We’re all familiar with the phrase “there’s food at home”; beginning in our childhood and ringing in our ears ever since.
As we get older, takeaways tend to become less of a treat and more of a simple solution. However, the cost of a few weekly deliveroos can incur a large dent in your wallet. As the cost of living rapidly increases, I find myself searching for new ways to save money and reduce my spending. I found out – in getting creative with cooking and resisting the urge to opt for the easy way out – there is, in fact, food at home.
Spicing things up even more, I found myself strolling towards the reduced section in my local supermarket, allowing whatever I uncovered to inspire some of my meals for the week. One tip to keep in mind when shopping this way is to know what time to pop into the stores; I tend to swing by in the evening, just before closing time or after lunchtime – it’s usually when the food gets labelled and the prices are revised. Also, remember that most of these items are reaching their expiration date, so drop on when you know you’ll be cooking that night and are feeling culinarily adventurous. Implementing this new method of cooking into your lifestyle might be intimidating at first, so I’ve prepared one meal, one drink, and one snack, each made from reduced or discounted produce, to offer you all the reassurance and motivation necessary.
Cinnamon Apple Crisps
Three apples for only 75c (altogether) in Dunnes Stores.
- Ground Cinnamon
- Grab as many apples as your oven can fit (in the bowl above, I have one and a half apples worth of crisps). Slice them as evenly and thinly as possible, either using a knife or a mandoline.
- Place these slices into a bowl and powder them equally with ground cinnamon. Ensure all slides get their fair share.
- Preheat your oven to 110 degrees.
- Line an oven tray with baking paper and fill it with slices. Then, pop it into the oven for 40 minutes.
- After 40 minutes, turn each slice around and bake for another 40 mins.
- Remove from oven and let cool for 15 – 20 min.
Chicken Noodle Stir Fry
Leftover egg noodles, a packet of instant ramen noodles, some reduced chicken breasts from Lidl and a discounted veggie mix from Dunnes totalling €3.72 per serving.
- 500g chicken cut into pieces
- Vegetable mix / equivalent
- 2 Garlic Cloves Crushed
- 150g of noodles
- 2 tablespoons of oil
- Spring onions
- ½ cup of chicken broth
- ¼ cup of soy sauce
- 2 tbsp of brown sugar
- 1 tbsp of flour or cornflour
- Season chicken with salt and pepper.
- Fry chicken with 1 tbsp of oil until golden and remove from pan.
- Add the garlic and veggies into the pan with another tbsp of oil. Fry for 5-8 min.
- Add chicken back into the pan and add the sauce.
- Cook for another 2 mins and transfer onto a bowl with cooked noodles
- Garnish with spring onion
Spicy Mango Margarita
One mango for 50c
- 45ml of tequila
- 20ml of Cointreau or triple sec
- 15ml of sugar syrup
- 10ml of fresh lime juice
- 35ml of mango purée
- 1 slice of red chilli
- Blend mango with a splash of water to make a purée.
- Combine sugar and boiling water in a 1:1 proportion creating a syrup
- Wet the edge of a glass with a lime. Roll rim in salt.
- Muddle the chilli in a cocktail shaker.
- Combine all ingredients and shake vigorously.
- Strain the mixture into a glass filled with ice.
- Garnish with a lime wedge and chill
According to a survey done by Just Eat and the Sustainable Restaurant Association, £1.8 billion in takeaway food is thrown away in the UK each year. These three recipes are only one way of counteracting these statistics; helping you minimise waste, save money and advance your culinary expertise.