Quickled Onion salad – 28p-56p per person

Based on a recipe in the LEON 2 cookbook, ‘quickled onion salad’ has become a bit of a staple at our house. It’s great when served slightly warm on a slice of hot, buttered toast and could be made for the cost of a can of beans and an onion if you had a tomato plant and some parsley in the garden. Bargain! 🙂 Another massive plus point, is that there is no cooking required.

1 can of beans – I used Pinto beans because I had some in the pantry and didn’t know what else to do with them, but I usually use kidney beans at 30p per can (Tesco Value).
Half an onion, very thinly sliced – 8p (based on a 16p loose onion – Tesco again)
2 large tomatoes – around 20p (based on a net of Tesco Value tomatoes costing 75p per net and containing an average of 8 tomatoes)
2 tbsp of vinegar – I used some from an old jar of pickled onions (free), but you can use any clear vinegar you like. Distilled white vinegar will cost around 2p.
Salt and Pepper – 2p
A good handful of fresh parsley (optional) – 50p ish from Tesco

Very finely slice your onion. The thinner you can do this, the sweeter the onion will go in the vinegar during the quick pickling – quickling… see? 😉 – process. Cover the chopped onion in vinegar and set to one side while you dice the tomatoes, drain the beans, and finely chop the parsley. Wait another five minutes, just to be sure your onions are ready and then stir everything together. Done!

As a main for lunch, this would serve two people, putting the cost at 56p per person. With 100g of rice stirred through (uncooked weight and using Tesco Value, this adds 5p to the total cost), it’ll feed 3-4 people putting it between 39p and 30p per person. As a side to a main meal, this served four of us easily, with enough leftover to stir through a can of chopped tomatoes to make a tasty soup – 28p as a side.

I like to make this during the summer to eat with fresh rocket from the garden, a good slice of toast and an omelette – simple, tasty and wholesome food.

What are your favourite salads?

— Farn ❤


Thai Sweet Potato Soup – 26p


Another recipe to make use of the Aldi Super Six for this fortnight (ending May 6th), this sweet potato soup is a nice break from my usual carrot and coriander (a go-to flavour combination when I’m cooking root veg). For when they’re not on sale, the sweet potato is easily substituted for something else that has the same sort of syrupy flavour – carrots, butternut squash, parsnip… you’re looking for something toothsome and earthy.

These quantities serve between two and three people, depending on how hungry you are. As ever, prices are Tesco via Mysupermarket, unless otherwise stated. You need:

3 large sweet potatoes (800g) – 49p from Aldi
5 tbsp of Maggi coconut milk powder, plus 1 litre of water* – 20p
OR 1 can of coconut milk, plus enough liquid to make up to 1 litre.
1 tsp Thai Red curry paste – approx 9p (cheaper from Asian supermarkets but avaialble for around £1.89 in Tesco)

(*  The powdered milk is very cheap from Clearance XL just now at 59p per box, though it is  also available from Tesco for £1.99).

TOTAL: 78p, or 26p per serving

Chop the veg into large chunks, add the curry paste and boil in the coconut milk.  When the veg is soft, mash with a potato masher/fork and serve with a scattering of fresh coriander (if you have it) 🙂

I’ll be 100% honest with you here, I love this soup. But… my family hate it. Husband thinks that it’s ’empty’ – that there’s just a hot, sweet hit at the end and that it’s otherwise flavourless. Daughter, just voices her disgust and pushes it around her bowl a bit. It’s something I save to enjoy when there’s just me in the house.

If you do try it and end up with leftovers, blend them into a smooth sauce and use it in place of a jar of curry sauce – fry off your veg and any meat you might fancy using, spoon this over the top and enjoy on a bed of rice.

I’d love to hear from you if you try this – am I right and this is delicious, or is Hsuband entitled to moan? 😉

— Farn ❤DSC_2552


Butternut Squash Dhal – 42p per serving.

Based on a BBC Good Food recipe, this simple, earthy curry is perfect for a warming supper. Deeply satisfying and packed with flavour, it’s one of my favourite vegetable-based mains.

At the moment, butternut squash is on sale as one of Aldi’s super six – until May 6th – so I thought I’d make use of it.  Other than the onion, everything else is a store-cupboard staple so it’s another good way of keeping costs down at the end of the month. Otherwise, as ever, prices are Tesco via Mysupermarket.

1 tbsp sunflower oil – 2p
1 onion, finely chopped – 16p
1 garlic clove, finely chopped – 4p
1 tsp ground coriander – 3p
1 tsp ground cumin – 1p
1 tsp ground turmeric – 1p
400g butternut squash, peeled and cut into 2cm (prepared weight) – 49p from Aldi*
400g can chopped tomatoes – 34p
1.2l stock – 2p value stock cube/free if you make your own
300g red lentils – 54p (18p per 100g)

Total: £1.66 – 42p per serving

Naan bread, to serve – 9p per bread – making this 51p per person per meal.

Fry off the onion and garlic. Add spices, add the squash and other ingredients. Cook for around 40 minutes on a simmering heat, or until the squash is tender. These are generous portions, and freeze well, so it’s worth cooking a big batch while the squash is on sale. When it’s not, I use sweet potato as a substitute. The texture and colour are slightly different, but the sweet, satisfying taste is much the same.

