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Show Jamie How To Cook On A Budget Champagne Contest

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Old Style MoneySaving
249 replies 272K views
MSE_MartinMSE_Martin MoneySaving Expert
8.3K Posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Old Style MoneySaving
Update Note 8 April 08

What's this all about?

A fortnight ago, I set a challenge, to come up with the best family recipe for under a for well under a fiver; in response to Jamie Olivers new campaign at Sainsbury.

Masses of recipe ideas for you...

If you read down, and through this thread, you'll see scores of superb entries, and great recipe ideas; perfect for keeping cooking cheap and nutritious. Huge thanks to all who took the time to put in their recipes.

As I'm not a big foodie myself, I picked some of the connoisseurs from the MSE team and got them to go through the recipes.

The winner costs under £5 for three courses...

The winner chosen by the team was MoneySaverKjenid's Indian style takeaway. It costs less than a fiver for all 3 courses' ingredients and if she used all the ingredients bought at once she believes it would make six more meals' worth!

The recipe's copied below. Congratulations jenid! Plus, the judges were also impressed with tazz233's recipe for home made burgers and have decided to award a signed copy of Martin's book Thrifty Ways as second prize!

Here's her recipe in full, followed by the original contest details...

Jenid's winning post and recipe...

"OK, this is only my 2nd post so please have patience with me! Here’s 3 courses that will feed 4 - 6. We’re normally too full to have a desert but I thought I should include one as everyone else has!

STARTER - Lamb Koftas & chutneys
MAIN - Yellow split pea & coconut dhal
Spicy potatoes
DESERT - Lemon curd ice cream




400g minced lamb £0.84 (Tesco Value Minced Lamb 800g £1.68)
3tsp medium curry powder £0.08 (Tesco Medium Curry Powder 80g £0.85)
2tsp finely grated ginger £0.11 (Ginger root loose £0.33)
2 cloves crushed garlic £0.05 (Tesco Garlic each £0.35)
1 small onion grated £0.04 (Tesco Value Onions 2 Kg £0.78)

TOTAL £1.12


Mix all the ingredients together. If you have metal or wooden skewers then take the mixture and shape around the end in a sausage shape, if not then just shape them into sausage shapes. They should make at least 12. Chill for at least 30 minutes or until you are ready to cook the main course. When ready to eat then either cook on a griddle or under a grill for 8 - 10 minutes.



5g chopped Fresh Coriander £0.14 (Fresh Coriander 25g £0.69)
125g chopped Cherry Tomatoes £0.34 (Cherry Tomatoes 250g Pack £0.68)
½ small finely chopped onion £0.02 (Tesco Value Onions 2 Kg £0.78)
½ jar mango chutney £0.39 (Tesco Spicy Mango Chutney 230g £0.78)

TOTAL £0.89


Mix tomatoes, coriander & onion to make a chutney. Serve with mango chutney & Lamb Koftas.



1 sachet creamed coconut £0.10 (Pataks sachets x 4 £0.38)
600ml veg stock (one cube) £0.02 (Tesco 10 Value Veg Stock Cubes £0.19)
250g yellow split peas £0.20 (Tesco Yellow Split Peas 500g £0.39)
2tsp finely grated ginger £0.11 (Ginger root loose £0.33)
2 cloves crushed garlic £0.05 (Tesco Garlic each £0.35)
2 onions finely chopped £0.08 (Tesco Value Onions 2 Kg £0.78)
1tsp garam masala £0.05 (Tesco Garam Masala Spice Blend 38g £0.85)
1tsp ground turmeric £0.04 (Tesco Ground Turmeric 45g £0.68)
1tsp ground cumin £0.04 (Tesco Ground Cumin 45g £0.68)
1tsp ground coriander £0.04 (Tesco Ground Coriander36g £0.68)
2tbsp cooking oil £0.03 (Tesco Pure Vegetable Oil 1 Litre £0.98)

TOTAL £0.76


Gently fry the onion, ginger and garlic until soft. Add the spices and fry for a minute, then add the yellow split peas and cook for another minute. Add the stock and coconut and bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer for about 50 minutes until the peas are soft but not mushy. If the mixture gets too dry during cooking add some more water.



