Super frugal weeknight meals

*this post contains affiliate links

I am a big fan of any meal that can be made in 30mins or less. I think it got it from my mother as she was also a full time mum to three and holding down a full time job. I learnt to time manage and what order things needed to be put on to get it all on the table within half an hour of getting home.
Now that I'm a mother myself I really understand the need to both a healthy, and time/money wise meals. Preferably with leftovers.

I have a few recipes on rotation and add to this using Pinterest and other blogs when I find a recipe that looks good. I also add these to my cookbook template and when I have about 100 recipes I send it off to Blurb; to publish into a hardcover book which can be passed down to Rue when he is older. No more hunting around for nans scone recipe. I will write more about my cookbook process in another post.

These are just a few of the main meals I make on a regular basis.

Mum's frugal spaghetti bolognaise  (serves 5)

500g beef mince ($7)
1 onion ($2 a bag)
tomato paste ($3.60 for a 300g squeeze one so you can keep it in the fridge)
chicken stock (free I make my own)
parsely ( I grow my own herbs)
garlic ($2.50 for 500g jar)
sugar ($1.79 2kg bag)
spaghetti ($1 a bag)

Cook as much spaghetti as will feed your family, I usually go for about 1/3 of a packet as this gives me leftovers.  Dice the onion and cook it with a spray of oil for 2mins. Throw in the mince and garlic (about 1tbls garlic) and cook until browned. Add a tablespoon of each the basil and parsley and stir for a minute to release the flavours. Add 1/4 cup of tomato paste and 1 cup chicken stock and stir. Add 1 tbs sugar (or less but it is quite savory without it) and stir. Simmer on low until you are ready to eat.

If you need to buy all the ingredients this meal comes too $17.89 which is $3.57 a serve. As most of this buys much more than one meal will use it comes in at $1.67 a serve.

Want to serve more? Just add more spaghetti and use less of the mince mix for each person. To get this on the table in 30mins or less I suggest putting the water on to boil first then putting the frypan on to heat while you cut the onion. Then the rest should be throw in as you go. The spaghetti should be ready to put in the water around the time the mince is browning and it should all finish up when the spaghetti is done.

For a vegetarian option or to make it even cheaper substitute the mince with a cup of red lentils and add another cup of chicken stock which brings it to just 35c a serve. Adding mushrooms and grated zucchini and carrot is also very yummy if you have them on hand.

 Steak with fatty sauce and chips (serves 2)

Steak (buy what you can afford)
Cream ($1.80 300ml)
bacon ($7 500g or about 15slices)
onion ($2 a bag)
potato ($7 a bag)
peas and corn ($2.35 a bag)
steak seasoning ($2.80)

Heat oven to 200c. Dice potato into thick chips (use 1 per person).  Place on a tray, spray with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place in oven for approx 20mins turning once if needed (not needed for fan forced).

Heat a frypan quite hot with a few sprays of oil, or 1tbls oil if you want it crispy. Sprinkle the steak seasoning on top of the steak then put that side down in the pan. Sprinkle seasoning on the other side and cook to your liking (about 5mins first side and 3mins second side). Leave the steak on a plate to rest once cooked. Turn the heat down and add a little water to de glaze the pan, careful this will cause alot of steam. Add 1/2 diced onion and 1 slice diced bacon and cook until browned (about 3mins). Add a little water if it gets dry, the seasoning can make the pan a bit prone to burning. Add 1/2 cup cream and stir to collect all the juices in the pan. Simmer until reduced a little (the more you reduce the thicker the sauce will be, I like it quite thick). Pour any steak juices back into the pan and stir in. Pour sauce over the steak.

Place a cup of frozen peas and corn in the microwave with a little water and heat for 3mins. Serve with the chips and steak.

Scotch fillet is $8 each
Oyster blade is $4 each

This recipe is one an ex used to make only he used the whole 300ml of cream and reduced it down to a rich gravy but I like it to have a few less calories so only use 1/2 cup and don't reduce it as much. If you over thicken the cream just add a little water. This comes in at $5.88 per serve if you use oyster blade steak which I think is amazing for a steak dinner. I also find that one piece of scotch fillet can often serve 2 if you aren't a big eater as the chips are very filling and much cheaper.

You can also use sizzle/minute steaks which are about $10 for 6 which you would add more potato chips and veg and serve 6 for $2.29.

To get this out in 30mins. Pre heat the oven and fry pan while you cut the potato. Get that in first. Then cook the steak and while its resting put the peas and corn in the microwave and make the sauce. It should all be done by the time the chips are cooked.

Powered by Blogger.