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Save Money on Food – Live on beans for a week!

Sarah Lockett 24th Apr 2016 One Comment

Reading Time: 5 minutes

After the runaway success of Live On A Chicken For A Week we bring you this week of beans recipes! Baked beans are cheap- even in Waitrose a pack of 4x400g tins is only £1.25, (that’s 31p a can)! OK, yes, we know the problem with eating lots of beans, but maybe you could cope with a little wind for the sake of save a fair bit on your food shopping one week!

If you have a reasonably big appetite, one tin will be the basis of your evening meal for 7 days. Beans contain some protein so you don’t always need to add another protein, such as chicken or sausages, which tend to be the pricier parts of meals.

Using beans as a main ingredient can really lower your food costs. It’s only a week, why not take up the challenge with these 7 great recipes:

Sunday: Cold roast and beans

This first one is really easy. It’s not really a recipe so much as tossing a few things in a bowl.


  • 1 tin baked beans
  • Roast Lunch Leftovers
  • Fresh herbs
  • 1 tin of sweetcorn (optional)


  1. Cut up some cold roast meat (perhaps from Sunday lunch?). Lamb is nice, especially if you’ve done it with garlic and rosemary.
  2. Add 420g baked beans and a splash of balsamic.
  3. Add few chopped fresh herbs ie parsley.
  4. Add any cold roast veg from lunch and/or a tin of sweetcorn (drained), or similar.

Tip: Heat it through in the microwave if you don’t fancy it cold.


Monday: Curried beans (For 1)

This one is very easy for after work, in a rush.

  • 420g baked beans
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tbsp sultanas
  • salt and pepper
  1. Gently heat through the beans in a saucepan with the other ingredients (or microwave on high for 2mins).
  2. Serve in a bowl or on buttered toast.


Tuesday: Sausage Beanpot (For 1)

Here’s another telly supper to be eaten from a bowl with a fork. Or have it on toast if you are ravenous.

  • 25g butter or 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 420g baked beans
  • 2 sausages
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed or chopped (optional)
  • ½ green or red pepper, chopped
  • 1 tsp mixed dried herbs (or 1 tbsp fresh ie parsley)
  • salt and pepper


  1. Fry the sausages in the butter or olive oil (or half and half) in a saucepan gently for 10-15 minutes.
  2. Add the onion + garlic – if using – and green pepper.
  3. Fry gently another 5 minutes till the veg is softened.
  4. Snip the sausages into chunks with scissors over the pan.
  5. Add the beans, seasoning and herbs, and heat through.


Wednesday: Peanut/cheese/bean extravaganza (For 1)

Beans and cheese is definitely a good combination. Add in some peanuts for extra protein and this is a great meal! You can add some frozen peas if you’re worried you’re not eating enough green vegetables!

  • 420g baked beans
  • 1 handful roasted salted peanuts (you need salted roasted nuts here as natural peanuts are too bland)
  • 1-2 tbsp grated cheese
  • Frozen Peas (optional)
  1. Defrost your peas (if using)
  2. Mix together the beans, peas (if using) and peanuts in a saucepan (or microwave) and heat through
  3. Transfer to an ovenproof dish and sprinkle over the cheese.
  4. Grill until bubbling

Serving: Eat with crusty bread or toast, or on its own.

Tip: Try using mature cheddar as it requires you to use less to get the flavour – so it’s cheaper.


Thursday: Bacon ‘n’ Beans (for 1)

Most people agree that salty and sweet is a good combination. This is probably why bacon and beans go so well together. beans

  • 3-4 rashers bacon (smoked or unsmoked depending on what you like)
  • 1 onion, chopped (optional)
  • ½ pepper/celery stick (optional)
  • 420g baked beans
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  1. Cut up the bacon, and fry in its own fat in a saucepan (or in a little butter).
  2. Fry an onion and/or celery stick and/or 1/2 pepper in a pan (if using).
  3. Add the beans and Worcestershire sauce and heat through.


Friday: Tuna Veg Beanpot (for 1)

Fish is very healthy because it’s world’s best source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are incredibly important for your body and brain. It also has protein and vitamin D (good for healthy bones and teeth). It’s a great idea to add at least 1 fish meal to your weekly menu and it’s not too expensive. x4 120g tins of tuna in brine at Morrisons are less than £3.

  • 1 tbsp olive oil or 25g butter
  • 420g baked beans
  • 120g tin tuna in brine
  • 2 sticks celery, chopped
  • 1 Carrot
  • 1 tsp mixed dried herbs
Drain the tuna

Soften the celery in oil or butter in a saucepan on low heat for 5-10mins.
Add all the other ingredients and heat through.

Tip: 120g tins of tuna are generally enough for one person but if you have a big appetite go for 1.5 or even 2 tins.


Saturday: Shepherd’s Pie (with Beans) – serves 6

This is a great family recipe but if you are making it just for you then you can just freeze the leftovers until a later date (a great meal to just stick in the microwave when you can’t be bothered/don’t have time to cook).

Ingredientsbeans1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 red pepper, chopped or 2 carrots, chopped
  • 500g minced beef/lamb
  • 1 beef oxo cube
  • 1 tsp dried mixed herbs
  • salt and pepper
  • 420g baked beans
  • 500g potatoes or sweet potatoes
  • 25g butter
  • ½ tsp grated/ground nutmeg (optional)
  1. Peel and chunk the potatoes and cover with cold water in a saucepan.
  2. Add 1 tsp salt and bring to the boil.
  3. Simmer for 10 minutes until done (test softness with a knife).
  4. Meanwhile fry the mince in the oil in a medium saucepan for 5 minutes until browned all over.
  5. Add the onion, garlic and carrot/pepper
  6. Continue frying for 5 more minutes.
  7. Add the crumbled stock cube, seasoning, mixed herbs and beans.
  8. Stir and allow to heat through for 5 minutes.
  9. Drain the potatoes and mash with butter and grated/ground nutmeg (if using).
  10. Tip the meat mixture into an ovenproof dish and cover with the potato, spreading it over to cover.
  11. Rake the potato with a fork (so it looks like a ploughed field)
  12. Bake 180 degrees Celsius 15 minutes.

Serving: with salad, green veg or on its own.

You made it! Now you don’t even think about having beans for another week.

Let us know how you got on in the comments section. Which was your favourite recipe? Are there any improvements you would suggest?

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4 years ago

I have a great cookbook that I found somewhere years and years ago called The Heinz Book of Baked Bean Recipes – it has fallen apart with use – but will add these to my now loose-leaf folder of that book

Jasmine Birtles

Your money-making expert. Financial journalist, TV and radio personality.

Jasmine Birtles

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