Savvy student reveals budget tips for meals that cost less than £1

A budget-conscious student has shared how she saves a fortune by creating meals that cost less than £1 to create.

21-year-old Chelsie Angeles moved to London last year to study, but the notoriously pricey city was tough on her bank balance, so Chelsie knew she would have to be smart with her money.

Through making smart choices in the supermarket, and making a few changes to her daily diet, Chelsie has managed to cut down her daily food budget significantly – which means she has more to spend on living.

‘One of the easiest ways I’ve cut down my costs is by introducing vegetarian and vegan recipes in to my diet,’ Chelsie tells Metro.co.uk.

‘Centring meals on staple carbohydrates like pasta, rice and potatoes is a good way to ensure meals are filling whilst reducing the cost, as these foods can be bought in bulk for a low price.’

Chelsie says another top tip is to swap out fresh fruit and vegetables for frozen alternatives.

‘They can cost less whilst offering a greater quantity with a long-lasting use-by date,’ she explains.

‘Beware of supermarket multi-buy offers such as “two for X price”, as they encourage you to purchase more products than you may use, costing you more and resulting in food wastage.’

She also says that being organised is key. She maps out her meals for each day at the start of the week, and she says that makes a huge difference.

‘Making a meal plan for the week that utilises the use-by dates on foods is a good way to reduce food waste,’ she says.

‘You can go a step further and create a plan that features dishes that all use the same, small group of ingredients to cut down on the items you need to purchase, saving you money.’

Chelsie doesn’t follow the vegetarian or vegan diet strictly, but going meat-free a few times a week saves her a fair bit of money, as she says meat is normally the biggest expense on a food shop.

‘My favourite recipes are quick, easy and only include a few ingredients that you can use for multiple dishes – saving money, cupboard space and waste,’ she adds.

She shared her favourite recipes that cost less than £1 per meal with money-saving community Vogo:

Soya risotto

£0.75 per serving

Ingredients:

  • Half a red onion – 8p (16p each – Asda)
  • Handful of soya pieces – 30p (£1.75 – Tesco)
  • 85g of Arborio or Carnaroli rice – 23p (£1.40 – Asda)
  • 180ml of hot vegetable stock– 3p (£0.35 – Aldi)
  • 70ml of passata – 5p (£0.33 – Asda)
  • 2 tea spoons of butter – 1p (£0.75 – Asda)
  • 10g of cheese – 5p (£2 – Asda)

Method:

Pan fry the onion until brown.

Add the soya pieces until golden.

Fry the rice for 2 minutes, then add the passata and slowly pour in the stock until completely absorbed. This should take 12-15 minutes.

Stir continuously.

Once finished, stir in the butter and cheese.

Sweet peppers and rice

£0.64 per serving

Ingredients:

  • 70g of basmati or long grain rice – 11p (£8 for 5kg – Asda)
  • 80g of mixed peppers – 12p (£0.87 – Asda)
  • Half an onion – 8p (16p each – Asda)
  • Squirt of tomato ketchup – 23p (£2.80 – Tesco)
  • Hot sauce (optional) – 10p (£3 – Tesco)

Method:

Boil the rice until cooked.

Whilst boiling, pan-fry the peppers and onion until brown.

Stir in the ketchup and hot sauce, fry for another minute until complete.

Mushroom pizzas

£0.79 per serving

Ingredients:

  • 2 large flat or portobello mushrooms – 50p (£1 – Asda)
  • Tomato puree – 14p (27p – Asda)
  • 10g of cheese – 5p (£2 – Asda)
  • Handful of mixed peppers – 10p (£0.87 – Asda)

Method:

Spread the tomato puree over the inside of the mushrooms, add the cheese and peppers.

Cook in the oven for 10 minutes.

‘All of these recipes feature supermarket own brands, but to make the meals even cheaper, you can substitute the ingredients for a value range,’ says Chelsie.

‘Visiting supermarkets that sell wonky veg (unattractive, but perfectly edible vegetables at a fraction of the price) or bulk buying will also reduce the cost per meal.’

Do you have a money-saving tip to share? We want to hear from you.

Get in touch: metrolifestyleteam@metro.co.uk.

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