A student who was forced to change her shopping habits after moving to London has shared five of her thriftiest dinner recipes – that get her by on less than £1 a day.
Chelsie Angeles, 21, moved to the capital last year, when the cost of rent really hit home.
“Last year I moved to London to study at university,” she explained.
“Notoriously, it is one of the most expensive cities to live in, so I decided to make some budget cuts to save money.”
As the bills started to mount up, Chelsie realised she had to overhaul her spending habits.
“One of the easiest ways I’ve cut down my costs is by introducing vegetarian and vegan recipes in to my diet,” she told money-saving website Vogo.co.uk.
“I don’t follow either diet strictly, but by having a veggie or vegan meal a few times a week, I save a fair amount of money on meat, which is normally the biggest expense on a food shop.
“Plus if you’re anything like me, someone who easily gets bored with meals, it’s a great way to try new recipes.”
“My favourite recipes are quick, easy and only include a few ingredients that you can use for multiple dishes – saving money, cupboard space and waste. Below are my three most loved recipes.”
Soya risotto – 75p per serving
“Gino D’Acampo is my favourite chef, but his recipe contained a lot of ingredients that are costly and I struggled to find uses for the leftovers.
“Inspired by his ‘chicken risotto’ dish, my adapted vegetarian uses less than half the original ingredients without compromising the taste of the meal.”
Half a red onion – 8p (16p each – Asda)
Handful of soya pieces – 30p (£1.75 – Tesco)
85g of Arborio or Carnaroli rice – 23p (£1.40 – Asda)
180ml of hot vegetable stock– 3p (£0.35 – Aldi)
70ml of passata – 5p (£0.33 – Asda)
2 tea spoons of butter – 1p (£0.75 – Asda)
10g of cheese – 5p (£2 – Asda)
“Pan fry the onion until brown, add the soya pieces until golden, fry the rice for two minutes, then add the passata and slowly pour in the stock until completely absorbed.
“This should take 12-15 minutes. Stir continuously. Once finished, stir in the butter and cheese.
“I love to use the remaining passata and cheese as a spaghetti sauce. Heat it through on the hob until warmed, before pouring over your cooked spaghetti. It’s a delicious lunch or light dinner that takes less than five minutes to make.
“Best of all, it only costs 18p per serving!”
Sweet peppers and rice – 64p per serving
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“My best friend’s go-to takeaway order was always sweet and sour peppers.
“A few years ago she made the plunge to go vegan, so this recipe was born! It’s super easy, requiring less than 10 minutes cooking time and I love that it’s a healthier way to enjoy a classic takeaway.”
70g of basmati or long grain rice – 11p (£8 for 5kg – Asda
80g of mixed peppers – 12p (£0.87 – Asda)
Half an onion – 8p (16p each – Asda)
Squirt of tomato ketchup – 23p (£2.80 – Tesco)
Hot sauce (optional) – 10p (£3 – Tesco)
“Boil the rice until cooked. Whilst boiling, pan-fry the peppers and onion until brown. Stir in the ketchup and hot sauce, fry for another minute until complete.”
Mushroom pizzas – 79p per serving
“I love a good pizza, but I couldn’t find a good, less calorific alternative.
“This is such a brilliantly cheap way to still satisfy my pizza cravings whilst consuming way less calories (each mushroom is approximately 150 calories).
“Plus you can make it vegan by using vegan cheese or swap out the toppings to suit what you fancy.
Have you got any bargain recipes to share? Let us know in the comments section below
2 large flat or portobello mushrooms – 50p (£1 – Asda)
Tomato puree – 14p (27p – Asda)
10g of cheese – 5p (£2 – Asda)
Handful of mixed peppers – 10p (£0.87 – Asda)
“Spread the tomato puree over the inside of the mushrooms then add the cheese and peppers. Cook in the oven for 10 minutes.
“All of these recipes feature supermarket own brands, but to make the meals even cheaper, you can substitute the ingredients for a value range.
“Visiting supermarkets that sell wonky veg (unattractive, but perfectly edible vegetables at a fraction of the price) or bulk buying will also reduce the cost per meal.
“Whether these recipes take your fancy or if you want to flip some of your well loved dishes to make them vegetarian or vegan, I challenge you to do so! It’s great fun, a creative challenge and an effective way to eat less meat – saving on your food shop and helping the environment.”