Love your Leftovers - Salad. What you can do with it
Oven Baked Frittata. Takes literally 2 minutes to make, then just bung it in the oven

There is a new Facebook group set up for people expressing an interest on living not on £1 a day, but who are looking for extra cheap meals and an even more frugal 50p a day. So if you’re saving really hard for a house deposit, a special holiday, a new car perhaps, or maybe illness, redundancy, divorce, the immoral scourge of zero hours contracts or the ghastly benefit sanction have wreaked havoc on the household budget, or there is simply too much month left at the end of the money. This post may be the one for you.

Feeding yourself at such a very low level requires super cheap meals and a lot of discipline – no sneaky extra biscuits! I haven’t done a meal plan as such. What I’ve got here are many options to enable you to make choices that will keep you in budget. All the recipes are easy to make, don’t need complicated equipment and use basic ordinary ingredients. A basic store cupboard if you have one, would be helpful. Things like salt and pepper, basic self raising and plain flour, sugar and oil. Then there are flavourings that bring life to a dish, soy sauce and fish sauce, worcestershire sauce and mustard.

Extra Cheap Meals

I have scoured the Thrifty Lesley Recipe archives for anything cheap enough. I thought as a rough budget it should be split 10p for breakfast, 10p for lunch and 30p for dinner, and if you’ve managed it for less, as you will with many of these options, then there is a bit left for cake, or extra veg, or maybe a bit of fruit.

Breakfasts – budget of 10p

Many of the sandwich pastes cost up to 10p, or even less, with a couple of slices of value wholemeal, or white, bread

10 Sandwich Paste options for super cheap sandwiches and toast toppers

Jammy Oat Bars, 7p each, for breakfast or a snack

Raisin Pancakes, 8p per serving, Meal Plan 1

Cinnamon Toast for breakfast, 4p a slice

Carrot & Sultana Loaf – 9p per serving

Lunches – budget of 10p

Lunches can also involve the sandwich pastes, perhaps in a sandwich, a home made penny wrap or a home made pitta. Much nicer than shop bought and they can all be frozen. These uber cheap wraps and pitta can contain many and varied delicious morsels. You don’t need much filling and its amazing what lovely little dishes can be created from this and that in the fridge

Flatbreads, less than 2p each. Versatile and very yummy

or you might prefer rolls instead of wraps

Cheapy Bread Rolls, 2p each, an hour from start to finish

or even tomato rolls made with no yeast, just sparkling water, and no kneading!

Tomato flavoured sparkling water rolls

or delicious home made pitta, super cheap. Sorry about the closeup eyes, I was showing off newly acquired false lashes!

More wedding preparations, Greek Cuisine and 4 large pitta for 6p

This split pea soup requires only 3 ingredients and is just 8p, (even cheaper than when I first  posted about it in January 2016!), leaving enough for a bread roll as well. Particularly delicious when made with chicken or turkey stock

Use it up meals, Roquefort tart, split pea soup. Soup just 13p


Hoummous and grated carrot sandwich – 9p a serving, Meal Plan 1

Or the classic cheap lunch, 2 slices value bread with half a tin of value beans

Dinners – budget of 30p

Many, many options cost up to 30p or even less, so lots of choices for dinner, even at 50p a day!

Want to know how to eat for 50p a day? Yes, it can be done, and with tasty food too Click To Tweet

The cheapest dinner on Thrifty Lesley at 6p, although to be fair, you’ll need something else to go with it. So maybe a jacket potato (10p) and a knob of buttery spread (2p) and a portion of mixed frozen veg (10p), a total of 28p

A kitchen experiment, Pea-Crumb Fritters, 6p

These stuffed potato cakes are really good, and certainly don’t taste like a budget basic meal.

Stuffed potato cakes

Salted Cashew Couscous 30p a serving

Gajar Matar. Everyday vegetables wearing a sari

Gnocchi made with dried mash! Served with tomato sauce 15p a serving

These falafel are cheap enough to allow the addition of a portion or two of vegetables to go with them.

