Aside from the health-kick, another of my goals this year is to manage my money better (in fact, manage it at all). What I do manage, is to run out, without fail… a week before I’m due to be paid again. When I was still at uni with only a part-time wage from retail keeping my overeating and ASOS addiction afloat, I assumed being broke by the end of the month was just a thing. But now I’m working a full time job, and I somehow still can not make that money last.
‘Somehow’ is a lie. Denial. The truth is, I can not make the money stretch to allow me to do the things I want to do because I spend so much unnecessarily on food! It took me one read of this article by Paymentsense to realise, I am a payday millionaire. It’s a pretty simple concept; you live like Beyoncé for the first 3 days after you get paid… and then you’re broke for the remaining 27 days of the month.
So I spent a few hours over Christmas building myself a very simple spreadsheet of my confirmed expenses and then budget how much I can spend on other things for the rest of the month. I went through my bank statement to work out just how much I had spent on eating out for lunch at work and imagined I had swapped all those meals for a packed lunch. The results were SHOCKING.
So goodbye pricey, organic, Shoreditch Eats. Welcome, homemade sweet potato, coconut and chilli soup.
Pret A Manger £7.50 Homemade soup and roll £1.50
This recipe makes two portions of a seriously filling soup that is ideal for freezing, or can keep refrigerated for a few days if you make enough for the week!
You will need…
Hand blender / food processor / blender
2 tbsp Olive oil (30p – 250ml for £1.20)
1 medium onion (21p – 3 for 65p)
5 small sweet orange sweet potato (1kg for 95p)
3 red chilli (60p)
400ml tin coconut milk (95p)
Salt and pepper to taste
Total: £3.01 (£1.50 per portion)
Peel and roughly chop the onion into chunks.
Heat the olive oil on a low heat in the saucepan and cook the onions in the oil until soft and almost translucent.
Peel and cut the sweet potato. Add to the saucepan with the onions. Pour the entire contents of the tin of coconut milk over the potatoes followed by the water. Roughly chop the chillies, including the seeds if you want more of a spicy kick!
Once the chilli has been added to the pan, increase the heat to bring to the boil.
Once boiling, lower to a simmer and cook for around 20 minutes (depending on how big your potato pieces are) until the potatoes begin to break apart. Set aside for 5 minutes before blending until smooth with your hand blender.
If you are using a food processor or freestanding blender, check if the specifications allow for hot food to be blended – Nutribullet does not allow this – or leave until cool before blending until smooth.
Store in BPA-free containers to either refrigerate or freeze once completely cool.
I can only eat the same thing for lunch for 3 days tops, but there’s plenty of other cheap adult packed lunches out there – have a look here! Leave a comment below if you’re trying this soup, or if you too are a reforming payday millionaire.