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Recipes to Save Money at Cook’s Corner

save money on food

This is where we give you simple recipes to save money on food.

There are many, many good cookery books available in bookshops and libraries, but here we are concentrating on producing tasty meals that will save money, time and effort.

In other words, recipes that are not normally found in books, that are based on saving money but providing good meals at the same time.

Best of all, your plan to economise will not show because the meals are all so tasty. So sit back and enjoy the compliments as well as the food.

A tip here if you are entertaining. When you serve any of these meals, present them well. Lay your table in an attractive manner. If you have white plates, so much the better. Any design on a plate detracts from the meal itself. Use a white paper serviette to complete the picture.

Follow these tips and your guests will not have a clue that you are about to save money, they will be concentrating on the effort you are making for them, making your aim easier. Presentation, presentation, presentation.

Don’t say, ‘Well it’s only omelette tonight’– ‘sell’ your meal with – ‘I am using free range eggs tonight to make a lovely cheese and chive omelettes with a very unusual salad’. You just need to arouse your guest’s taste buds then they will be keener than ever to eat.

If you can serve a very simple starter (soup) and a dessert (fruit), they will be completely bowled over and your budget should be intact.


The following recipes are easily adjustable to the size of your family, your taste and will save money.

All can be produced with a minimum of effort and fuss. All are suitable for entertaining either a small or large number of friends. Nothing is set in stone. You can choose ingredients according to what you have available. All are quick, easy and best of all, tasty and will save money.

For a quick and tasty meal for the family try our recipe for PASTA WITH TUNA.

First of all, cook a 1 lb. (500g) packet of wholemeal fusilli pasta following the instructions on the packet. (Tesco sell a good one).

Now, while the pasta is cooking, lightly fry two medium sized chopped onions (red skinned ones are good) in a wok in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil When softened but not brown add one tablespoon tomato puree and two tins of chopped tomatoes. If you have any available, a small glass of wine added with the chopped tomatoes gives this dish a lovely ‘lift’. Cook for a few minutes. (The dish is still very tasty without the wine, so no panics!)
When the pasta is cooked, drain and add to the tomato mixture in the wok. Then add two tins 185g size of Tuna, drained – use the type in sunflower oil, not the brine – too much salt is not good for you. For ease, break the tuna down into small pieces with a fork before mixing into the hot Pasta. Serve hot with a bowl of grated Parmesan cheese with perhaps a mixed salad. To save money here, you could use a tasty, mature Cheddar cheese.

Another serving suggestion is when the pasta is on the plate, make a hollow in the middle of the pasta with a spoon and fill with peas. Very pleasing on the eye – and a complete, tasty meal.

Getting right away from the usual salads, try this unusual PICK ‘N’ MIX SALAD recipe.

Just select whatever ingredients you have to hand, or which are cheapest and in season.

In a bowl mix together, chopped celery, finely sliced carrot(do this with the aid of the potato peeler, quickly taking thin, round slices from the top of the carrot), flaked almonds, sultanas, watercress, chopped pepper, halved seedless grapes, halved cherry tomatoes. Drizzle some olive oil over the top of these ingredients, mix in, serve and enjoy. This salad will keep for up to three days in the fridge and seems to improve on keeping (if it’s not eaten before!). Tip – if you can make this salad an hour or two before serving, it improves after allowing the oil to soak in to the ingredients. This recipe from Guy in Norfolk. Many thanks.

For a tasty, hot meal try TUNA BAKE.

In a large, lightly oiled oven-proof dish about 2½” deep, arrange a layer each of sliced potatoes, carrots and onions. If you have them – a layer of frozen peas adds some colour to the dish. If you have a food processor use the slicing disk for the main vegetables.

The potatoes must be the first layer to form a base for the rest of the dish, followed by the onions and carrots.Then add a thick layer of drained tinned tuna – 2 cans (185g size) or more depending on the size of your dish and family. Flake this with a fork for ease of spreading. Add another layer of onions and carrots and the peas if you are using them. Then add a can of Campbell’s concentrated celery soup, diluted with no more than 3/4 a can of water. Top the dish with a layer of sliced potato neatly arranged in rows. There is no need to add additional salt – there is enough in the canned soup. Cover with oiled tin foil and cook for 1½ hours in a medium oven, 200°C. or until vegetables are tender. Serve with a green vegetable or green salad.

This meal is filling and a great way to save money.

SAVOURY OMELETTES can form the basis of quick supper meal. They are also a great way of using up leftovers. Create your own individual recipe!

For one person, whip two eggs together with salt and pepper. Put a small amount of olive oil into an omelette pan. Heat until almost smoky hot, pour in the egg mix and stir around until starting to set, then add your chosen filling. Flop half of the omelette over the other and allow to brown. Serve with a portion of the Pick N Mix Salad and some crusty bread or jacket potato.

Ring the changes with the following fillings:

  1. Cheese and chives.
    2. Cheese and parsley.
    3. Spanish mix. Chopped onion, skinned, chopped tomatoes and garlic. Par cook this mix in the pan before adding the egg mix.
    4. Chopped onion with garlic, cooked in the pan with very little olive oil before adding the egg mix can form the basis of an interesting omelette.
    5. Any left over meat. Cold sausage finely sliced, small pieces of chicken etc. chopped cooked bacon.
    6. Small portion of left over risotto.
    7. Almost anything you need to use up – chopped spring onions, sweet corn, prawns, chopped courgettes and peppers (cook in the pan first). Tinned or fresh crabmeat, sardines, chopped, cooked potatoes,

Serve with a selection of vegetables or the Pick N Mix Salad.

CHEAT’S RISOTTO. (For those in a hurry)

In a saucepan cook 10ozs. Long grain brown rice as per the instructions on the packet. To save money – Tesco do a very reasonably priced brown rice. For extra flavour cook the rice in vegetable stock made with a cube or a teaspoon of Vegemite.

Now, while the rice is cooking, in a wok heat 2 tablespoons olive oil, add one red, chopped onion, 1 or 2 cloves garlic, crushed. Cook until the onion looks transparent but is not browned.

Add any of the following: Chopped celery, chopped courgette, chopped pepper, finely sliced finger thick new carrots, tinned sweet corn, frozen peas. Add the raw vegetables first. They will take a few minutes to cook, then add peas and sweet corn. By this time the rice should be cooked. Strain and add to the wok. Mix in well. Your Cheat’s Risotto is done. This recipe freezes very well if you have enough left over for another day.


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