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I’m a food blogger – these tricks will cut your supermarket store budget and make delicious dinners for 40p

As the cost of food continues to rise, many households are finding it harder than ever to eat healthy, nutritious meals.

Today, day two of our exclusive series, we bring you budget meals from Lesley Negus, known as food blogger “Thrifty Lesley”.


Lesley Negus aka ‘Thrifty Lesley’ says you can feed yourself on just over £1 a day

Each dish costs less than 40p a head – and they have all the nutrients you need.

Thrifty Lesley says that by buying in bulk, only shopping once a week and usually costing recipes, you can feed yourself just over £1 a day.

Lesley started sharing recipes on her blog in 2013 and now has a huge following.

Here, she serves up more of her favorite high-value dishes for the whole family.

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l Follow Lesley for more recipes and tips at

Couscous salad – Asda price (for 2 people)

Total: 58p = 29p each


This couscous salad costs just 29 pence per serving


This couscous salad costs just 29 pence per serving
  • 50g dried couscous £1.25/500g – 13p
  • 50ml cold water
  • 40g black olives, 60p/Jar 310g – 14p
  • 20g salted cashew nuts, 75p/125g – 12p
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil, £1.60 liter – 2p
  • 100g frozen peas, 80p/kg – 8p
  • 100g grated carrots 43p/kg – 3p
  • 50g onion, sliced ​​very thin 65p/kg – 3p
  • A clove of garlic – 3p

METHOD: Put the couscous in a bowl and add the oil and cold water. Add the carrot.

Cook the peas (one minute in the microwave from frozen) and add them to the couscous.

Add the olives, cut in half.

Let the couscous rest for ten minutes.

Mix cashews.

If you have mint in the garden, or other fresh herbs, very finely chop a spoonful and mix (optional).

Turkey hash browns – priced at Aldi (serves 4)

Total: £1.43 = 36p each


These turkey hash browns go great with roasted squash


These turkey hash browns go great with roasted squash
  • 650g potatoes 54p/kg – 35p
  • 40g plain flour 55p/1.5kg – 2p
  • For the filling:
  • 115g frozen peas, 80p/kg – 9p
  • 115g carrots 43p/kg – 5p
  • 1 onion 65p/kg – 6p
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder 79p/90g – 5p
  • 1 ½ tbsp oil for frying, £1.60 liter – 4p
  • 50g turkey mince £1.20/250g – 24p
  • ½ tsp salt – 1p
  • Serve with 400g frozen butternut squash 65p for a 500g bag – 52p

METHOD: Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/thermostat 6.

Peel, cut into cubes and boil the potatoes in a pot of salted boiling water over medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes or until tender.

Drain, let dry for a few minutes, then return to the pan and mash well.

Leave to cool then add the flour and mix.

Meanwhile, add ½ tablespoon of oil to a skillet, sauté the turkey for three minutes, then add the onion and carrot, over medium/high heat for another five minutes.

Add curry powder.

Taste and season with salt and pepper if necessary.

Place the butternut squash in the oven and roast for eight minutes.

Now prepare your potato pancakes by dividing the potato mixture into eight balls.

Put your finger in the balls to create a hole and put some of the turkey mixture.

Flatten it slightly.

Add the remaining oil to a skillet and brown the hash browns for two minutes on each side.

Serve with roasted squash.

Butter bean and vegetable curry – priced at Aldi (serves 4)

Total: £1.20 = 30p each


This butter bean and vegetable curry serves 4


This butter bean and vegetable curry serves 4
  • 1½ cans of butter beans 38p + 19p – 57p
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil, £1.60/litre – 7p
  • 1 onion (100g), peeled and chopped, 1kg/65p – 5p
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed, 20p/bulb – 5p
  • 350g potatoes, cut into small cubes (no need to peel them), 54p/kg – 19p
  • 2 bay leaves if you have them, otherwise omit them
  • 125g frozen peas, 55p/kg – 7p
  • 20g tomato purée, 31p/200g – 2p
  • 20g curry powder, 79p/90g – 17p
  • 1 tsp salt – 1p

METHOD: Drain the butter beans, reserving the liquid.

