Trying to be frugal one meal at a time .

When I look at my grocery bill every week I nearly always recoil in horror at the amount we spend and the amount we throw away . We are terrible at using leftovers , terrible at using every last bit of food we buy , so I have made a resolution to stop . I want to stop the waste and stop the big spending on food .

To spur me on and keep me on the straight and narrow I will be starting a new blog series on Frugal family friendly meals  , I will break down the overall cost of the ingredients used per meal . I love to cook but I really find I overspend and have too much food waste , this is one of the biggest issues in alot of Irish households along with time poor parents who are just too tired after a long day or have no time with all the rushing around from Hurling to Music lessons .This is where meal planning , batch cooking and slow cookers can really help .Our slow cooker has been the best investment we have ever made and I really think every home should have one !

I was determined this week to use all the leftovers from our Sunday roast chicken , usually the leftover chicken is given to our very well fed cat but not this week ( Poor Kitty didn’t starve this week don’t worry ! ) I used the carcass to make homemade chicken stock , this was my first time doing this and I could not get over how easy this was to make ! I used the chicken and some of the stock in a chicken and chorizo paella which I knew the kids would love . The remaining stock has been put in the freezer to make soup with later in the week – That was three meals from one chicken all made very simply and not expensive ! Paella is super easy , cheap and everyone in our house loves it – If you have never made it then I would advise go for it – I have the recipe below 🙂


Ingredients :

  1. Chicken ( you can use thighs , breast or leftovers ) Free as leftovers
  2. Rice ( Paella rice or basmati rice – brown takes longer to cook ) .23c
  3. Chorizo ( Thumb sized piece diced ) .40c
  4. 1 red pepper ( Diced) .43c
  5. 1 white onion ( Diced).16c
  6. Garden peas .14c
  7. Garlic .14c
  8. Cayenne Pepper .09c
  9. Paprika .09c
  10. Tomato Paste .08c
  11. Chicken stock ( I used my home made stock but you can use shop bought also ! ) Free as used from leftovers
  12. Oil ( I use Rapeseed Oil ) .13 c

Method :

  1. Heat oil in pan
  2. Add chopped onion and soften for 5 minutes
  3. Add Chorizo to pan and fry off for 3-4 minutes
  4. Add peppers and garlic fry off for another 1-2 minutes
  5. Add your chicken if it is not pre cooked – Ensure that is it cooked through
  6. Add spices and tomato paste
  7. Add your rice and stir through to ensure all spices and paste are fully mixed through
  8. Add your stock and peas
  9. Cook until all liquid has been absorbed and rice is tender
  10. If your chicken is pre cooked – I normally heat up in a separate pan and add to the Paella at the end of cooking
  11. Serve


For a printable version of this recipe , please click on the picture 🙂

This entire meal worked out at €1.89 for 2 adults and 2 kids ( all food items bought in Aldi and worked out by how much is used in cooking ) – By using leftover chicken we drastically reduced the over all cost of this meal !!


Let me know if you try it !


L xx


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