Raw chickpea carrot falafel, 15p. Delicious, with sweet variations too

Lots of spicy flavour in these balti pancakes. The spices used can be varied too for variety. A good strong tasting meal

Balti spring green pancakes for dinner, and one left over for breakfast

Meal plan 10 – Pea fritters and chips, 17p, vegan

Sweetcorn fritters, wedges & peas, 30p a serving, Meal Plan 1

Here are a trio of dahls, many different flavours can be made, these are suggestions to start you off

Tomato Dhal & Rice – 27p per serving

Coconut Dahl, from 17p to 23p a portion depending on if you use value or basmati rice

Lemon Dahl from 18p to 24p depending on if you use value or basmati rice

Cheese and Ham Toastie, 18p each

Each spicy banger is 19p, leaving you with a bit left for chips and beans, or mash and peas, or a jacket potato with butter, or beans

Home made sausages

Lentil Dumplings, with Tomato Sauce, 20-30p a serving, + green vegetable

Pancakes filled with Carrots, Onions and Peas in Soft Cheese, 21p a serving

2 sandwiches, 2 toasty breakfasts and 2 pasta dinners from 1 tin of sardines. Just 83p for all 6 meals!!

Sardine and Tomato Fish Cakes 26p a portion and Tuna Fish Cakes 36p a portion

More ideas for fishcakes

Things You May Never Need To Buy Again – Fish Cakes


Zombie burgers using dead bread


Abel & Cole Peanut Butter Noodles, 23p for the veggie version

Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner, Ham and Cheese Pancakes, 23p

Meal Plan 7 – Scone Based Pizza, 23p a portion

Olive Drop Scones, Crispy Fried Onions & Carrot Ribbon Salad, 24p a pop

Beetroot & Feta Tart – 24p a portion

Tuna and onion pie, Meal Plan 9, 24p a serving, with sides

Rubber Chicken (2) Chicken & Onion Pie, 26p a portion. Spicy lentil soup, 18p

Pasta, soft cheese and tomato purée, 25p a portion

Vegetable Crumble, 25p a portion. Root veg in a tomato sauce, topped with oats, cheese and salted peanuts

Faggots and gravy, 26p a portion

Bacony tomatoey pasta

Lentil and Nut Loaf. Vegan, versatile and rather delicious!

Chole & Nan, 27p a serving, Meal Plan 1

Broccoli Pesto & Pasta – 28p a serving

Spinach Dumplings with Spicy Tomato Sauce, 28p a serving

Olive Drop Scones, Garlicky Soft Cheese, 28p a serving

Wild Garlic Pesto – 29p a serving

Spaghetti with Beef & Tomato Pasta Sauce – 29p a portion

Pizza, 32cm, chorizo and roasted vegetable, 53p. If it serves 2, 26p each

Fishless kedgeree, 64p, or use it as vegetable rice, 25p

A Trio of Vegetable Hummus


Another Trio of Vegetable Hummus



Herby Scones, 2p a scone – Meal Plan 10

Herb Bread, 6p a serving

Oaty Biscuits, 1p a serving, Meal Plan 1

Raisin Biscuits, 28p a batch – loads of variations

Meal Plan 8 – Coconut Biscuits, 3p each, or 61p for a 24 biscuit batch

Pancakes, with lemon and sugar, the classic, less than 3p each


How to make a cake with just 3 ingredients, or maybe even 2! For when the SHTF?


Suggested daily menus include

breakfast – Raisin pancakes 8p
lunch – split pea soup, 8p plus home made bread roll, 2p
dinner – stuffed potato cakes, 18p for two cakes
Total of 36p, use the remaining pence for extra fruit and veg

breakfast – sardine paste on 2 slices wholemeal toast, 10p
lunch – home made pitta, 1p, with beef and tomato paste, 9p and lettuce
dinner – chicken and onion pie, 26p plus 80g white cabbage, steamed, 5p
Total of 51p

breakfast – beef and tomato paste on 2 slices wholemeal toast, 9p
lunch – potted cheese paste sandwich, 12p plus salad
dinner – tuna and onion pie, 24p incl sides
Total of 45p

breakfast – BLT paste on 2 slices wholemeal toast 7p, plus lettuce
lunch – fruit and nut case paste sandwich 13p
dinner – 100g of one of the vegetable hummus, 17p plus 150g carrot crudites, 5p
Total of 42p

breakfast – jammy oat bars 7p
lunch – hummus and grated carrot sandwich 9p
dinner – lentil nut loaf 27p, plus 100g white cabbage, 7p
Total of 50p

breakfast – carrot and sultana loaf 9p
lunch – beans on 2 x toast, 11p
dinner – spinach dumplings with spicy tomato sauce, 28p
Total of 48p

So there we have it, step by step on eating at 50p. I hope this has given you some ideas for when times are super hard on how to get through

50p meals


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Love your Leftovers - Salad. What you can do with it
Oven Baked Frittata. Takes literally 2 minutes to make, then just bung it in the oven
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