Prawn stir-fry

5 cheap ingredients that will shrink your weekly shop

Cooking for two is a breeze with these handy staple buys

By ,
5 cheap ingredients that will shrink your weekly shop

Cooking for two can be a struggle, with many fresh foods coming in bumper family-size only. By the time you get around to that half-head of broccoli you've been saving, it's starting to look a little worse for wear…

But by opting for smart store cupboard alternatives, you can make a variety of delicious, simple dinners that are not only delicious and filling, but also minimise waste.

Check out our top five cheap ingredients that make cooking for two a breeze.

Noodles

The best thing about yummy noodles is that they come curled up in perfect, individual-sized portions.

For a quick and filling dinner, chop up whatever veg you've got to hand (broccoli, finely sliced carrot, peas, sweetcorn, onion, cabbage or frozen stir-fry mix will all work) and fry it on high for a couple of minutes. Add one cooked noodle nest per person, then add soy sauce and sweet chilli sauce. Simple!

Eggs

Eggs are a brilliant and filling source of protein (one large egg contains 6g of protein) that are both cheap and great when cooking for smaller numbers.

Crack a couple of eggs into cooked rice and fry it all off together with some soy sauce, frozen peas and spring onion for a super speedy egg-fried rice. Or, if you're in the mood for something saucy, why not try this delicious shakshuka? The eggs poach on top of peppers and tinned tomatoes. Serve with flatbreads (or toast) for a filling, simple dinner perfect for two.

Peas

Peas are a brilliant freezer essential. They work in so many different dishes (from risottos to pasta sauces, curries to stir fries) and are great when cooking for one or two as you can grab a handful and leave the rest for another time without worrying about them going off.

Try this delicious butternut squash, sausage and spinach hash. Made with frozen sausages, squash, peas and spinach, you can leave the rest of the ingredients in the freezer and come back to them another time - perfect for cooking for two.

Lentils

Like peas, dried lentils are another great option when it comes to cooking up only what you need.

Red lentils are brilliant for adding substance to vegetarian curries and soups, while green lentils work well in pasta sauces, stews, or boiled then fried in butter with some onion and garlic as a filling side dish.

Mixed herbs and spices

A brilliant way to jazz up any dinner without breaking the bank is with a little seasoning. A pinch of black pepper and a sprinkling of mixed herbs will do wonders for any number of meals. We recommend adding a pinch of smoked paprika to your baked beans, a tiny bit of oregano to your tomato pasta or a sprinkle of thyme to your casserole.

Feeling inspired to experiment with some of our store cupboard time-savers this week? Make sure to stock up on everything you need online or pop into your local store.