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Moneysaving Meals for one

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Old Style MoneySaving
23 replies 17.2K views
r.mac_2r.mac_2 Forumite
4.7K posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Old Style MoneySaving
After many years of sharing with friends, I now live by myself, in my very clean (thanks to vinegar) flat. :D

My problem is that although I know how to make food go further (using lentils, carrots, buying in bulk etc), I want to know how to feed myself for less.

I don't have a freezer, just a tiny drawer at the top of my fridge. I also don't have a microwave (I am hoping Santa might have picked up my hint!). So storing/freezing portions is difficult.

Can anyone offer me any suggestions/help/inspirations?

Thanks
Rx
aless02 wrote: »
r.mac, you are so wise and wonderful, that post was lovely and so insightful!
I can't promise that all my replies will illicit this response :p
«13

Replies

  • GaltizzGaltizz Forumite
    1K posts
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    Try looking on the Emercency food tin thread I started.

    It is essentally; take 10-13 items and keep them in a tin (plus butter, milk and cheese in the fridge) and you will always have something to eat.

    If you want you can pm me your email address and I'll forward the recipes I printed to save you looking for them. Then you'll have a beginner recipe book :)
    When life hands you a lemon, make sure you ask for tequilla and salt ;)
  • r.mac I too have my own little flat which I've been in for six years now since getting fed up of flat sharing!

    I became a dedicated moneysaver when I started living on my own, a. to help pay the enormous London rent and b. because I no longer had spendthrift flatmates saying 'eurgghhh ECONOMY toilet paper????' etc.

    I've also only got one of those little freezer drawers. I use it to store one of those big bags of frozen mixed veg from Sainsbury's - these cost about a pound and last me for about two weeks.

    The rest of the time I eat fairly cheaply. Cooking for one is annoying because its relatively wasteful, so I keep costs to a minimum by buying in bulk anything that won't go off. Some of my favourite recipes include:

    Chilli. Get a tin of economy kidney beans, economy tomatoes and some economy rice. Cook with onion and chilli powder and tomato puree. Then you can add mince (or corned beef for real low cost).Grate some economy cheddar on top.  This costs about a pound and lasts me for about three meals.

    Omelettes. I do these in the microwave, just mix three eggs, some milk, garlic and salt and chuck in anything that's lying around (like frozen mixed veg) put it in a bowl and zap for ten minutes or so.

    Meat/fish and two veg. Very easy, I often have economy bacon with potatoes and frozen mixed veg.

    Tuna and pasta. Tin of tuna, tin of economy tomatoes, tomato puree, onions, garlic, olives, mushrooms, again only costs about a pound to make and lasts me for two meals.

    For puddings I have stuff like yoghurt, rice pudding, tinned/fresh fruit with cream etc, this costs just pence.

    As you can see I'm not much of a gourmet but have a balanced diet and I can normally feed myself for about £12-£15 a week, but with care can do it for about £8.
  • crana9crana9 Forumite
    141 posts
    you can make some very tasty stews - just boil a combination of some/any carrots, potatoes, onion (you can fry it first if you want but you dont really have to!), garlic, white cabbage, turnip, parsnip, swede.. t9gether with some stock until everything is quite soft. I really like pearl barley added to mine - you can get it from sainsburys for I think 38p for a 500g bag.. most other places should have it, if not try a health food place?

    if you are feeling up to it make some dumplings (i just mizx ome marg, salt, flour, and water togteher, make litt;e balls of dough, and drop them in. they arent very fluffy though, but satisfying none the less).

    very nice with some cheapo cheese on top

    chilli is also a good one, i like mine with kidney beans, tomatoes, sweetcorn, and some cumin, chilli, and coriander

    you can make some curries v cheaply as well once you have some basic spices (Powdered coriander, cumin, some form of chillis, and tumeric will see you through most things.. garam masala, cumin seeds, mustard seeds are also handy) plus dhals made with lentils (these are realy easy, filling, cheap, keep well in the fridge..)

    also stirfries with rice or el cheapo instant noodles (the value ones are OK, just scrap the flavour packet thingy)
    They call me Mr Pig!
  • catzninecatznine Forumite
    3.2K posts
    I've been Money Tipped!
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    There is a really good book called Goode for one by Shirley Goode - came out in the 80's but I've seen it many times in charity shops for pennies!! Will save you loads with all its good ideas. If you can't find it let me know and I will look in my local charity shops for you.

