This has hit families hard- especially as, according to the journalists, fewer and fewer people know how to cook from scratch, and more and more people throw food away because they don't know what to do with it.
Stop all that right now!
Now I know that my blog followers are all pretty good cooks- but the word needs to spread.
So, I'm throwing down the gauntlet- to you and your friends/colleagues etc.
This week I made all the meals- breakfasts, packed lunches and a two-course evening meal each day - for under £40. This wasn't special- as you will see from the week's menus, most of the recipes are old favourites that I trot out week- in -week -out. (Sometimes I can go a bit off-piste, like the week I wanted to re-visit children's cooking and my poor family had to eat jelly, volcano shaped mash and smiley face pizzas for a week!) But not this week.
Here's the shopping list:
1 medium chicken, 2 salmon fillets and a pack of streaky bacon
4 litres milk
2 litres orange juice
1 pot cream
1 loaf bread
2 part-bake loaves
Fruit and veg: new potatoes, parsnips, bananas, lettuce, watercress, tomatoes, spring onions, ncctarines, fennel, red pepper, onions, leeks
Frozen or canned: 1 can fruit, roast potatoes, peas, pastry
Dried or storecupboard: 1 box breakfast cereal, 2 cake mixes, 1 pack Quick Jel, rice, pasta shells, peanut butter, tomato sauce
(I didn't buy any tea, coffee, mayonnaise, jam or gravy granules- although I do use them this week so a bit of a cheat there- but I'm owning up to it.)
So, breakfasts are all pretty much the same this week and lunches are various filled sandwiches (peanut butter, chicken, cheese etc) with fruit or yoghurt.
Evening meals begin with roast chicken, potatoes, parsnips, peas, gravy.( Always cook more veg than you need so as to have it ready for other recipes during the week.)
|Making the most of roast|
Next chicken meal is Chow Phan (what else?) with peas, spring onions, bacon, and egg.
Third chicken meal is a chicken, bacon and leek pie.
|Chicken, leek and bacon pie|
|Cream of Chicken Soup|
|Salmon and Watercress tart with Fennel Ragout|
|Salmon in cream sauce with pasta shells|
Puddings were : banana cake, trifle, nectarine tart and fresh fruit - spread variously over the week with either cream or custard to serve.
Now- I wasn't really trying here. Some of the ingredients- salmon, fennel, nectarines, cream- are luxuries.
So -here's the challenge- if you can beat that ( and I'll allow you 50 euros, 60 Australian dollars or 65 US dollars) then the game is on!
I'll go lower next week. Just watch me!