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Save pounds with healthy home cooking; CASH QUEENS.

Byline: Ruki Sayid, Tricia Phillips

Ready meals may save busy mums time, but they hit pockets hard and can be high in calories.

Research by AppliancesDirect shows the average family eats five ready meals each week and could save up to PS2,000 a year and a staggering 240,000 calories by cutting back.

With cooking from scratch making a comeback, now is the time to trim your budget and eat more healthily by rustling up cheap and nutritious dishes at home.

To help inspire you, we've teamed up with AppliancesDirect.co.uk to bring you four easy-tomake family favourites to save you PSPSPSs and pounds.

All prices correct at time of going to press

SPAGHETTI BOLOGNESE

SWITCH

Waitrose Deliciously Rich & Beefy Spaghetti Bolognese (400g), PS2.49

Family of four: PS9.96

Total calories: 2,000

FOR

Home-made bolognese

Family of four: Ingredients from Asda, PS5

Total calories: 1,850

1 tbsp cooking oil (from store cupboard)

1 medium onion

pro rata (PS1.08, 2kg pack)........................................54p

420g Extra Special reduced fat mince beef... PS3.50

1 red pepper

pro rata (Mixed pepper pack 99p) ...........................33p

3 sticks celery pro rata (50p whole) ...............25p

3 garlic cloves ....................................................... 75p

2 beef Oxo cubes pro rata (84p per pack) ...........................................28p

1 tin Smart Price chopped tomatoes ............... 31p

500g Smart Price Spaghetti............................20p

METHOD: Fry onions in oil until golden brown, add minced beef, chopped pepper, celery and garlic. Cook until meat is browned, stirring to avoid sticking. Dissolve stock cubes in a pint of boiling water and add to the mix along with the tomatoes. Cover with lid and simmer for 15 to 20 mins. Cook spaghetti as per pack and serve immediately.

TOTAL SAVED: PS4.96/150 calories

BEEF CASSEROLE

SWITCH

Waitrose Beef Casserole (450g), PS3.19

Family of four: PS12.76

Total calories: 2,276

FOR

Home-made Casserole

Family of four: Ingredients from Tesco, PS5.87

Total calories: 966

1 medium onion.......................................... 16p

400g diced beef...........................................PS4

4 carrots...................................................... 32p

350g Everyday Value mushrooms....... 79p

2 beef Oxo cubes pro rata (80p for six pack) ........................... 26p

1 tin of Everyday Value chopped tomatoes .................................. 34p

Salt, pepper and mixed herbs (from store cupboard)

METHOD: Pre-heat oven to 160C/320F/Gas Mark 2. Fry onions until golden brown, add diced beef and brown for five mins. Transfer the mix into an ovenproof dish and add chopped carrots and mushrooms. Dissolve stock cubes in a pint of boiling water and add to mix with tomatoes. Season with salt, pepper and add the mixed herbs. Cover with lid and leave to cook for approximately two and a half to three hours. You can also cook the casserole in a slow cooker or Halogen oven.

TOTAL SAVED: PS6.89/1310 calories

TOMATO SOUP

SWITCH

New Covent Garden Slow Roast Tomato Soup (600g), PS2

Family of four: PS4

Total calories: 336

FOR

Home-made Tomato & Basil Soup

Family of four: ingredients from Sainsbury's, PS2.70

Total calories: 264

1 medium onion

pro rata (70p per 1kg pack)................................ 20p

1 carrot

pro rata (70p per 1kg pack)..................................10p

3 sticks celery, pro rata (70p whole) ............................................35p

1kg loose tomatoes...........................................PS2

2 Basics vegetable stock cubes, pro rata (25p 10 pack) ........................................... 5p

1 tbsp basil (stock cupboard)

METHOD: Peel and slice onion, carrot and celery. Peel tomatoes (place on a fork and dip into boiling water), and chop into quarters. Dissolve stock cubes in two pints of boiling water and pour into a pan. Add chopped veg and cook for 10 mins on medium heat, stirring occasionally. When veg have softened, add tomatoes and basil, stir, cover and leave to simmer for 20 mins. Remove from the heat, leave to cool for five mins, transfer to a blender and blitz until smooth. Pour blended soup back into pan and heat.

TOTAL SAVED: PS1.30/72 calories

FROZEN PUDDING

SWITCH

Haagen-Dazs Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream (500ml), PS4.45

Family of four: PS4.45

Total calories: 1,195

FOR

Home-made Banana and Strawberry Frozen Fruity

Family of four: ingredients from Morrisons, PS1.69

Total calories: 680

4 bananas ................................................ 50p

227g strawberries ................................ PS1.19

METHOD: Peel bananas and slice. Wash and hull strawberries, slice in half. Place in freezer-proof containers and freeze for at least two hours, ideally overnight. Remove from freezer and allow to thaw a little, zap in a blender and scoop into bowls with an ice-cream scoop, or feed into a Frozen Dessert Maker and serve immediately.

TOTAL SAVED: PS2.76/515 calories
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Article Type:Recipe
Date:Oct 10, 2014
Words:744
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