With tough economic times all around, a lot of us are trying to cut unnecessary expenses. Be that as it may, we still need to eat and feed our families. Yet who has the time to play chef and work a fulltime job? And who wants to eat mediocre meals just because the economy is in a slump?
Enter the power of three – how to ensure meals for a week with minimum effort. It’s all about selecting three dishes that are low maintenance to cook, able to be made in large quantities and also be to be frozen and reheated… yet are still big on taste. One great meaty supper that transforms into two days’ school sandwiches as well, one that can be reinvented into finger food tapas on the third day and one versatile enough to be reinvented into a whole other dish come day five.
And all with room enough for leftovers.
Sound cost-effective? We’ve collected four inexpensive meal ideas that meet all these standards, leaving your tummy satisfied and your wallet untraumatized upon your next grocery jaunt.
Meal 1: Roast chicken, veggies and rice
A classic family meal, the decent-sized roast chicken easily feeds four people. Make extra and use leftover white meat for chicken mayonnaise sandwiches for school and chicken salad for the adults. Use the leftover rice and bits with skin to make a fantastic, Asian-inspired twice-fried rice and sweet, sticky chicken with the help of simple fridge staples like chutney or balsamic vinegar and soy sauce. Rice, if sealed, is superb the next day – just like pasta or slap chips, so go wild. Save the carcass and you can even make soup from it, if you’re so inclined.
Meal 2: Brisket and boiled potatoes
If you want something a little more special during the week, look no further than the all-star cheap meat cut classic, the brisket. Have straight-up brisket with boiled potatoes on day one, reinvent the leftover on day two with a sticky glaze and turn leftover potatoes into creamy mash and then take any last bits and turn them into a stew. Delicious!
Meal 3: Pulled pork and veggies
Pork is still cheaper than other meats like steak or salmon, and a good pulled pork recipe will mean minimal handiwork – you just leave it in the oven for a few hours. With vegetables, it’s a decently healthy meal with one serious upside – pulled pork has got to be one of the most versatile meats on the planet. It can be reinvented into tacos, salads, sandwiches and even scrambled eggs. Unlike other practical bulk meals, it’s polished enough to serve to guests as well.
Meal 4: Lamb stew
Who doesn’t love a great lamb stew? Because it’s stew, you can buy a fairly cheap cut of lamb in generous quantities at a decent price and can make tons of stew easily. The ‘easy’ part is the best part, because lamb stew in a slow cooker means very little work. You fry up the meat and chop veggies and simply leave it for eight hours while you go to work. Freeze half for an instant dish that is hearty, healthy and super quick to reheat.
Well, what are you waiting for? Get cooking!