Busy, busy and banana cake
Fish, waste and poverty

The fish is obviously the expensive ingredient here, and the thing that we need to search around for to make a fish pie that is delicious and as cheap as we can get it. It took a while, but I think I’ve done it alright, plus at the end of the post are some suggestions on how to stay on track for £1 a day

Serves 2
150g white fish, Asda frozen Pollack £4/kg, 60p
150g smoked fish, Asda frozen smoked cod fillets £3.50/400g, £1.31
a bay leaf if you have it
225ml milk, Asda 89p/2.27 litres, 9p
2 eggs, Asda 15 mixed weight eggs/£1.20, 16p
100g frozen peas, Asda £1/kg, 10p
10g butter, Asda SmartPrice 82p/250g, 3p
25g flour, 1p
salt and pepper

400g potatoes, Asda £1.69/2.5kg, 27p
25g butter, 8p

Total cost £2.65, per serving £1.32

Put the milk, fish and bay leaf in a large frying pan and gently poach for a few minutes until the fish flakes apart. Scoop out the fish and place to one side.

Melt the butter in a non-stick pan and stir in the flour. Cook for a moment, than add a little of the milk, stirring furiously with a silicone or wooden spoon or a whisk. The milk and butter/flour mixture will emulsify into a paste. Add a little more milk and repeat. Do this a couple more times until the mixture starts to look more like a sauce than a mixture. Add the remaining milk and heat gently until it thickens up. Simmer, very gently, for a couple of minutes until the floury taste is cooked out. Set to one side. Season with salt and pepper.

Peel, boil and mash the potatoes. Add the extra butter and mix well, season with salt and pepper.

Boil the eggs for 5 minutes, adding the peas for the last minute, then drain and fill the pan with cold water to cool them off. Peel the eggs.

Now assemble your pie. Very gently mix the flaked fish, peas and sauce together. Don’t mix too enthusiastically or the fish will disintegrate. Place in an oven proof dish. Slice the eggs into quarters and put on top of the fish and top with the mashed potato.

Your fish pie can now be safely stashed in the fridge for a day, maybe two. When you are ready to eat, heat in a hot oven until the mash is golden and the pie is hot all the way through. Enjoy with some veg on the side.

This is the cheapest I could find to make this, so can we still do £1 a day? When I do over budget things like this, I usually see if it would cost over 2 days, so £2 – £1.32 leaves us with just 68p for the remaining meals. Here are some suggestions to stay on track if you want to

Day 1
breakfast – porridge 5p
lunch – cheese & ham toastie 18p
dinner – fish pie £1.32

Day 2
breakfast porridge 5p
lunch – beef & sun dried tomato paste sandwich 13p
dinner – peanut butter noodles 23p

Total cost of the 2 days £1.96, so it can be done

Thrifty Lesley has an associated Facebook Group. Do come over and say hello if you haven’t already joined. I’d love to see you

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I’m a perpetual dieter, and to help with that endeavour, there is now also a Thrifty Lesley dieting group, a lovely, growing community

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Busy, busy and banana cake
Fish, waste and poverty