These are three easy, cheap meals that were my go to, they have been passed on to several different pairs of hands wanting easy, cheap meals as well, they are also super healthy as an added benefit. For me, mid week is easily the biggest way someone can save money while not feeling like your missing out. What is the real difference between one of the recipes below and something you have decided to make when you were in the supermarket. Literally nothing. For more ideas on how to save money, see my money saving article here.

easy cheap meals, travelling alone, female solo travelling, saving money for travelling

easy cheap meals, travelling alone, female solo travelling, saving money for travelling

Easy, cheap meals-recipe number one: A 15-minute Pesto Chicken, Butter Bean mash and Green Bean meal.

This recipe was developed out of necessity, when I was at my most ill I couldn’t stand for long slaving away over a stove at the end of the day. I needed something that would allow me to sit down as quickly as possible. The fact you immediately blitz the butter beans and use the microwave makes this meal so easy, it’s also so tasty considering how easy it is. You can also bulk prep this, use double quantities to make meals to take to work with you as it still tastes good, microwaved the next day.

Makes: 4 portions      Costs: £1.50

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 4 teaspoons of Pesto
  • 2/3 tins of butter beans
  • 1/2 mug of milk
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 500g of green beans 
easy cheap meals, travelling alone, female solo travelling, saving money for travelling
  1. Chop the chicken breasts into halves horizontally (you do this to halve the cooking time) and spread on pesto, as much as you fancy. If you’re clueless go for about half a teaspoon a side of chicken. Leave to the side.
  2. Open the tins of butter beans and pour with the milk and peeled cloves of garlic into a microwave-able container. Put into the microwave for 3 mins.
  3. While this is in the microwave, get a large pan with a tablespoon of oil on a medium heat, get the chicken all in the pan and get it cooking away. NB- the pesto may look like its burning towards the end, if it is, just turn the heat down slightly, the chicken will probably take around ten minutes.
  4. While the chicken is cooking the butter beans will finish in the microwave. At this point put them in a blender. Add salt and pepper until mash potato like in consistency-remember to keep an eye on the chicken while your doing this.
  5. Chop off the little stalks of the green beans and put the green beans in the microwave-able container with a tablespoon or so of water you have just used for the butter beans, sit them in the microwave to cook at the last minute for 3-4 minutes.
  6. When the chicken looks a few minutes from being just about done (it should take about ten minutes depending on the size of the breasts) put the beans on for 3 minutes.
  7. Take the chicken out the pan and leave to rest on a plate or in a bowl. Get all the pieces and oil that are still in the pan back on the heat and vamp it up really high, add the green beans and three table spoons of water and mixed loads while its sizzling away. Once the pan has dried up take it off the heat.
  8. On the plate/bowl of the chicken there will be juices, add them to the butter bean mash and serve up!
    easy cheap meals, travelling alone, female solo travelling, saving money for travelling
    easy, cheap meals, the chance of choice, female solo travelling, saving money for travelling
easy cheap meals, travelling alone, female solo travelling, saving money for travelling

Easy, cheap meals-recipe number two:Kinda Spanish Butterbeans and Sausages.

This was developed because my housemate used to say she didn’t like stews (she was very against anything traditionally northern). I however love stews because I’m lazy, you can make massive amounts in one session of cooking, so only one time of washing up. I put everything I knew she liked in a stew and here it is. Serve with brown rice if you want to make it even cheaper. If I haven’t specified how to chop/open/stir its because there is literally no right way, its a stew, you chop, open and chuck everything in. Stews take similar skill to making a bowl of cereal, it’s just time so make it on a Sunday for a few meals during the week.

Other things I’ve added in before: celery, lentils, chickpeas, courgette, aubergine, chard, celeriac, parsnip. Whatever is looking a bit past its best and leftover, just chop finely and add it in. Seriously when in doubt, add it in and hope for the best.

