cut back on and denied yourself
everything else, the last target must be
food. I try going without as much as
possible and regard every meal I miss as
'one more in the bank', but I can only
miss so many! Then it is Sainsburys 'economy'
beans, soup, mushrooms, white bread,
potatoes, and bulk purchases of anything
on a 'two for the price of one' special
offer that I can keep for months in the
freezer! It took a while to make a dent
in the forty eight meat free burgers I
once couldn't resist the reduced price
of. One per meal with peas and chips . .
took a while!!
Cooking in the
winter has the added advantage of heating
up the place and means you can save money
and go without turning on the central
|Yayyy . . 'FREE'
food!!! Well . . almost. There is
a small price to be paid in
stings and scratches from the
hedgerow brambles, but
blackberrying is a tradition
often overlooked by the fast food
generation, which means the
pickings can be plentiful. I
obviously avoid any growing near
a road because of the likely high
lead and pollutants content! When
you get fed up with just eating
bowls full of stewed blackberries
with sugar - the following gem of
a recipe is SO quick and simple,
even 'I' can manage to force
myself to put in the ten minutes
or so effort it takes (an not
much washing up). A delicious
sweet, spongey, buttery, fruity
affair which seems to work just
as well (or maybe better) if you
use tinned fruit in syrup instead
of the blackberries . . or maybe
add some apples . . or, . . and,
. . or, etc.
Serves six if you push it, but
more like four . . or less if it
worked out well and you just
couldn't resist. :o)
|400g blackberries (or a
tin of fruit of choice in syrup),
half a cup of sugar, half a cup
of water or less.
One and a half cups of self
One and a half cups of sugar
One and a half cups of milk
|Wash and cook the
blackberries with the sugar in as
little water as possible. Bring
to the boil then leave to simmer.
Melt the butter in a large
shallow ovenproof dish at gas
Mk.4 whilst mixing the flour,
sugar and milk into a batter.
Pour the melted butter into the
batter and mix, before pouring
the batter into the oven dish.
Evenly pour the blackberries over
Cook in the oven at gas mark 4
for around 45minutes or less,
until brown on top.
inevitable 'pad it out with
pasta' meal - but actually not
that bad. Only tried this the
once so far. Would probably
benefit from onion and garlic?
economy pasta shapes
One 200g can of tuna...drained
One 425g can of cream of mushroom
One can of peas or an equal
volume of frozen
One cup grated cheese
One packet of (cheese and onion)
|Cook the pasta (and
frozen peas if used) in a large
pan until 'al dente'.
Drain then add the tuna, soup,
peas and three quarters of the
cheese and mix.
Pour the mixture into an oven
dish and sprinkle the top with
crisps and the remainder of the
Cover and bake on gas mark 4 for
around 30 minutes until bubbling.
Uncover during cooking or flash
under a grill to brown.
particularly cheap unless you can
find some packs of bacon on a
'two for the price of one'
special offer. If you don't
overcook the bacon, you can get
away with one rasher of bacon per
sandwhich. VERY cheap if you skip
the bacon, or maybe substitute
for a slice of economy corned
beef! If you are feeling
particularly decadent, add more
ingredients such as grated
cheese, onion, mayonaise, etc,
etc. I find three will usually
guarantee that contented, full
stomach, I want to sleep,
|2 slices of buttered
1 tomatoe, sliced
Iceburg lettuce leaves
Two rashers of bacon
|'Just' a sandwhich,
but OH what a delicious feast.
|Buy a nice large
chicken and roast it - good for
SO many meals if you eek it out,
it has to be one of the cheapest
ways to eat well.
boiled veg of choice
|The trick is all in
the 'carving'. Use your finger
tear off every last morcel
from the bones!
Even then, boil the bones for
|The following much
enjoyed recipe for chilli was one
I luckily tried in a brave, rare
moment of culinary
experimentation. I found it in
'The Classic 1000 Vegetarian
Recipes' by Carolyn Humphries.
For economy I use cheap vegetable
oil rather than olive oil. I
sometimes leave out the expensive
yeast extract. I 'bulk' it out
with a tin of the cheapest baked
beans and extra cheap mushrooms
I'm not overkeen on hot, spicey
foods so a little can go a long
way. If I'm lucky I can make up
seven small bowls full which I
store in the freezer.
