The £5 food challenge

The £5 food challenge

Two teams of students, £5 to spend on ingredients, 30 minutes to make a delicious meal. Who will win the coveted golden spoon?

Watch students take part in the £5 food challenge.

The £5 food challenge had students Connie Shane and Georgie Farley compete against Alex Davies and Kingsley Madubuike to make a delicious dish they would be proud to serve to housemates. They had just £5 to buy their ingredients and only 30 minutes in which to cook their meals. It was up to fellow student Josh McDowell to judge the challenge based on taste, timing and technique.

Make these budget-friendly meals:

£5 chicken curry

by Alex Davies and Kingsley Madubuike

Serves 3-4 ish
Takes 20-30 minutes


3 red chillies for a moderate heat
1 large onion (or 2 small onions)
Two handfuls of spinach
Korma curry sauce
Chicken 400g (preferably breast but we improvised)
Rice (1 cup per person)


1. Prep by slicing onions, cutting up the chillies and finally chopping the spinach into smaller strips (if using baby spinach they are fine as they are). Rice should also be thoroughly rinsed to remove excess starch.
2. Add two dessert spoons of veg oil to a pan and fry chicken so that it is cooked through (ten minutes on a medium high heat). Add onions halfway through this process. Simultaneously bring pan of rice to the boil. Once at boiling point, reduce temperature to a medium heat and simmer for ten minutes. Use two cups of water for every cup of rice.
3. Add korma sauce, red chilli and stir often for two minutes.
4. Gradually add spinach and stir so that they wilt and add texture to the curry.
5. Once everything is added, allow to simmer for a further five minutes stirring so that all the ingredients blend.
6. Check whether rice is cooked. If not check again after two minutes. Drain for any excess water. Serve immediately.

£5 spaghetti bolognese

by Connie Shane and Georgie Farley


Pack of spaghetti
Tinned tomatoes
A clove of garlic
Pack of mince
1 onion
Balsamic vinegar


1. Slice the onion and crush the garlic; add to a pan with oil in. Cook until browned.
2. Add the mince and cook until browned.
3. Add the tinned tomatoes and balsamic vinegar and leave this to simmer, preferably for at least half an hour, adding in some water occasionally to stop it from drying up.
4. Whilst this is simmering, boil the spaghetti in a separate pan.
5. When everything is ready mix it all together and serve.

Challenging yourself to stick to a budget doesn't mean you can't still have a great time at uni. If you're looking for more ideas on how to save money, check out these budgeting tips.


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