We have arrived at the fourth week of the Budget Challenge. Originally I had hoped to do 3 or 4 weeks but I love the challenge and am going to do more if I can. I didn’t manage to do all 9 meals in a single week. Work was busy (I am an engineer by day) and with putting in overtime, volunteering work (I volunteer as a chef/assistant at a cooking class for people with a mental disability, mostly Autism) and a foot injury which requires physio therapy (nothing severe), I simply didn’t always manage to cook a real meal. Yes, I occasionally order in as well, contrary to what I’d like to believe, I am not a Domestic Goddess (Nigella Lawson already holds that title, as evident by her book How to be a Domestic Goddess).
This week contains chicken breast, bacon and frozen salmon as proteins, with lots of eggs to boost, and main starches are bread and tortilla wraps.
You can find the budget challenge recipes of all weeks under BC Recipes. They are linked below as well; click on the dish names at each day to get forwarded to the corresponding recipe.
My shopping list of this week (if I bought more, the quantity bought is between brackets):
- 300gr chicken breast (600gr
- 1 pack / 12 slices bacon
- 250gr frozen salmon (500gr)
- 200gr broccoli (500gr)
- 3 tortilla wraps (pack of 6)
- 250ml cooking cream (15% fat)
- 500gr Swiss Brown mushrooms
- 5 eggs (box of 10)
- 3 lasagne sheets (500gr)
- 1/2 loaf of bread (1, homemade)
I spent €20.36. This includes the following leftovers for the freezer: 300gr chicken breast, 250gr salmon, 250gr broccoli, 1/2 loaf of bread. I used three tortilla wraps for lunch to take to work and the leftover eggs and lasagne went to the pantry.
The bread I baked myself, which is cheaper than buying one, but I included €1,00 to the budget for it.
I used the following items from my pantry this week: Penne pasta (BC3), Arborio rice, rice, frozen spinach (BC1), frozen peas (BC2), chili sauce, feta cheese (BC3), grated cheese (BC1, freezer), parmesan cheese.
Plus these standard pantry items: Sunflower oil, olive oil, butter, milk, salt/pepper, dried herbs (basil/parsley/thyme), curry powder, mayonnaise, vinegar, mustard, stock cubes (BC2), garlic, onions (BC1), red onion (BC3).
Day 1 – Saturday
Lunch: Green Scrambled Eggs
Scrambled eggs are a great lunch dish, incredibly cheap and yet delicious. I make them in a bain marie, which takes a bit more time, but creates lovely moist scrambled eggs.
Pantry items: Milk and butter.
You can make these with lots of different things, I used what I would have leftover this week (that’s the benefit of making a menu), plus leftovers of the previous weeks, like grated cheese and feta cheese.
Pantry items: Mayonnaise, chili sauce, grated cheese and feta cheese
Day 2 – Sunday
Lunch: French Toast
This may be the easiest French Toast there is, some breakfast chefs use large quantities of milk and cream, nutmeg and even saffron, but I kept it simple. You can of course add spices to the mix if you wish. These are savoury French toast, you can also make a sweet variety to serve with some syrup, but personally I prefer these savoury.
Pantry items: Milk, butter, parsley.
Dinner: Salmon Kedgeree
I can recommend adding this dish to your repetoire, it is just the thing for a rainy day, but works just as well on a summer day.
Pantry items: Rice, curry powder, parsley and half a stock cube.
Day 3 – Monday
Dinner: Tortilla Pizza with Spinach and Peas
When it comes to leftovers, you can easily turn to pizza. This one adds frozen spinach, frozen peas and feta from the previous BC weeks. It is quick to make when you use a ready-made crust (here I use tortilla) and can be a great way to serve real comfort food.
Pantry items: Frozen spinach and peas, feta cheese, dried basil.
Day 4 – Tuesday
Dinner: Open Salmon Lasagne
By far the most expensive dish on the menu this week. The salmon accounts for almost half of the price, but it also uses contains lots of mushrooms and a red onion (which cost more than the pale variety). It is still within budget, and a little luxury is perfectly fine if the rest of the week allows for it. As you can see at the end of this post, this week I still remained below €15.00 for all meals combined.
Pantry items: 1 red onion
Day 5 – Wednesday
Dinner: Pesto Chicken Pasta
Pesto goes so well with pasta, and with chicken. This makes for a simple meal, but one packed with flavour, and with plenty of broccoli.
Pantry items: Penne pasta.
Day 6 – Thursday
Dinner: Caesar Salad with Chicken
Although the Caesar salad is considered outdated by some, there is no denying that it is a great combination of flavours. Add some chicken and you have a great meal.
Pantry items: Sunflower and olive oil, vinegar, mustard and Parmesan cheese (only a little).
Day 7 – Friday
Dinner: Mushroom Risotto
If you buy Arborio rice when on sale or available at a cheaper supermarket (I purchase mine in bulk when at Lidl for €2.50 a kilo), and combine it with cheaper ingredients and/or stay fully vegetarian, risotto easily fits in a budget menu.
Pantry items: Arborio rice. Sunflower oil, oinion, garlic, stock cube and thyme.
Grocery costs: €20.36
Recipes total: €14.39