Rice is cheap and filling so I
will boil a mugfull of rice in
four or more mugs of water with a
Pilau rice cube until very fluffy
and then mix in a bowl of the
chilli. Eaten with four slices of
the cheapest bread covered in
margarine there is usually enough
left over for a microwave reheat
lunch the next day! Serves 14
|15 ml/1 tbsp
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 onion, chopped
5 ml/1 tsp chilli powder
225g/8oz/2 cups minced (ground)
400g/14oz/1 large can tomatoes
30 ml/2tbsp tomato puree (paste)
100g/4oz mushrooms, sliced
425g/15oz/1 large can red kidney
1 vegetable stock cube
15ml/1tbsp yeast extract
Salt and freshly ground black
the oil and fry (saute) the
garlic, onion and chilli powder
for 3 minutes until soft.
Add the remaining ingredients
except the rice and bread with
any left over wine you may have.
Bring to the boil and simmer for
at least 45 minutes, adding a
little water if the mixture
becomes too dry.
Adjust the seasoning to taste.
Serve with rice and garlic bread.
|This one isn't
particularly cheap or vegetarian
but it is rich and I love it, and
if I fall asleep straight after
eating, it does encourage
Onion On Toast
4 slices of bread
Thinly sliced or grated mature
Butter (Flora margarine)
toast the bread on both sides.
Fry or microwave the chopped
onion in a little butter until
Lightly butter the toast and then
spread the onion over it.
Cover with the cheese and grill
until a golden crust develops.
|I used to hate salad
but my vegetarian sister 'made'
me like it! Salad can be real
cheap but it doesn't keep so when
I do it I end up eating it every
meal for three or four days!! The
raddishes seem unreasonably
expensive and I often do without,
but enjoy it just as much. The
sandwhiches are a particular
favourite where the chilled (a
must!) salad seems to be
complimented by the Marmite. Six
pieces of bread and butter made
into sandwhiches like this, for
lunch on a hot summers day,
provides a jolly pleasant feed!
1 Iceburg lettuce, chopped
2 Carrots grated
1 Small bag of raddishes chopped
Yeast extract (Marmite)
Grated Cheddar cheese
Salt & Vinegar
Bread and butter
and grate everything into a large
container and mix together
thoroughly before cooling in the
Serve sprinkled with cheese and
doused in salt and vinegar with
liberally salted chips.
Use as a sandwhich filler
together with a spread of yeast
extract and salt.
|I eat the following
whilst mindful of apologies and
thanks to the chickens.
onion, finely chopped
4 Pieces of bread and butter
the eggs into a bowl and whisk
Mix in the onion.
Fry/grill until firm then cut
into appropriate pieces and serve
as a sandwhich filler with salt
and tomato ketchup.
|The cheapest most
watery soup can be made into a
much more filling and pleasant
meal by adding some cheap
potatoe. Particularly good for
this of course, is leek and
potatoe soup but the vegetable
soup is cheaper!
tin of the cheapest vegetable
4 Pieces of bread and butter
dice and boil or microwave the
potatoes until cooked.
Heat the soup and mix in
Serve with bread and butter.
rather excellent value for money
and so simple to do, I went
through a phase of making scones
all the time which resulted in a
friend's daughter calling me Mr.
Sconey! I experimented with
adding sultanas and even cheese
on one occasion, and they were
always quite satisfying.
|MAKES ABOUT 12
|225g/8oz self raising
2.5ml/0.5 tsp salt
5ml/1 tsp sugar
75ml/3 fl.oz milk
30ml/2 tbsp water
the flour and salt into a bowl,
then stir in the sugar.
Rub in the butter until the
mixture resembles fine
Pour in the liquid and beat until
a soft dough is formed. Knead
gently for 3 minutes.
Pat the dough out until it is
about 2cm/0.75 inch thick.
Cut into 5cm/2in circles with a
Transfer the circles to a well
greased baking sheet.
Lightly brush the tops with a
little milk or beaten egg.
Put into the oven preheated to
very hot (230 degrees C/450
degrees F or Gas Mark 8).
Bake for ten to fifteen minutes,
or until golden brown.
|Breakfast is of
course the most important meal of
the day, and I wouldn't dream of
ever starting the day without
neck, back ache
2 mugs of strong coffee
20 hand rolled cigarettes
1 mail delivery
1 broken heart
1 feeling of paranoia
1 hopeless outlook
up extremely early still tired
and in pain.
Chew the paracetamol to speed the
pain deadening effect.
Wash away nasty taste and get
back feeling in tongue by slowly
sipping cold coffee .
Substitute feelings of hunger for
chain smoking the cigarettes.
Increase feelings of hopelessness
by watching the TV news and
reading teletext horoscopes.
Open the junk mail and
unexpectedly big bills.
Continually mull over and
re-enact ALL past negative
experiences and rejections.
Imagine yet another day full of
Sit right where you are and make
breakfast last for as long as
often as possible don't wear any!
because you want to, not because
you can. Because - how else can
you afford to?!!!
got feet? Use em! Just beware the
price of shoes.