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 ❤


Fish noodle soup – 60p

Based on a recipe from the Danish Meat Association, this was originally intended to be made with strips of pork (which is also delicious). I usually go for fish though as I find it quite hard to think of ways to cook fish which aren’t fish pie, breaded fish and baked fish.

2 fillets of pollock/coley – 50p per 100g from the fish counter, around £1.00.
2-3 spring onions – 20p
Sesame oil to fry with (though any oil works, sesame gives a really nice taste) – 2p
400mls stock – 2p Value stock cube
200mls coconut milk – 8p -as with previous recipes, I used the Maggi powdered milk as you don’t need to halve a can. If you can’t get the powdered milk, you can plan to make this and another coconut dish in the same week so as not to waste any.
1tsp of turmeric – 1p
50g frozen peas – 5p
50g frozen sweetcorn – 5p
1 carrot, very finely sliced – 7p
1tsp sambal olek/chilli jam/ a strong, red chilli and a tsp sugar… or all three if you’re that way inclined – 10p
Noodle nest – 19p This is a pack of Asda Smartprice noodles (the Supernoodle knockoffs). They’re by far the cheapest way I’ve found to buy noodles and I just use them without the flavourings.

Fry off the spring onions and the carrot rounds. Add the fish to the pan, followed by the coconut milk and everything else but the peas and sweetcorn. Cook for 15 minutes. Add the noodles. Cook for a further 3 minutes or so, adding more liquid if you feel it necessary. Finally, add the frozen veg, stir through and serve.


Total Cost: £1.79 or 60p per person for a lunch sized portion, or 89p for a dinner sized portion. You can cut the costs here by using less fish and more veg, using dried chilli flakes and a little sugar or omitting this entirely.

Do you have any ideas for reducing the cost of this?

— 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


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 ❤

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 ❤

Kidney bean and sweetcorn salad – 29p-47p per person

I don’t know about you, but I’m a little bit tired of salad being defined as iceberg lettuce, slightly unripe tomatoes and watery cucumber. Don’t get me wrong, a nice crisp, iceberg has it’s place (on a tortilla wrap with tartar sauce, gherkins and fish fingers, for example), but when it comes to a salad for lunch, or a side dish for dinner, I really want something more.

Enter the kidney bean and sweetcorn salad. Prices are correct, as of 29/03/2015. As usual, I’m using Tesco via Mysupermarket – I imagine that Lidl/Aldi would be cheaper though, especially for the kidney beans.

DSC_21931 can of kidney beans – 30p Tesco Value (23p at Aldi)
60mls olive oil (vegetable is fine) – 15p ish
1/2 clove of garlic – 2-5p
pinch of salt – 1p
Ground black pepper – 1p
125g of frozen sweetcorn – 13p (using Tesco Value)
1/2 a red pepper -25p for a pepper from a Tesco Value multipack (approx), making it around 13p for half
2 tomatoes – 7p from a Tesco Value multipack (approx), so 14p for 2
1/2 a finely sliced onion – 16p for one onion, so 8p for half
1 lime – 30p

Total cost: £1.21 in total, using Tesco beans.
OR £1.14 using Aldi beans.

Drain your beans, chop your veg and mix your liquids. Stir it all together and you’re done. With the sweetcorn being frozen, just leave it to stand a while on the side before serving. You don’t need to cook the sweetcorn, but you do need to let it come up to room temperature.

As a lunch, I’d say it serves 3, but I would stir some pasta through it – 75g per person, and costing around 7p. So as a lunch 47p for Tesco beans and 45p for Aldi beans.

If you did chose to have it as a side, I’d say this could serve 4 people, presuming there was something else (baked potatoes, potato wedges, garlic bread, rice salad, pasta salad… whatever you can think of). That makes it 31p for Tesco beans and 29p for Aldi beans.

Nom nom nom!

What are your favourite lunch dishes?

— Farn ❤

Homemade bread – 12p per loaf

19This is a funny sort of recipe. The actual loaf itself only comes in at 12p for ingredients and looks like a posh deli one, but as the oven is on for a fair ol’ while, it can seem a bit expensive in terms of electricity. There are ways to combat this which I’ll cover at the end of the post, but meanwhile, let’s gaze on this glorious thing!

There are a few things to note though: you need to plan in advance to make it as the dough has to rise overnight; you need fresh yeast or a very good understanding of dried (more on that later); you need an oven that can get hot; you need a casserole dish with a lid – ideally cast iron.

Anyways, let’s press on. First of all, you’ll need –

400g flour (3p per 100g Tesco value, so 12p total!)
300mls water
8g salt (1p? if that?)
Fresh yeast the size one a pea-less is fine (We get ours free from Tesco’s bakery section, but Sainsbury’s bakery will sell you some, and many independent bakers and health food stores will supply)


This is all the yeast you’ll need.

Day one: Dissolve the yeast and salt in the water (luke warm), then tip in the flour. Stir to wet all the flour (you don’t need to make a dough at this stage). Cover bowl with clingfilm or tight lid and leave for 12-18 hours (the longer the better).


Stir to wet the flour.

Next day: Scrape the dough onto a floured surface. Fold it in on itself a few times (5-6 times). Coat a bowl with flour to ensure the mixture doesn’t stick and put the bread in. Cover again and leave for two hours.


During the two hours: heat the oven to 230 (very good, but if 220 is the max then that’s fine to). Put a Le Creuset-style casserole dish in the oven for at least 30 minutes so that it’s thoroughly hot (needs its lid). After the 30 mins, remove the pan from the oven. Take off the lid, plop in the dough, put the lid back on and back in the oven for 30 minutes. After thirty minutes remove the lid and return the bread to the oven for 15 mins. Rest for an hour before serving.



As I touched on at the start of the post, the oven being on is more of an expense than the ingredients, but you can be doing other things in it while it’s heating up to 220/230. Stick in some baked potatoes wrapped in foil/lasagne/cakes/other types of bread (recipes to come) and then you can freeze them for use later. You can do multiples of this loaf at once and remove it at the 30 minutes – it can then be frozen and ‘finished’ for the final 15 another day (though you do need to defrost it before returning it to the oven).

It’s worth noting that whilst we’ve tried this with all sorts of posh flours over the years, the best results come from the Value variety. You will get a nice loaf out of wholemeal, but the texture just isn’t quite right – for a more fibre-rich loaf it might be best to check out some of the other recipes I’ll be posting.

As to whether you can use dried yeast or not, I’m told you can – although we’ve never tried it. The thing to do would be to consult google first for quantities.

Happy weekend!

— Farn ❤