You would expect – wouldn’t you? – that a week of living on pasta and mixed veg (total cost 28p a portion) would you make you VERY grateful to be able to go back to a more varied, tasty (and costly) diet at the end of the week. And I am very VERY appreciative I can tell you!
Interestingly, I have also noticed one or two other after effects of my 5 days of (mostly) living below the line. I’ve never been very happy to throw food away but in the last few days I’ve noticed a complete reluctance to throw ANY food away – so much so that after a weekend of using up leftovers and on-the-way-out vegetables, I now have several portions of soup and a vegetarian chilli in the freezer.
Clearly it would be good if I can hang on to this obsession.
Also – I’ve learnt some interesting facts about tinned tomatoes (among other things).
Having had to budget really hard to get down to £1 a day, made me take a fresh look at the range of products and prices in the supermarkets – it is truly staggering.
For example, a tin of chopped tomatoes can cost you anywhere between 31p and £1.19 for two different brands. Yes, one is a supermarket economy brand and the other isn’t – one was 60% tomatoes and the other 70%. I’m sure there are other differences but I couldn’t find a lot of description on the internet shopping site I was using. So do you buy 3 ½ tins or one for your money?
I used the cheaper tin recently in this Sausage casserole recipe, which the family then gave a 4 star rating. Maybe I’ll make it again next week with the more expensive tin and see if it goes up to 5* – or maybe I’ll just put the money I saved towards something else!
Whichever tomatoes you choose, this recipe is pretty simple. It was given to me by a friend of mine when we were students, when we considered it ‘posh food’. It’s comforting, easy and quick, so perfect for a weekday evening. And at under £4 for 4 servings it is cheap.
- 1 pack of good quality sausages
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 400g tin chopped tomatoes
- 1 small tin sweetcorn OR 1 small tin cannellini beans
- 1 tablespoon tomato puree
- 1 tablespoon Worcester sauce
- ½ – 1 teaspoon dried mixed herbs
- Brown the sausages under the grill and then cut into thirds
- Meanwhile, soften the onions in a small amount of oil. Add the tomato puree, tinned tomatoes, Worcester sauce, sausage pieces and dried mixed herbs
- Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes or so until all is cooked through
- Add the cannellini beans or sweetcorn for the last few minutes