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BUDGET SHOPPING WORKSHOP GIVEN BY DIANNE CURTIN
EAT CORK 2010, ENGLISH MARKET

Budget shopping is all about the planning.  Feeding the family well and healthily can be done on a budget with a little thought.  Find great cheap meats and fish, heaps of vegetables and fruit at bargain prices.

Fresh meat and fish can be frozen – but you can’t refreeze any that has already been frozen and defrosted. 

My shopping for less than twenty euros for a day – purchased in the English Market:

  • Piece of Belly Pork from Tom Durcan – 1kg costs €7.00
  • Bag of fruit and vegetables  from Paddy McDonald (across from Tom Durcan’s stall) €11.00 inc carrots, onions, swede, celery, parsnips, cooking apples, bananas, potatoes, bunch of thyme. 
  • Small bag of Porridge from the Organic shop €1.94

ONE DAY MENU SUGGESTION FROM THE ABOVE

BREAKFAST

Porridge with Bramley apple puree and fresh banana

LUNCH

Vegetable Broth

DINNER

Roast Belly Pork with Roasted Vegetables

OTHER CHEAP MEATS AND FISH

Ham or Pork hocks - €1.40 each

Ham hock great for soup with peas – or boiling and serving with cabbage and bacon. Pork hock good for slow roasting on a bed of onions and herbs – serve with mashed potatoes and greens)

Pigs Kidneys – 60c each

Very nutritious.  Prepare by halving and removing the core.  Dip in flour, then fry in hot oil briefly with a little garlic, till browned outside and pink in the centre.  Flavour with a splash of balsamic vinegar and some sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Great served this way on a bed of salad with croutons.  Or fry as above, then pour over a tin of chopped tomatoes, add some fresh herbs, then allow to simmer till tender.  Add Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco to the pan,season and serve with mash.

Pork Mince - €5.99 kg

This amount will do two meals with the addition of veggies.  Use half to make meatballs flavoured with garlic, grated lemon zest, fresh thyme and seasoning.  Fry in hot oil then pour over a tomato sauce or some tinned chopped tomatoes.  Cover and simmer for 15 minutes then season and serve with rice or pasta and salad. The other half can be frozen.  Pork mince is good for burgers,  or use it  like beef mince to make  sauce to serve with pasta.

Chicken Legs - €1.00 in some butchers

Great for oven baking with lemon and garlic, or for casseroles and stews,  where the bones add heaps of flavour. 

For fish lovers, Mackerel, herring and ling are really cheap and nutritious priced according to availability 

Mackerel can be grilled or coated with porridge oats and fried – herring is similar in taste and texture and you can use this way too.  Or get the fishmonger to fillet the herring then roll, skewer with a cocktail stick and poach in a mix of white wine vinegar, stock, sweetened with sugar, flavoured with onion and bayleaf, to make rollmops.  Really good served with a warm potato salad.  Ling is similar to cod – so cook and serve with a fresh parsley sauce and mashed potato, or deep fry in crispy batter for fish and chips.

OTHER DAILY BUDGET MENU SUGGESTIONS

SUNDAY

Breakfast

Pancakes with fruit and honey (bananas are good here and provide an energetic start to the day)

Lunch

Club Sandwiches with Bacon and Fresh Tomatoes (3 layers of bread, with the filling layered in between)

Dinner

Sunday Roast Chicken with Roast Autumn Vegetables (using the oven for all the components saves on cooking times and fuel)

MONDAY

Breakfast

Porridge with fresh fruit puree (any fruit is good here – seasonal cheap fruits include apples and pears)

Lunch

Leek and Pototo Soup with Croutons

Dinner

Chicken, Cauliflower and Pasta Gratin (use leftovers from the chicken on Sunday)

TUESDAY

Breakfast

Banana and Apple Salad with Yogurt

Lunch

Pasta salad with spring onions, tomatoes and avocado (cook extra pasta the night before and use here)

Dinner

Boiled Bacon Hocks with cabbage, potatoes and parsley sauce

WEDNESDAY

Breakfast

Porridge with honey and cream

Lunch

Ham Rarebit, (mix any leftover ham from the hocks, with grated cheese and wholegrain mustard and spread on toasted bread slices then grill)

Dinner

Pan Roast Mackerel, Apple Salad, Steamed potatoes with chives

THURSDAY

Breakfast

Banana Smoothies, Toast and Honey

Lunch

Potato, tomato and rocket salad with vinaigrette (cook extra potatoes the night before and keep in the fridge)

Dinner

Chicken stew with vegetables (use cheap chicken  legs or thighs)

FRIDAY

Breakfast

Toasted Porridge oats mixed with dried fruits (raisins, dried banana etc) with yogurt

Lunch

Crunchy Tuna Wraps (tinned tuna is cheap and healthy, mix with strippy peppers, spring onions and mayonnaise in a tortilla

Dinner

Friday Fish and chips (Use ling fillet for this. For the batter, mix 100g flour with 1/1/2tsp baking powder and pinch of salt with enough water to make the consistency of cream. For the chips, peeled chipped potatoes should be first blanched  in deep oil at a low temperature till softening, drain, get the oil hot and plunge them in to finish cooking brown them)