritional goodness but a second meal!
Here is my first cheap budget meal recipe...
Veggie Macaroni Cheese
250g Macaroni (500g bag = 95p)
1 Onion, chopped (16p)
1 Courgette, quartered and sliced (48p)
150g Mushrooms, chopped (50p)
100g Cherry Tomatoes, quartered (65p)
Red or Yellow Pepper (80p)
75g Mature Cheddar Cheese, grated (£1)
12g Butter
12g Plain Flour
300mls Milk
1/2tsp Dried Oregano
1 - Cook the pasta as per instructions
2 - While the pasta is cooking fry the vegetables in a little oil over a medium heat until soft, add the oregano and stir in
3 - To make your cheese sauce melt the butter and add the flour
4 - Remove from the heat and gradually stir in the milk until you have a smooth sauce
5 - Return to the heat and bring to the boil stirring continuously
6 - Once at boiling point remove from the heat, stir in 50g of the grated cheese and season to taste
7 - Once the macaroni is cooked, drain and place in a oven proof dish
8 - Place the soft vegetables over the top and mix through
9 - Pour over the cheese sauce and top with the remaining cheese
10 - Place under a high grill until the cheese has melted and browned off
This meal served all 5 of us and there were even some leftovers for the twins the following day!
It is  a delicious, versatile meal. Vegetables can be added or removed to taste or to what you have in your fridge. This is a great meal to use up any leftover vegetables that you may have in your fridge at the end of the week!
Serve as it is or with garlic bread.
This meal can be cooked for as little as £4.54 as long as you have items in your store cupboard. That's under £1 per serving!
Enjoy x
I am sharing my weekly budget meal with Cold Tea and Smelly Nappies Thrifty Thursday. Check out tips on what to do with the left over bread crusts and other thrifty, money saving ideas at Thrifty Thursday

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  1. This looks great - I love macaroni cheese and this looks like a great way to make it a bit healthier! Definitely bookmarking this one!

    1. Thank you the best thing is you can add just about any veg you like :-)

  2. Ooh I made my Chorizo mac last week, I am a little obsessed with mac and cheese recipes at the moment, I would up my budget and add more cheese, but this is right up my street!

    1. Oooh Iove chorizo! I might have to try that one :-)

  3. We love Mac and cheese too - we have it with brocolli and bacon x

  4. I love macaroni and cheese, this one looks yummy x

  5. Yummy, great idea to get the veggies into the dinner

  6. macaroni cheese is always good! such good comfort food too.

  7. Great ideas! We always buy budget pasta and rice as I don't think there is a huge difference. This looks really good - macaroni cheese is always a big hit with the whole family.

    1. They are so much cheaper and a great way to help the pennies spread that little bit further :-)

  8. Great for getting veggies into the kids without them realising

  9. Mmmm, I love macaroni cheese and often add veggies to it too to make it a bit healthier. This looks very tasty.

    1. Thank you :-) the veggies certainly make it a little less guilty!

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  12. This looks yummy, I would have to put some bacon in it though ;)

  13. I do a lot of budget meals lately ;-) and also meal planning! When I'm shopping I always look at value brands, they're as good as their more expensive sisters!

  14. Mmm, that looks yummy! Do love mac 'n' cheese!!

    I recently posted: Free Things To Do In Essex: Hainault Forest Country Park

  15. It's great to do value meals !

  16. Looks lovely! Pretty much all our shopping is value stuff,or sthings that are reduced or on offer!

  17. i love mac and cheese! you've got my craving this now! x

  18. That sounds really nice! We are going to attempt to have one vegetarian meal a week to cut down on the weekly food shop as well as trying to be a bit more healthy. I'm going to try this recipe out. Thanks for joining in with #ThriftyThursday :-)

  19. Love the fact you have thrown lots of veg in too - roll on summer and being able to grow our own:)

  20. This is such a great idea for a recipe on a budget as it has lots of healthy veg in it but it also great filling comfort food. Mac and cheese is a classic crowd pleaser and it is one our favourites here too. Your version looks full of flavour and delicious x

  21. Great idea and this sounds yummy

  22. That looks yummy. The kids fave is mac cheese and I always throw veggies in

  23. This is fab, my boys would love it! Will have to try it some time :D

  24. Mmmmm, sounds and looks seriously yummy. I love a good mac and cheese - the more extras the better!


Thank you for your comments I do love to hear what you think and try to reply to as many as I can x