Its really hot today in Melbourne and this morning I took my son for a walk to the local supermarket, looking for cheap inspiration for dinner this evening. Meat is so expensive in supermarkets, that I only buy it when it has been reduced. I found some mince meat for $2.20, marked down because it had to be used by today, grabbed a couple of onions and a zucchini with a total cost of $3.40. I have made rissoles by using 4 bread ends/crusts and making crumbs in the bamix, grated 1 carrot, 1 zucchini, finely chopped 1 onion and 1 egg and mixed with the mince. I will probably make up a basic salad of whatever I have in the fridge, lettuce, tomato, beetroot & a bit of cheese. Then I'll BBQ the rissoles and serve it with the salad.
Well it tasted great and I am going to get two meals out of those ingredients. The mixture made 11 rissoles, enough for two each for my husband & I, and one for our little boy, plus another batch stored in the freezer. I love it when there is enough to freeze, it halves the cost of a meal and halves the amount of work I have to do to prepare.
One thing that I believe saves a lot of money for meals is making everything from scratch, no pre-prepared sauces, pre-cut meats. I try to buy as close to natural as possible. That means my meals are based upon what is cheap and currently in season. Before I was married, I thought from scratch was cutting up chicken and adding a jar of chicken tonight and serving it with some fancy instant microwave rice. Now I make the sauces to go with my stirfries and curries etc and save heaps. Plus I know what is going in them.