ADDITION: I've spent nearly 2 hours trying to fix the spacing on this post. Everytime I fix it an add somethingnew, thespacing goes haywire. I'm not adding anymore to it. Please check the comments for more recipes.
My favourite recipe is home-made spaghetti bolognese.
Brown 1lb minced beef in a pan, drain and reserve. For a veggie alternative make up 1lb equivalent of soya mince reconstituted with boiling water. Set aside.
Add 2 cans tomatoes (chopped or whole, the cheapest you can get is fine) or 2lb skinned fresh tomatoes if in season. Add 1 tsp dried basil (or fresh if in season)and a really good grinding of black pepper. Add 1 tsp sugar. Bring to simmering then add in the mince, stir and bring back to simmering.
Now turn the heat really low and cook for at least 1 hour, on a heat so low that barely a ripple shows on the surface. To be properly frugal I transfer to a slow cooker at this point and cook for 3-4 hours on low.
To turn some of it into a chilli, add a chopped chilli or a good grinding of chilli flakes, and a can or equivalent of cooked kidney beans.
The long, slow cooking is the key to a delicious sauce. The basic recipe can be altered in so many ways. A couple of handfuls of red or brown lentils can be thrown in at the simmer stage... just top up with water/stock to keep the dish moist.The mince can be left out altogether for a veggie alternative. I almost always have some version of this dish in the freezer for a quick meal, served over pasta, rice or a baked potato.
My version of savory mince called "oriental mince"- this can have lentils or other beans added to it to make it more frugal. http://alteredcutlery.blogspot.com/2008/02/oriental-mince.html.
My spaghetti bolognese recipe is:
I'll share one of my family's favourite frugal recipes. My mother used to make these all the time back in the 80's when we were going through a difficult financial time. If you can get the mince on special and double it, a family of 5 will get 4 meals (maybe more) out of this.
I love this bean burrito recipe because the ingredients are inexpensive and you it makes a lot so you can freeze them for later! The recipe includes directions for heating them up from a frozen state. It's also very flexible; I have added leftover chicken and beef and varied the beans.http://justtherecipes.blogspot.com/2006/07/bean-burritos-1-12-c.html
Rhonda Jean, here is a recipe I use often that my family loves:
This is not a recipe per-say but it does save me a lot of money.
4 6 inch corn tortillas cut into ½ inch strips
Yam And Rice Soup
My favorite "budget stretcher" recipe is this:
Here are two old standards I've used for years.
What my family calls Frog soup - Broccoli soup.
here is a recipe for a really thick and hearty soup my Grandma and Mam used to make. It makes a huge amount too, although there are no real quantities. Don't be misled by the name - this is more like a stew!
Spicy tomato and lentil - my favourite cheap and easy soup -
Curried Red Lentil Dhal: serves 3-4 This is one of our favourite meals!
I try to make a few lunch box additions through the week for the family. We only eat home baked bread - my daughter is allergic to the preservatives (apparently banned elsewhere in the world) that are used in Australian processed breads. So we always have hummos sandwiches, fruit and salad for lunch. Extras include air popped popcorn and muffins.
Hi RhondaI have been watching alady called Weezl trying a healthy & nutritious food challenge on £120 for 3 months, on Money Saving Expert. She has some excellent recipes (including nettle ravioli)which you might be interested in. This is the link:
Using up bananas...I normally freeze bananas when they are starting to go brown and then every now and then defrost 5 or six and make this. YUM!
6 ripe bananas - mashed (3 cups)
One of my favorite recipes is pasta (penne, butterflies, screws, etc) with fresh tomatoes, basil and mozzarella. I've been making it a lot recently because we only have one burner and no oven while I'm putting in our new kitchen.
One of my favourite soups is from Charmaine Solomon:
This is a thick German-style lentil soup with lots of veggies. It makes a small amount of meat go a long way. I cook it at least twice a month. Measurements are American.
This is also my cheap and easy recipe...Get any veg which is 'near its best' it can be any of the following... carrots, potatoes, swede, leeks, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli (including stalks) etc etc. Chop and put in pan and cook with 2 vegetable stock cubes, once cooked whizz in blender and pass through sieve to remove stringy bits of leeks etc. Put back over heat and season, add cornflower to thicken. (you can add different herbs/spices to suit your own taste also). Gorgeous!
Some thoughts about soups.....I make vegetzble soup without any bouillion or broth. I honestly don't think you need it and I don't think most are healthy. I just cut up and sautee whatever vegetables I have that are available (in olive oil with a little butter if I have that) that I think will blend well (almost always have onion, celery and carrots) add whatever herbs I want and salt and as much water as seems right.......I know, I'm sorry, these are very inexact recipes (I said 'thoughts') but if you try for a while your sense of how it works WILL develop on its own....You can add Hungarian csipetke (chip'etkeh, it means 'little pinches") dumplings by beating an egg and adding as much flour as you can get it to hold. Pinch very small bits off into boiling soup.