500g potatoes, boiled £0.23 (Cornish White Potatoes 2.5kg £1.12)
2tsp finely grated ginger £0.11 (Ginger root loose £0.33)
1tsp garam masala £0.05 (Tesco Garam Masala Spice Blend 38g £0.85)
1tsp ground turmeric £0.04 (Tesco Ground Turmeric 45g £0.68)
1tsp ground cumin £0.04 (Tesco Ground Cumin 45g £0.68)
1tsp ground coriander £0.04 (Tesco Ground Coriander 36g £0.68)
1tsp salt £0.01 ?
2tbsp cooking oil £0.03 (Tesco Pure Vegetable Oil 1 Litre £0.98)
5g chopped Fresh Coriander £0.14 (Fresh Coriander 25g £0.69)

TOTAL £0.69


Cut the potatoes into medium size chunks and gently heat the oil. Add the ginger and spices to the oil and stir well, add the potatoes and fry gently until lightly golden. Stir through the coriander and serve.

Serve with 400g rice £0.27 (Tesco Easy Cook Long Grain Rice 2kg £1.35
Cook the rice according to instructions.

LEMON CURD ICE CREAM (best made at least the day before)


Tin of custard £0.19 (Tesco Value Ready to serve custard 396g £0.19)
500g Greek Yoghurt £0.95 (Tesco Greek Style Natural Yoghurt 500g £0.95)
1/3rd jar Lemon Curd £0.12 (Tesco Value Lemon Curd 411g £.035)

TOTAL £1.26


Whip all the ingredients together and freeze for a few hours (or until it starts to go hard) in a shallow container. Mix up the semi frozen mixture with a fork and then put back in the freezer to go hard.

GRAND TOTAL £4.99! (I hope my maths is correct!)

Far cheaper and healthier than anything you’ll get from a takeaway! Every Friday is curry night in our house, I hope you enjoy.:D[/quote]



Below you'll see the latest press release that "Jamie Oliver and Sainsbury are putting affordable meals on the table.

Old Stylers do it cheaper

Yet I know old stylers do it cheaper and better. So I thought I would launch a contest for the best budget family cooking old style recipe. A bottle of champagne for the best entry - as judged by the MSE team. Plus the winner could be shown on It Pays To Watch.

Can you put Jamie to shame... simply click reply with your best.

Is it cost or taste that wins

It's a combination of the two, the best one or three course meal, for a family for the lowest amount.

Show your support.

If you spot a recipe you thinks a winner, then thank it!


PS Regular old stylers can we keep the 'chat' down here so there's lots of recipes.

Sainsbury press release below (always remember this is a 'sell document' so treat any claims with a pinch of salt.


¾ “Feed your family for a fiver” drive, fronted by Jamie Oliver, offers hearty, nutritious recipe ideas for families of four

¾ Sainbury’s offers fresh meal ideas with ingredients at better than 100-year-old prices

Jamie Oliver and Sainsbury’s are joining forces to put affordable, healthy, hearty meals within reach of even the most cash-strapped British families this Spring, backed by a range of start-from-scratch recipes that will feed a hungry family of four for a fiver.

As Britain tightens its budget this year, Sainsbury’s is offering hungry families all the ingredients they need at better than century-old prices. Archivists at Britain’s favourite supermarket chain have confirmed that the prices of many of the raw ingredients for Sainsbury’s budget-busting recipes are lower in real terms than they were in the early 1900s.

The first recipe in the “Feed your family for a fiver” campaign is meatballs and spaghetti. Analysis of materials from the Sainsbury’s archive at the Museum of London reveals that a pound of beef from a 1903 Sainsbury’s price list cost 1/6, or £4.28 in today’s terms.

A 1920 price list shows a packet of spaghetti costing 11d, or 97p in today’s money, and a tin of tomatoes 10½ d, or 88p in today’s terms. In today’s money, that adds up to £6.13, excluding the cost of the other ingredients for the meal – onions, garlic and peas, making the cost of Sainsbury’s meatballs and spaghetti substantially lower today than it was in the early 1900s.

