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The Rife Team

Ten Meals for a Fiver (Food)


Copyright: Nikesh Shukla Set Design: Vanessa Bellaar Spruijt

A fiver a goes a long way. Either it’s half a sandwich from your favourite high street eatery. Or, it’s these ten delicious meals. David Lifton spends a fiver on Rife’s behalf and cooks up these delicious plates.

With more and more of us choosing to buy ready meals and takeaways over making our own meals, our food bills are going through the roof. Although these choices are more convenient, they also mean that we’re saving less and we’re living less healthily.

So Rife set me the challenge of doing a weekly shop for £5 and using the ingredients I bought to create ten simple recipes that would show you how much you could be saving by leaving factory-made dinners behind.

These recipes take a very small amount of time to create so you don’t need to worry about waiting. With a £5 budget, the meals are also resourceful, so you won’t be finding soggy onions lurking in a cupboard in two months’ time.

Because they’re not bought weekly, I haven’t included oil, herbs or spices; but, adding all ten of the recipes together, the amounts used would only come to a pound or so extra. I’ve also substituted some of the things mentioned in the recipes for others and avoided cheese and cream as it’d take me right over my limit.

Here are my ingredients. The food bought for this challenge has all come from Tesco; you may be able to find the vegetables for cheaper at markets or in discount stores like Lidl and Aldi, but Tesco was the nearest and cheapest store for me.

Weekly Shop

  • Two Packets of Noodles @ 40p
  • Spaghetti @ 20p
  • Two Loose Baking Potatoes @ 68p
  • 10 Everyday Eggs @ £1.15
  • A Pint of Milk @ 49p
  • An Onion @ 16p
  • A Bulb of Garlic @ 30p
  • A Whole Broccoli, Loose @ 53p
  • A tin of Peas @ 20p
  • A tin of Tomato Soup @ 25p
  • A tin of Baked Beans @ 24p
  • A tin of Kidney Beans @ 30p

Total cost = £4.90

Cheap Chilli and Jacket Potato(2 meals)

*I didn’t use mushrooms or veggie mince as kidney beans would do the job just as well.

Easy Tomato Soup Pasta (2 meals)

Mashed Potato, Peas and Beans with a Kick (4 meals)

Microwave beans and peas, stirring in chilli powder half way through. If you have cumin or paprika, mix it into the mash and serve in a bowl. Pour the spicy beans and peas over the top.

Scrambled Egg Noodles (1 meal)

Pour boiled water over noodles. Once the scrambled eggs have cooked throughout but aren’t dry, add them into a bowl with the noodles and give them a good stir. Season with salt and pepper.

The Classic Omelette (1 meal)

*I left out the cheese and you can use a tablespoon of oil instead of butter.

Broccoli Soup (2 meals)

*you can take out the stock and add a potato to thicken the soup. Also, for the challenge the cream was left out.

Spicy Baked Beans and Garlic Potato Wedges (4 meals)

*I chopped the garlic thinly and sprinkled it over the wedges before adding the oil.

Boiled Egg Noodle Salad (1 meal)

Toss the cooked noodles, soft-boiled eggs, peas, and steamed broccoli together and season with a little salt and pepper.

Pasta and Broccoli (6 meals)

*I took out the cheese and seasoned the broccoli with some paprika and pepper. If you have cheddar cheese in your fridge, this will work just as well as Parmesan.

Mashed Potato Pancake with Steamed Broccoli and Fried Onions in Tomato Sauce (4 meals)

Steam the broccoli florets in a pot for ten minutes until they’re tender. Chop up half an onion and fry it until it starts to brown. Add a little diced garlic and half a tin of tomato soup and simmer for a further five minutes.

Here you go – ten recipes, five English pounds. It’s amazing what you can make. Share your recipes in the comments below.