Makes: 5/6 decent portions with rice     Costs: £1.00

  • 2/3 onions depending on size.
  • 3/4 pieces of garlic depending on size
  • 3 pieces of rashers of bacon (all fat removed, chopped into small pieces) & thumb size piece of chorizo (chopped). This can be interchanged so if you don’t have any bacon add an extra inch of chorizo, no chorizo, 4 rashers of bacon etc.
  • 8 sausages
  • 2/3 peppers
  • 2 carrots
  • pack of medium size mushrooms
  • 2/3 tablespoons of paprika (if you have just used chorizo not bacon you’ll need less. Just bacon, more)
  • 3 tablespoons of chilli power
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • 2 beef stock cubes
  • 2 tins of tomato
  • 2 tins of butter beans
  • 2 chillis or 6/7 Jalepenos
  • salt
  • pepper
  • cornflour
easy cheap meals, travelling alone, female solo travelling, saving money for travelling
  1. Chop chorizo first into baked-bean size pieces and get them in the pan on a really low heat, the point here is to get all the fat and delicious-ness of the chorizo out of the sausage and into the pan. This can be slowly frying as you chop bacon, onions, garlic, just add it in as you go with the chorizo.
  2. Add in sausages whole and while everything is frying start chopping veggies/open the tins to make most of time.
  3. Once the onions are cooked down, add chopped veggies, tins, spices, crumble stock cube in and add chilli’s at the last minute (the aim is so the chilli doesn’t burn.)
  4. Leave to simmer and stir every 20 mins or so(If your making brown rice-do so now as that takes around 20 minutes to cook). Ideally you’d leave it cooking for an hour but provided its had 30 minutes of simmering it’ll be fine. At this point fish sausages out, chop into bite size chunks and add back in.
  5. Get a few heaped tablespoon of cornflour in a separate cup with double quantity of water, mix, add and give it a good stir until it’s the thickness you want it- this will change a lot each time depending on what veg you add. I season with as much salt as is socially acceptable.
easy, cheap meals, travelling alone, female solo travelling, saving money for travelling
easy cheap meals, travelling alone, female solo travelling, saving money for travelling

Easy, cheap meals-recipe number three:Turkey Chilli.

I use turkey thigh mince because it is cheaper and healthier than beef. I’d recommend making an enormous amount of this and putting it in individual portions in the freezer, it means you only have to spend one time making eight meals or so. The genuis in this recipe is a tip from a friend at university who used to follow recipes by the book, but nonetheless taught me to add a tin of cream of tomato soup to make a great pot of chilli.

Again there is no science to this recipe I’ve added celery, lentils, chard, celeriac, parsnip. Whatever is looking a bit passed its best and leftover just chop finely and add it in. Seriously when in doubt, go for it.

Makes 8 portions with rice    Costs: £0.70

  • 2 onions (A normal size onion is the size of an apple)
  • 4 pieces of garlic 
  • 3 rashers of bacon (all fat removed, chopped into small pieces) & a thumb size piece of chorizo (chopped). This can be interchanged so if you don’t have any bacon add an extra inch of chorizo, no chorizo, 4 rashers of bacon etc.
  • 500g turkey mince
  • 2/3 peppers
  • 2 carrots
  • pack of medium size mushrooms
  • 2/3 tablespoons of paprika (if you have just used chorizo, not bacon, you’ll need less. Just bacon, more.)
  • 2 tablespoons of chilli power
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of coriander seeds
  • 2 beef stock cubes
  • 2 tins of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tin of cream of tomato soup*
  • 2 chilli’s or 6/7 Jalepenos
  • salt/pepper
  • (cornflour- potentially)

1. Chop chorizo first and get that in the pan on a really low heat. This can be slowly frying as you chop bacon, onions and garlic, just add it while you go in the pan with the chorizo.

2. While everything is frying start chopping veggies to make most of time. Once onions are cooked through add turkey mince and every so often mix/hack away so you don’t get big old chunks of turkey in the chilli.

3. Turkey mince done add chopped veggies, spices, tins, crumble stock cube in and add chillis last (aim is so chilli don’t burn.)

4. Leave to simmer and stir every 20 mins or so (If your making brown rice-do so now as that takes around 20 minutes to cook). Ideally you need to leave it cooking for an hour but provided its 30 minutes of simmering it’ll be fine.

5. If your 30 mins in and need it to be bit thicker, get a heaped tablespoon of cornflour with 2 tablespoons of cold water in a separate cup, mix, add and give it a good stir. Season.

*NB. If you don’t have the soup, once you’ve emptied the tin of tomatoes, fill one with water, 1.5-2 tablespoons of cornflour and 1.5 teaspoons of sugar, mix in the tin and pour into the chilli at point where you add the soup

easy cheap meals, travelling alone, female solo travelling, saving money for travelling
easy, cheap meals, the chance of choice, female solo travelling, saving money for travelling

easy cheap meals, travelling alone, female solo travelling, saving money for travelling

Want to know a load more ways to says to make food cheap, easy AND tasty- look at my cooking travel guide, there will be tips you can use in your kitchen back home too!

Want to know loads of cheap ingredients? Take a look these 44 cheap ingredients

 

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

CommentLuv badge