Heat the oil and sauté the onion and garlic in a skillet over medium/high heat until translucent.

Add the curry powder and cook for a minute or two to release the oils.

Watch it carefully as the spices burn easily and will taste bitter.

Add everything else except the peas, adding enough bean juice to make a sauce.

Simmer gently until the potatoes are almost cooked, then add the peas and cook for a few more minutes.

Donuts and Sweetcorn Wedges – priced at Aldi (for 2 people)

Total: 60p = 30p each


Why not try these delicious and thrifty sweet corn fritters and wedges


Why not try these delicious and thrifty sweet corn fritters and wedges
  • 175g sweetcorn from a 47p box (285g) – 29p
  • 50g flour, self-rising, 55p/1.5kg – 2p
  • 25ml oil, £1.60 a liter – 2p
  • For the wedges:
  • 400g white potatoes, 54p/kg – 22p
  • 25ml oil, £1.60 a liter – 2p
  • To serve:
  • 160g of peas, 55p/kg – 7

METHOD: Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/thermostat 6.

Scrub the potatoes and cut them into wedges – no need to peel them.

Mix them with a little oil, salt and pepper.

Put the potatoes in the oven and cook for half an hour.

Place sweetcorn and flour in a bowl and add enough water to make a thick paste.

Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium/high heat and drop spoonfuls of corny batter into the pan.

Cook until set and golden on one side, flip and cook the other side.

Serve with oven wedges and peas.

Peanut butter and ham stir-fry – priced at Aldi (serves 4)

Total: £1.50 = 37.5p each


This peanut butter and ham stir-fry costs just 37.5 pence per serving


This peanut butter and ham stir-fry costs just 37.5 pence per serving
  • 90g crispy or smooth peanut butter, 89p/340g – 24p
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce, 55p 150ml – 6p
  • 1 garlic clove, bulb 20p – 5p
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, 69p packet – 1p
  • 1 slice of chilli, 69p/70g – 2p
  • For the dressing:
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice, 35p/250ml – 4p
  • 1 tbsp sugar – 1p
  • 1½ tsp turmeric, 49p/40g – 6p

For the rest of the dish:

  • 1kg bag of long grain rice, 45p/1kg – 3p
  • 200g carrots, diced, 44p/kg – 9p
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced, 65p/kg – 6p
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced, Essentials £1.60/kg – 24p
  • 125g fine honey roast ham, £1.89/400g – 59p

METHOD: Cook the rice according to package instructions.

Cook the carrots in the microwave, or in a saucepan, for two minutes.

Sauté the onion in a wok or skillet over high heat until translucent.

Add drained carrots and other vegetables, sauté until cooked to your liking.

Add water if vegetables stick.

Chop and add the ham at the end – it’s cooked, so just reheat it.

Meanwhile, combine lemon juice, sugar and turmeric in a small bowl.

Once the vegetables are cooked, pour the vinaigrette and mix with the vegetables.

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Push the vegetables aside in the wok and pour in the rice. Serve immediately.

POINT: If you don’t have rice, use economical spaghetti.

Here’s how to save:

  • Sometimes (not always – do the math) it’s cheaper to buy in bulk. Things like a bag of potatoes or rice, lentils, and spices can be good buys. Team up with friends, neighbors or family to help with expenses and storage. Everyone benefits from the lowest prices without having to store potatoes under the bed.
  • Get into the habit of numbering your recipes and keeping a small notebook with them. When you come across another inexpensive recipe that you love, add it and before too long you’ll have a whole book of profitable meal recipes.
  • Try to do one big store a week. It has become common for people to shop small every few days. This usually means a lot more impulse buying of things that wouldn’t be on a weekly list. Supermarkets are super good at making us spend more than we intended.
  • Have a day of use before re-shopping and see what can be created with what’s left in the fridge, cupboard and freezer. Be creative with your ingredients.
  • If your potatoes are growing, cut off the sprouts and plant them in a bucket of soil. They will grow a potato plant. Or cut off the bottom centimeter of spring onions and put them in some soil in a pot, or in the garden and they will grow a new onion. Cut off the top, eat it, and it will start again.