Cook for under R300

Nicolette Dirk and Angelique Ruzicka look at ways in which you can save money while entertaining your guests and turn to some celebrity chefs for advice.

Summer is here. Sunshine and free-time will also mean late nights and dinner parties. If you are going to be a host to many of these dinner parties we’ve put together a bunch of recipes from well-known chefs that will not only be delicious but will be kind to your wallet too. We’ve also included some extra money saving tips for when you go out to buy your groceries down below.


To prevent you from blowing your bonus on far-fetched recipes we turned to Zama Memela, head chef of catering company and popup restaurant EasyEating and actress and celebrity chef Lucia  Mthiyane  for some budget-friendly and mouth-watering recipes to feed a party of six for under R300.

Our recipes:

Lucia Mthiyane’s fish recipe

Zama’s strawberry plantain couscous with ox liver

Zama’s Spykos (Beef Goulash with Cream Spinach, Grilled Butternut & Dumplings)


10 Food buying tips:

  1. Plan ahead before you buy. If you let yourself buy as you shop and don’t have a list to stick to you could end up buying goods on an impulse and falling for stores’ tricks into making you pay more.
  2. Never shop on an empty stomach. The smell of food and your growling stomach combined could be enough to buy more food.
  3. Buy healthy food: researchers of a study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association found that when families went on weight loss diets, they not only lost weight but reduced their food budgets.
  4. Instead of buying salad greens and herbs, why not grow your own. Check out our story on urban harvesting for more information.
  5. Bulk buy where appropriate and stock up on staples that usually cost a lot like olive oil when they are on sale.
  6. Switch to cheaper/no name brands. You can save more by opting for no-name brand foods instead of well-known brands.
  7. Buy food that is in season. Not only are they always in stock, but they cost much less.
  8. Coupons and vouchers make saving easy. Try and use them wherever possible.
  9. Make your own marinades. Not only will you unleash your inner creative cook, but you will save quite a bite on over-priced marinades.
  10. Recycle yesterday’s dinner. This also calls for creativity but adding something extra to leftovers can save you time and money.