Jamie Oliver said: “I’ve always been concerned about families trying to eat well on a budget and this initiative by Sainsbury’s goes a long way to helping those who are counting the pennies.”

Judith Batchelar, Sainsbury’s Director of Own Brandsaid: “We’re determined to offer good quality, fresh food for our customers at an affordable price. These prices are lower in real terms than they were before World War 1 and our £5 feasts will satisfy a hungry family of four. Britain may be tightening its belt this year, but the family members who enjoy our £5 feasts won’t be left hungry.”

An advertising campaign to publicise the exceptional deals will be fronted by Jamie Oliver, with the first ad to air on Wednesday 26 March. All ingredients for the meals and their prices will be found on special shopping tip cards for Sainsbury’s customers, in-store and online.
Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.
Don't miss out on urgent MoneySaving, get my weekly e-mail at
Debt-Free Wannabee Official Nerd Club: (Honorary) Members number 000


  • I think some of the guys on here could produce a 3 course meal for a fiver!

    The gauntlet has been thrown down!
    Right now I'm having amnesia and deja- vu at the same time. I think I've forgotten this before
  • razrarazra Forumite
    336 Posts
    Part of the Furniture
    well heres a filling family stew recipe that easily serves 4

    2 large potatoes peeled and cubed 50p
    1 pack stewing steak diced £2.76
    1 onion diced 15p
    1 beef oxo cube 6.5p
    bisto gravy granules (must be the red tub ones!) approx 20p
    Water free
    Dried mixed herbs 3p

    total 3.29

    1. In a large pot mix together the potatoes, beef,onions
    2. sprinkle over the oxo cube
    3. sprinkle over the gravy granules ( i use about 1/5 of a tub!)
    4. cover with just enough cold water so that all the ingrediants are under water
    5.sprinkle in dried mixed herbs ( approx 1 tsp) and some salt and pepper to taste

    6. Cover and place in the oven 150C/300 F Gas 3 for 2-3 hours until potatoes are soft

    edited to add a pudding (although youd have to win the comp to make it :rotfl:)
    1 jelly (30p)
    champagne free:p or hot water still free
    Icecream (75p for 2ltr) so approx 25p for a pudding for 4

    total for pud 55p

    Make up jelly using champagne leave to set.
    Or if you dont have any champagne just use water instead, then when set serve with icecream

    Loaf of bread so you can mop up the stew juices 37p for value


    Total for all ingredients is over £5 but as you need to buy more than 1 oxo etc theres even leftovers for another meal :D

    June Grocery Challenge 270.80/250July Grocery Challenge 0/300
  • I agree with Winky,The house elf

    Many OS ers can easily knock up at least 2 courses even 3 for the given £5.

    Maybe OSers could 'challenge Jamie' now that would be an interesting show :)
    furrypig says:my name is Choccy and I am addicted to nose free stamps as I want to save them all and give them noses!!!:rotfl:
    About me. Im Choccy or Chocolate orange depending on where i am.Yes occasionally i am a total looon who spends too long online,but no where near as much £ as her spendy elves do ..:D
  • One of our favourites is paella, I have got the costs from for Sainsburys:

    1 x courgette (30p)
    a couple of cloves of garlic (half at 35p for whole bulb)
    1 x onion (11p)
    1 x red pepper (78p)
    Half a packet of Sainsbury's Chicken Drumsticks (Approx 950g) (2.08)
    Half a pack of frozen mixed seafood (3.92 for 400g packet)
    a pinch of mixed herbs (30p for 100g)
    1 x organic chicken stock cube (68p for 6)
    250g Arborio risotto rice (73p for 500g)
    Dash of Sainsbury's olive oil (1.06 for 250ml)

    total cost £4.99 (using portions of costs where relevant)
    • Start by browning the chicken drumsticks in some olive oil in a lidded deep frying pan.
    • Once coloured, add some chopped garlic and onion. Cook until softened
    • Add the risotto rice, frozen seafood, chopped courgette and pepper. Turn the rice over to coat in the oil.
    • Add the pinch of herbs.
    • Make up a pint of stock with the stock cube, then gradually add to the rice mix, initially with a ladle full - allowing the stock to be absorbed. Once you have added two thirds of the stock, add the remainder, bring to the boil.
    • Lower the temperature, place a lid on the paella and cook for a further 10 minutes.
    Serves 4.
    :D Thanks to MSE, I am mortgage free!:D
  • CruikslCruiksl Forumite
    351 Posts
    OK - sticking to basic family food that I know mines will eat