    Is there a thread already on this site for recommended books to help you save money? I have some good ones on my shelf to recommend.
    Our days are happier when we give people a bit of our heart rather than a piece of our mind.

    Jan grocery challenge £35.77/£120
  • r.mac_2r.mac_2 Forumite
    4.7K posts
    Thanks for your ideas everyone .

    Austin_Allegro - I know what you mean about wastefulness. I think part of my problem is that I am bad at erring too much on teh side of caution when it comes to storing food in the fridge and reheating etc.

    crana9 - thanks fort he dumpling idea. Never knew how to make them before

    catznine - Yesterday I bought a student cookbook (ridiculous really as I ate much better when i was a student. somehow I had more money then than i do now!) and it seems to have good portion sizes for one in it. Are the books you mentioned food related or just general. I, of course, have the money diet! But any other suggestions gratefully recieved.

    [glow=red,2,300]Rx[/glow]
    aless02 wrote: »
    r.mac, you are so wise and wonderful, that post was lovely and so insightful!
    I can't promise that all my replies will illicit this response :p
  • crana9crana9 Forumite
    141 posts
    one book I recommend is Beyond Baked Beans Green (there is also a non-green version, this is the vegetarian one).. a lot of the recipes are also online at https://www.beyondbakedbeans.com , the author kindly sent me a free copy of the book after I helped her by answering some questions!

    it's intended for students but isn't really very studenty. some great recipes in there.
    They call me Mr Pig!
  • catzninecatznine Forumite
    3.2K posts
    I've been Money Tipped!
    ✭✭✭✭
    Yes R.Mac the book Goode for One by Shirley Goode is food related. It is about the author taking up the challenge of living on £15 for 4 weeks and then reducing it to £10 a week at the end of the month.

    There are recipes in there and shopping lists but the book was written in 1987 so some prices have changed a bit (surprisingly not all, orange juice is actually cheaper today - 39p in Sainsburys against her 43p)

    I really like her idea for a basic sponge mix:

    Use only 1/2 the mixture to make a sandwich cake, using only 1 tin, bake, cut into 1/2 and sandwich together, use rest of mix to make 2 individual puddings!

    There is also a page giving a guide to proportions in batter mixes, meaning you can reduce the recipes for quiche, yorkshire puds etc down to 1 person size.

    There is a lot of information in this little book. It has helped me out a lot over the years! :)
    Our days are happier when we give people a bit of our heart rather than a piece of our mind.

    Jan grocery challenge £35.77/£120
  • r.mac_2r.mac_2 Forumite
    4.7K posts

    Do everything in the microwave. Saves time, money, and stops steam filling your flat.

    Hmmmm, think that I am going to have to give in and buy one!!! Though if i use some mse techniques in my search. ;D

    Ohh, I like the concept of the book you suggested. What a great challenge. Definately one I will be trying come January 2005. :-[

    Thanks
    Rx
    aless02 wrote: »
    r.mac, you are so wise and wonderful, that post was lovely and so insightful!
    I can't promise that all my replies will illicit this response :p
  • Rmac, once you get a microwave you'll never look back! I've got one with a built in grill which is useful for browning meat etc, it was about £35 from Argos I think.

    You'll find it useful to buy a multipurpose steamer (plastic bowl thingie from Woolworth or pound shops) and also a fish steamer.

    About that book - where's the challenge in eating for £10 a week, especially in 1987! I can do that now without much trouble. My challenge would be to eat healthily for £5 a week!
  • catzninecatznine Forumite
    3.2K posts
    I've been Money Tipped!
    ✭✭✭✭
    I think the challenge was not only to eat but to eat well and to be able to entertain friends! without feeling miserly! :)
    Our days are happier when we give people a bit of our heart rather than a piece of our mind.

    Jan grocery challenge £35.77/£120
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