Living in Chagford we are blessed with quality produce sold on our doorstep. Enjoying those are seen as too costly for some of us. But I found that with a little bit of creativity everybody can make a wholesome main meal on less than a fiver for 2 adults and still buying your ingredients locally.

For example I love the organic short grain rice from the Courtyard by Essentials. I use it for my risotto dishes and my asian style dishes. It is more filling so I need less of it and it is healthy, both things for me justify the £2.30 price tag. Because I will use it for the 2 of us as a bases for 4 meals, it will cost me less than 60p per meal. One of my favourite dishes is mushroom risotto. Blacks is selling dried mushrooms for around 3 pound per jar (good for 2 meals). Let’s add chestnut mushrooms from the Pepperpot for a pound and also some garlic as well (30p per bulb, only using a quarter). I will use the onions from my Chagfood bag. My veggies mainly come from Chagfood. We subscribe for the smallest bag for £39 per month, less than a tenner per week. This bag is providing me with a good feeling (because I am supporting a local business) and 4-5 different organic, locally grown veggies and potatoes per week. I add some parmesan and some veggie stock to my risotto from one of the other local shops. Parmesan is not cheap, but even while using it generously when we are having a vegetarian dish, one piece will still be enough for 3-4 meals. Making it a less costly ingredient than any meat, because it’s only 90p per meal. Most of the time when making this risotto I will make a double portion, because eating it 2 days later, the flavours are even better! The overall costs for that bigger 2 meal portion is:

Org Short grain rice – £ 1.20
Dried mushrooms – £ 3.50
Chestnut mushrooms – £ 2.00
Garlic – £ 0.15
Onions – £ 1.00 (an estimated guess, because coming from Chagfood veggie bag)
Parmesan – £ 1.80
Vegetable stock – £ 0.30

Total £ 9.95 for twice a dinner for two adults.

For an extra pound you can add a bag of greens, I like rocket myself. Which can also be easily grown in your window sill, which is even cheaper. Enjoy your local bought food!

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