Anyone tired of curry yet? 😉

— Farn ❤

Coleslaw Soup – red cabbage and apple, 24p-36p

Not literally, you understand – bleh! (Though of course, if anyone has any good experiences of blending coleslaw into a soup, please correct me.)

In any case, I stumbled upon this recipe when I made a batch of coleslaw and had half a red cabbage left to use up. It wasn’t quite the right time of year for pickled red cabbage, nor did I want yet more coleslaw… feeling distinctly uninspired, I threw all the leftover veg from my fridge into the soup pan and made this. It remains one of my favourite soupy offerings – both earthy and sweet.

Prices are from Tesco via mysupermarket 🙂

So, you need:

  • 2 apples – 28p (ish, using Gala apples)
  • Half a red cabbage – 26p (ish – 80p per kg)
  • 1 diced onion – 16p (ish)
  • 1 vegetable stock cube – 2p
  • WaterYou can also add a tablespoon of yogurt/dash of milk if you like a creamier soup.

Total: 72p. Will feed 2 hungry people (36p) or 3 not so hungry folks (24p).

Finely chop your onion and apple, and shred your cabbage.  Put the lot in a pan with enough water to cover and toss in your stock cube. Simmer until the apples dissolve and then blend. Season to taste.


— Farn ❤

Vegan Meringues – 2p each

Oh yes, you read that title properly.

When I was writing my post about what to do with things you’d normally chuck out, Claire mentioned that it was hypothetically possible to make meringues out of the water from canned legumes (i.e. chickpeas, beans etc. – though I’m not 100% sure it’d work with canned lentils.)

Since I was having beans for dinner that night, I absolutely had to try it. This is the tutorial/recipe I used. And it was a can of harricot beans which I drained.



The texture was absolutely perfect. I mean, these are actually the best meringues I’ve ever made in terms of crunch and chew. And taste wise? I don’t really like meringues so I’m not the best judge, however Mum and Husband assure me they taste just like regular ones, but with an ever-so-slight savoury undertone. When I did try a little – for science! – I think this would have been negated by actually using the vanilla essence suggested by the recipe. I also think that in place of egg whites in other recipes – like Beacon Hill Cookies, for example – you wouldn’t notice a difference at all.

These are actually the perfect desert (you know, unless you’re like me and aren’t a meringue fan) 🙂 They’re vegan, gluten free, fat free and cheap. They use up something you’d usually throw away. From now on, I’ll definitely be trying legume-water in place of egg white in loads of recipes, so expect the vegan baking section on here to fill slightly quicker than it might have done otherwise!

Hope you’re having a great weekend – what’s cooking at your house? 😉

— Farn ❤

Channa Masala – 31p-35p per serving

15Adapted from this recipe, I used half portions and omited the things I didn’t have in my store cupboard. Other than the fresh onion and the garlic, everything in this was dried/canned and so it’s the ideal thing to make if you’re short on time, or the cupboard is bare.

As usual, prices are for Tesco via MySupermarket. For this super-tasty curry for three, you need:

1 tablespoon vegetable oil – 2p (or free if you’ve had something preserved in oil, and use the oil from that)
1 medium onion – 16p
1 clove garlic – 4p
1 teaspoon ground coriander – 3p
1 teaspoon cumin – 1p (available in the Value range)
1/4teaspoon cayenne pepper – 1p
1 teaspoon ground turmeric – 1p
1 can Value chopped tomatoes – 34p
1/2 cup water 
1 can of chick peas – 39p for a single can, or 25p using the 4 for £1 offer on ‘East End Chick Peas’, found in the world food aisle
1 teaspoon paprika – 3p
1 teaspoon garam masala – 3p

2 tbsp natural yogurt – optional

Total: £1.07 using the 39p can of chick peas, making this 36p per serving
OR 93p using the 25p can of chick peas, making the total per head 31p.

  1. Heat oil in a large skillet.
  2. Soften the onion and garlic.
  3. Add your spices.
  4. Stir for a few seconds.
  5. Add the chickpeas and tomatoes.
  6. Add a cup of water and stir.
  7. Cook covered for 1around half an hour.
  8. Stir and cook uncovered for 30 seconds.

14  16

Serve with homemade naan bread for an incredible curry, costing only 40p per head!

What’s your favourite chickpea recipe?

— Farn ❤



Thifty Lesley’s Tomato Scones – 5p per scone

These scones were something of a revelation in our house. They go with pretty much anything – cheese, ham, soup, chutney, mounds of melting butter when they’re straight from the oven… they’re everything a savoury scone should be, take only a few minutes to make and cost pennies. I don’t honestly think I could ask for more. Even if I wasn’t working to a budget, these would be a firm favourite.

If you’ve not checked it out yet, take a look at Thrifty Lesley’s site – she’s been kicking-butt at the £1 a day challenge since before our facebook group was even a thing.

I’m not going to copy out the recipe because you can just click through for it (and give Lesley all the hits her awesome scones – and various other recipes -deserve). But I will say that these are child friendly, lunch-box friendly and are brilliant to make with toddlers. Cookie cutters mean you can con most fussy eaters into trying some – after all, who wouldn’t want to eat food shaped like a dinosaur? 😉 We made stars and flowers… Daughter was being a princess astronaut that day.

— Farn ❤