Friday, 6 September 2013

A very frugal but delicious dinner!

It has been in the press recently how difficult it is to make a substantial and delicious meal on a very limited budget.  It is true it can be difficult and a bit time consuming but it is very rewarding to stick at it.

I have had very little budget this year for food and with the help of my allotment and a little ingenuity I have made some very delicious meals for little cost.

True it takes time to check supermarkets for their bargains and reduced items but it is very gratifying to sit down to a plate of food that has not cost a lot and leaves you feeling satisfied and full.

Our dinner tonight is one of those meals.  I often buy packs of bacon pieces (available in most supermarkets) to cook with.  If you want the perfect slices of bacon you can buy 6 or 8 slices that cost approximately £2.99 but if you want to cut it up to cook with then you are better off buying the packs of pieces or bits priced between £0.81 - £1.09. 

You need to play 'Bacon roulette' because sometimes you will get mostly small uneven pieces but sometime you win and get nice slices that just may not be even in thickness.  One pack I bought was full of back slices still attached to the steaky slice. Result!  The pack I used recently for our pasta had some small pieces which I used but also three thick, large and not much fat on slices.  The cost of these was about 2/3 of the £0.81 I paid (£0.54) plus about £0.18 worth of carrots, 1 tablespoon tomato puree, three garlic cloves and chicken stock. 

To this I added the beans I had taken out of the pods from our allotment.  These were the last of the beans from the yellow and green dwarf French beans and some runner beans. These were virtually free as we grew them.

I fried an onion and garlic pieces then added the bacon and cooked till the onion was translucent and browning.  Added the beans, carrot pieces, chicken stock, tomato puree, pepper (didn't add salt because the bacon was smoked and already salty).

I put the lid on and let it simmer for about an hour and a half.  I tasted the stew to determine if it needed more seasoning but it was already perfect.  It is to tasty and easy to make and if adding some cost to the storecupboard ingredients comes out at approximately £1.25!  This will feed both myself and Mr R and will be served with potatoes we grew on the allotment.

Who wouldn't want to come home to this for a dinner?

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