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Ah, summer is here! And so, then, is the season of ‘looking good’. I’m not an advocate of dieting. I’m not a fan of having to get ‘summer ready’ or obtaining a ‘perfect beach bod’. My body is good and ready enough thank you! I prescribe to the #everybodyisbeautiful school of thought. Healthy is more important than anything else. If you eat right and live right it makes you feel better, gives you more energy, improves your sleep, and just in general makes things better all round. So this summer I’m trying to kick start my new regime of eating right and living right(ish).

People tend to roll their eyes at me and say that eating right is expensive, but it doesn’t have to be! Let me prove this to you. I’ve put together a list of easy dinners to make throughout the week from some of my favourite food bloggers that don’t take forever to prepare and will cost you less than £2.30 per portion to make. Most cost less than £1.20! (I recently went vegan but I promise not inflict these on you. This is a compilation of all my old tried and tested favourites).

Just to note: For all the pricing I haven’t included the price of oil or salt… because I figure you might have these already. (If not then 1l of olive oil is about £3.60).[^1]

I appreciate that maybe there will be a few one off spends but once this stuff is bought it sits in your cupboard for ages and helps to make the most delicious, easy, food.

Monday

Ok… maybe ONE little vegan recipe. Monday’s are down days, let’s be honest. So you want something tasty and easy and cheap. Look at this great recipe for Creamy Vegan Garlic Pasta with Roasted Tomatoes

(serves 3-4)

My costings for this recipe are:

  • 450g cherry tomatoes: £0.90 (330g)
  • 283g pasta (such as penne, linguini, or fettuccine): £0.20 (500g)
  • 2 medium shallots: £1 (400g)
  • 8 large cloves garlic: £0.30 (per bulb)
  • 25-33g flour (or another thickener of choice): £0.55 (1.5kg)
  • 600 ml Almond milk (unsweetened): £1.80 (1l)

So per portion you are spending roughly: £1.01

Tuesday

This Easy Lo Mein is also amazingly delicious and doesn’t require you to be the world’s best chef. It’s also packed full of veggie goodness.

(serves 4)

My costings for this recipe are:

  • 225g egg noodles: £1.25 (300g)
  • 2 cloves garlic: £0.30 (per bulb)
  • 2 cups cremini mushrooms (or other): £0.90 (300g closed cup mushrooms)
  • 1 red bell pepper: £0.52 (per pepper)
  • 1 carrot: £0.06 (per carrot)
  • 1/2 cup snow peas: £1 (150g sugar snap peas)
  • 3 cups baby spinach: £1.50 (250g)

FOR THE SAUCE

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce: £1.30 (150ml)
  • 2 teaspoons sugar: £0.69 (1kg)
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil: £1.60 (250ml)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger: £0.85 (38g)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Sriracha: £2.84 (455ml)

So per portion you are spending roughly: £1.17

Wednesday

If you’re looking for something heavier and more filling mid-week then try this sweet potato and spinach bake. (If you’re desperate for some meat by now then follow their advice and add some delicious grilled lamb chops on the side!)

(serves 4)

My costings for this recipe are:

  • 300ml single or double cream: £0.95 (300ml)
  • 1 garlic clove: £0.30 (per bulb)
  • 2 sprigs thyme or rosemary: £0.70 (30g rosemary)
  • 250g bag frozen spinach: £1.50 (900g)
  • nutmeg: £0.85 (52g)
  • butter: £1.18 (250g)
  • 850g sweet potatoes: £1 (1kg)

Make it non-veggie

  • 4 lamb chops: £3.75 (for 4 chops/300g)

So per (veggie) portion you are spending roughly: £0.68

And per (meaty goodness) portion you are spending roughly: £1.61

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Thursday

This simple veggie curry is a great one from Tasty. (I love these guys because the video shows you exactly what you need to do step by step). Again, if you want to add meat to this then fry off some diced chicken with a little olive oil and add it into the mix to simmer away with all the other delicious flavours.

(serves 4)

My costings for this recipe are:

  • 900g potatoes: £1.29 (2.5kg)
  • 1 onion: £0.21 (per onion)
  • 4 cloves of garlic: £0.30 (per bulb)
  • 1 tspn Cumin: £0.85 (43g)
  • 1 tspn Cayenne: £0.85 (48g)
  • 2 tspn Curry powder: £1 (80g)
  • Fresh Ginger: £0.99 (125g)
  • 1 tin tomatoes :£0.31 (400g)
  • 1 tin chickpeas: £0.50 (400g)
  • 1 tin peas: £0.21 (300g)
  • 1 tin coconut milk: £0.95 (400ml)

I understand that you might have to shell out a bit on new spices for this. But they last forever and make food taste so good!

So per portion you are spending roughly: £0.81

Friday

Finally for Friday try these DELICIOUS easy beef and garlic noodles. I love them! (I miss them in my new vegan life)

(serves 2)

My costings for this recipe are:

  • 2tbsp butter: £1.18 (250g)
  • 3 spring onion: £0.49 (100g)
  • 4 garlic: £0.30 (per bulb)
  • 400g diced beef: £2.89 (400g)
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar: £1.40 (500g)
  • 2tbsp soy sauce: £1.30 (150ml)
  • 250g egg noodles: £1.25 (300g)

So per portion you are spending roughly: £2.30

Like I said, I appreciate the few one off spends at the beginning. But as you can see, eating well doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. In fact it can be healthy, delicious and cost effective. There are also great ways to customise recipes once you have made them a few times to make them more to your tastes.

(All prices taken from Tesco)


Healthy body, healthy mind, healthy wallet! Oval Money
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