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 About the Author

 Keen cook and survivor of the economic crisis, Maggie Maguire has an interest in developing healthy meals for those living alone. Particularly interested in the fate of students struggling in share houses on a diet of noodles and pizza, she has developed a series of recipes which cost little, waste nothing and taste great.

About the Site 

 NO SALT

The author was once so frightened by a television documentary about what salt does to you that she has never used salt in her cooking since.  By all means add the salt if you think you need it and choose grocery items with the lowest salt content available.  However I prefer to leave out the salt and let people add their own.  I add additional flavour with herbs, spices and caramelizing meat.

LOW FAT

This site generally uses low-fat products, however this can be difficult in the lower $55.00 a fortnight menus, because low-fat items are generally more expensive than the normal product.  Therefore by all means substitute a low-fat item whenever I have failed to select this. 

FREEZING MEALS

One of the difficulties for people living alone is that they often don’t have a lot of storage space for a big refrigerator, therefore freezing bulk loads of food becomes problematic.  All these meal plans are based on you only having to freeze one large meal, for example soup, per week.  This means that those of you living in sharehouses will be able to fit your food in the freezer without annoying your flatmates.

TIME

All meals are calculated to only have 15 minutes preparation time.  Cooking times are also kept low because of the need to conserve energy.  We don’t want to spend 45 minutes cooking beans and wasting a lot of electricity when we can buy the canned variety at a low cost.

FOOD DESERTS

Some people live in areas where  access to good, fresh food is limited. All meals have been designed to use readily available food.  The low cost meal plans have been designed so you won’t have to run out and buy a container of creme fraiche or a piece of Gorgonzola.  The later meal plans contain more exotic ingredients.

TRANSPORTING FOOD

Heavy bulky items have been kept to a minimum for those who have to access supermarkets by public transport.

STORING FOOD

People cooking for one don’t often have the advantage of extra space for storing large items such as large bags of rice so generally prices are given for the smaller size food items.  If you do have storage buy all means buy the staples flour, rice, pasta in larger amounts than those specified.  You will save even more!

HERBS & SPICES

In this series of menu plans, herbs and spices are introduced in a rational way so that you are not left with some very exotic spices that you will never use again.  If you buy a bottle of dried basil then you will be guaranteed to use it within a reasonable length of time as a number of recipes featuring that herb will be used in the menu plan.  The same goes for ingredients such as tomato paste.  If you use half the tin of tomato paste in one recipe then you will use the other half in another recipe.  I realise that squeezy tubes are better for these sort of ingredients but if you are sticking to a $55 a fortnight meal plan then you will be better off using the cheaper tinned variety.

BAKING BREAD

Yes I will be adding the alternative of cooking your own flatbreads, dampers and eventually bread and rolls.  This is mainly because of the cost and also because the bread in some regional areas can be so tasteless.  If you are in an area where bread is cheap and tasty by all means buy it.

NO NEED TO FOLLOW TO THE LETTER

While the whole exercise is to see if we can reduce the cost of groceries for a fortnight, you can create your own meal plans. Use the form provided here  MEAL PLANNER to make up your own budget menus.

START WITH THE MEAL PLANS

The  meal plans are listed under categories on the right hand side of the screen.  The first category is “$55 a fortnight Meal Plans”.  These plans provide all the food you will need for the fortnight.  Follow the links to find the recipes. The Shopping List for each fortnight can be found at the bottom of each Meal Plan.

The recipies are also listed under categories in case you want to use single recipies rather than the whole fortnight Meal Plan.  Good luck and good eating!

 

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