It’s cheaper to make it: Jack’s Macaroni Cheese, 43p, versus supermarket ready meal, 75p.

I’m going to try this with sweetcorn, soya milk and smoked soya cheese. Yum!

JACK MONROE

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So today I decided to set myself a new challenge, to cook a like-for-like replica of a supermarket ready meal, but cheaper. Harder than it looks, as the ready meals are made in bulk using low priced ingredients – and I have to buy those ingredients at ‘retail’ price, not ‘wholesale’.

I decided on a basic macaroni cheese meal, 75p for a 300g single-person portion.

The ready meal ingredients were pasta, water, milk, cheddar cheese, cornflour, oil, mustard, salt, white pepper – so I attempted to replicate it as closely as I could with what I had in the cupboards and fridge…

Ingredients (serves two):

160g penne pasta
40g dried skimmed milk
50g hard strong cheese
1 tbsp plain flour
2 tbsp sunflower oil
Scant 1/8th tsp English mustard

First bring a pan of water to the boil and add the pasta. Reduce to a medium simmer and cook for…

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