Some weeks are tougher than others.  We may have had a big expense to pay out, or we might just not have as much money coming in as we would like.  This can make mealtimes seem like an unattractive prospect, especially if we have been throwing out beans on toast, beans on jackets potatoes and beans at breakfast.  

There are loads of great recipes which don’t need a lot of expensive ingredients put into them.  Recipes which are healthy and delicious.  So if you are looking for a few simple ideas then read on.  You won’t be disappointed.

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Firstly there is soup.  Soup is a brilliant and tasty meal for either lunch or dinner.  It is really easy to make and can be as easy as boiling some broccoli and adding stock.  You don’t have to think to creatively.  There are some wonderful combinations.  Even a couple of onions can be turned into a warming and delicious dinner.

 Try making a tasty tomato soup using a can of tinned tomatoes, some chicken stock cube and, if you have it, a little chilli.  You just need to pop it all into a pan at the same time, let it sizzle away for about 5 minutes and then chuck it into a blender or use a hand whisk.  Once you have a smooth consistency, add salt and pepper then return it to the heat.  You’ll soon have a warm heart and a full tummy.  

Pancakes are another great way to make dinner time a little more exciting.  The best thing is you can cook up a big batch, lay out some different toppings and then have the main meal and dessert all there in front of you.  For some brilliant ideas check out these Best American pancake recipes – quick, easy and delicious – MyGreatRecipes or you could just stick with the basics, a little bacon and cheese for savory and some sugar and lemon for pudding.  Delicious, cheap and filling!

Finally you can’t go wrong with a potato and whilst we have already mentioned it, you can get a little more creative than serving it the traditional way.  Of course, baking a delicious spud and topping it with beans and cheese is a great way to start, however next time you want to use a baked potato as a meal, two nights on the trot, why not scoop out the inside, put the skins back in the oven to crisp up.  Add a little cheese and bacon to them and then mash the inside with some onion.  Serve it up with some frozen peas and you will have a great meal that cost you nothing and is a little more creative than just a topped jacket.

Cooking on a budget can be hard, but it can also be fun.  You just need to strip each meal back to three basic ingredients.  Keep it simple and then get creative.  There are so many ways you can cook an egg and you could even make it into a bit of a game.  

Happy eating.

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