Five Cheap Weekdays Meals

I love cooking! I love the kitchen. While I love finding different ways and things to cook, I also love going back to basics for those budget-friendly meals that carry me through the month, and here they are directly from my own kitchen.



  1. Pap and Pilchard

I always keep 1Kg of mealie-meal and about four tins of Pilchard because this is a meal under R50, which you can stretch for the last two days before pay day. I make the meal interesting by adding mixed vegetables to the pilchard and sprinkle cheese around the plate. You can use your discretion in how you sprinkle the cheese.



2. Salads and Chicken

So, for R100, you can buy potatoes, carrots and chicken and twist and turn the ingredients around for those last three days. You can roast the chicken with the carrots and potatoes on the first day. And then steam the carrots and make the good old potato salad with roasted chicken on the second day. You can cook your chicken with the carrots and potatoes for a stew situation on the third day, and perhaps add rice or pap to the meal.



3. Black beans (and or chickpeas)

Most people hate salads because salads aren’t filling, right? Well, I have not been eating meat for a whole month and was forced to be a little innovative with salads. In order to make a filling salad, add proteins like beans or chickpeas. Use half of the tin, and you’ll feel the difference! By the way, they go for under R20 per tin.



4. Potato Bake and Salad

We all know how filling potatoes are. For R30, you can get quite a number of them from your local supermarket. And, cheese sauce is about R12. Spinach and tomatoes will cost you another R30, and then you add whatever you have at home in the salad. I used tuna and eggs because I always have those to throw in whatever I am making.



5. Breakfast Food

When I still stayed in Cape Town, there was a restaurant from downstairs which served breakfast the whole day (literally until 9PM) and I always ordered breakfast when I was broke because it was filling and always under R100. So, I use the same trick at home sometimes – I make a bowl of fruits, two eggs and Mayo, two slices of Low GI bread, jam, juice and chakalaka or salad. This is obviously perfect when you want to have a big breakfast, but trust me, when you have too much month at the end of the money, this can be brunch or an early dinner.