How Cheap Can I Eat? July Edition

Food prices have throttled our budgets, begging for some relief at every turn. We continue to bring out recipes which can feed a family of 5 for under R100. We also have some truly exciting news: Our How Cheap Can You Eat Recipe Book is around the corner. This e-book is filled with an entire year of budget-friendly recipes. The recipes are a combination of beef, chicken, seafood, pork and vegetarian recipes designed to every budget. Make sure to sign up to our newsletter here to be notified the second your free copy is ready. 

Hearty Bean Soup – Estimated cost: R47.88


  • 1 cup mixed beans
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks chopped
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Chopped fresh parsley for garnishing


  1. In a large pot, heat some olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, carrots, and celery. Sauté until the onions are translucent and the vegetables are slightly softened.
  2. Add the soaked and drained beans, vegetable broth, diced tomatoes, dried thyme, and dried rosemary to the pot. Stir well.
  3. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 1 to 1.5 hours or until the beans are tender. Stir occasionally.
  4. Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Serve hot, garnished with chopped fresh parsley if desired.

Leek & Bacon Soup – estimated cost: R53.23


  • 4 slices of bacon, diced
  • 1 large leek, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
  • 4 cups cabbage, thinly shredded
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Fresh parsley for garnish (optional)


  1. In a large pot, cook the diced bacon over medium heat until crispy. Remove the bacon from the pot and set it aside, leaving the bacon drippings in the pot.
  2. Add the olive oil to the pot with the bacon drippings. Add the sliced leek and cook over medium heat until softened, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the shredded cabbage and diced potatoes to the pot. Stir to combine with the leek.
  4. Pour in the chicken or vegetable broth and add the bay leaf and dried thyme. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot and let it simmer for about 20-25 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.
  6. Remove the bay leaf from the pot. Use an immersion blender or a regular blender to puree the soup until smooth. Be careful when blending hot liquids.
  7. Return the soup to the pot and adjust the seasoning if needed. If the soup is too thick, you can add a little more broth or water to reach your desired consistency.
  8. Serve the hot cabbage, leek, and bacon soup in bowls. Top each serving with the crispy bacon pieces and garnish with fresh parsley if desired.

Chicken Biryani – estimated cost: R71.35


  • 2 cups tastic or basmati rice
  • 1 lb (450g) chicken, cut into pieces
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons biryani masala powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 2 cups chicken broth or water
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Fresh cilantro leaves for garnish


  1. Rinse the basmati rice under cold water until the water runs clear. Soak the rice in water for 30 minutes, then drain.
  2. In a large pot, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the sliced onions and cook until golden brown.
  3. Add the chicken pieces to the pot and cook until they are browned on all sides.
  4. Stir in the chopped tomatoes, biryani masala powder, turmeric powder, cumin powder, garam masala, and salt. Cook for a few minutes.
  5. Add the drained rice to the pot and stir well to coat the rice with the spices.
  6. Pour in the chicken broth or water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and simmer for about 15-20 minutes or until the rice is cooked and the chicken is tender.
  7. Fluff the rice with a fork and garnish with fresh cilantro leaves before serving.

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