    Lentil Soup
    Homemade Lentil Soup
    1/3 packet of red lentils
    3 potatoes – 2.5kg bag
    3 Carrots
    Smoked Ribs from butchers
    2 Onions

    Chop onions, carrots and potatoes into pan. Add lentils and smoked ribs and water to cover and cook for about 30 mins – Total Cost £1.56 – This will do a family of 4 for a couple of meals so would cost £0.78

    Mince, Peas, Carrots and Potatoes
    250g Scottish Steak Mince
    2 onions
    2 carrots
    100g Frozen peas
    8 Potatoes
    Couple of oxo cubes

    Brown mince, add chopped onions. Cook until soft. Add oxo cubes and some water to make gravy. Let this cook for about 15 mins. Add carrots and peas. Boil potatoes and serve. – Cost - £2.60

    Apple Crumble
    4 cooking apples
    1 tbsp Brown sugar
    2 tbsp of Margarine
    Handful of cornflakes
    Self raising flour

    Chop apples and stew. Add cinnamon.
    Add margarine to the flour and make into breadcrumbs. Add the crushed cornflakes.
    Put the stewed apples into a dish
    Add the breadcrumbs and cornflakes. Sprinkle brown sugar on top
    Cost £1.80

    I think it comes in at about £5.18 at Tescos but I know I have most of the ingredients at home so cost would be less.
    So little money - so much time :mad:
  • :T well done cruiksl!!!!!!!
  • kmatekmate Forumite
    113 Posts

    One pack sausage meat 450g approx (80pence tesco)
    Two packs puff pastry (or even better make your own)
    2x oxo cubes
    Dash HP sauce
    One carrot, finely diced
    One onion, finely diced.
    One potato, finely diced.
    Green veggie to accompany ie broccoli/beans

    Easy really, just roll out pie base and pop into suitable pie dish, empty the whole of the sausage meat (uncooked) out into pie base and spread with fork to cover evenly, then layer the diced up veggies over the meat, sprinkle the oxo cubes over and squirt a load of Hp sauce over top. Season to taste. Add the top of the pastry.
    Cook in moderate oven, about 180c, for about 30/40 mins, till all bubbly and pastry well browned.

    If you are really good, you can use less meat/more veg and get two pies out of this, or small pasties made in the same way.
    Can be frozen, and cooked from frozen.
    Great cold and sliced up like quiche.

    ALWAYS comes in well under a fiver including the green veg.
  • M.E.M.E. Forumite
    680 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 500 Posts Combo Breaker
    We sat down to our lunch today, OH and me.
    I said we are having a "Cheapie meal"
    Lamb chops 23p... yes 23p reduced from £2.30 froze them and defrosted overnight
    Mashed parsnip, potato, sweet potato.... estimate 15p all from reduced section
    Peppers and onions and sundried tomato stir fried..... estimate 40p

    Carrot juice... homemade 62p from 2kg carrots.. plus 3 dying oranges! and 4 overripe pears from reduced section

    Priobiotic drink reduced to 37p for 4
    2 bananas .. full price... 30p

    Also used the peelings and remains from the juicer to make a vegetable stock to use with lentils for tomorrow's lunch.

  • brightonman123brightonman123 Forumite
    8.5K Posts
    cornish pasty £1.16 or less - sometimes 2for1 at tesco
    packet savoury rice, around 50p
    noodles £1 (2pack)

    add one microwave.

    sorted. chufty, or whatever.
    Long time away from MSE, been dealing real life stuff..
    Sometimes seen lurking on the compers forum :-)
  • kazmeisterkazmeister Forumite
    3.2K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Photogenic Combo Breaker
    I think someone should have a word with ?sammykaye who feeds her family for £100 a month.
    Lost my wings, need to learn to fly again
    Mortgage 5 years to go, otherwise free of the debt at last!
This discussion has been closed.