help me: food shopping too much - freezable meals

Please help me. I've moved out and I'm living with a flat mate for the first time.
I'm spending up to £100 a week on food shopping for one person. What are simple recipes... that can be easily frozen. I'm throwing about 1/3 of my stuff out each week.

I make a lot of fruit smoothies... but I need quick, long life/freezable dinners.

Please help - it's insane!
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Comments

  • Spag bol
    Chilli
    Lasagne
    Stew
    soup
    curry
    HM pizzas

    What kind of food have you been making? £100 a week is TONS!
    All comments and advice given is my own opinion and does not represent the views or advice of any debt advice organisation.

    DFW Nerd #132
  • Wow, that is a lot!
    I think soups and stews are good - you can chuck in what you happen to have, what might be going off in the near-ish future - and maybe come up with some interesting new combinations!
  • ariba10
    ariba10 Posts: 5,432
    Combo Breaker First Post First Anniversary
    Forumite
    Have a look arround the charity shops, you can often pick up suitable books there. 'Cooking for One' 'Students Cook Book' and many many more.
    I used to be indecisive but now I am not sure.
  • Hi,

    My mum's just advised me to make a big pan of mince, vegs, pasta sauce & decant into spag bol, lasagne, rice & freeze. Keep some to one side & keep ready to use as a jacket spud topper. Only buy fruit & veg as you need & my Mum (LOL!!) also saysd avoid those ready prepared chicken breasts with tomato sauce, cream sauce, etc etc efforts,as you're paying stacks over the odds for a couple of breast fillets with a blob of sauce on! Good luck
    ;) Never-too-dizzy-too-learn
  • Check out the Grocery Challanges etc on these boards - that will help you and keep you motivated!

    I make a big batch of bolognaise base sauce (red onions chopped, garlic, mince meat, tinned tomatoes, oregano, basil) - then I freeze it plan into portions.

    From that, I make variations like:

    - Chilli - by adding chilli, red kidney beans and sundried tomatoes. Then cook some rice.
    - Luxury spaghetti bolognaise - by adding mushrooms, carrots and sundried tomatoes. Then cook some spaghetti.
    - Lasagne red sauce - by adding courgettes, sliced mushrooms and red pepper. Then pop onto the lasagne and add cheesy white sauce in betwen the layers...

    Your local £1 store will have cheap containers for freezing - as well as cheap food like oloves, sundried tomatoes, grilled courgettes, cereal and more - so you don't feel like your living miserly!

    I have started making batches of yellow chicken curry and it works out at just £6 for around 10 portions. It's delicious and all home made.

    Good luck and PM me if you need any more help!
    MFW #185
    Mortgage slowly being offset! £86,987 /58,742 virtual balance
    Original mortgage free date 2037/ Now Nov 2034 and counting :T
    YNAB lover :D
  • annie-c
    annie-c Posts: 2,542 Forumite
    If you are throwing lots of food away then you will save loads by planing your meals ahead and taking a list with you when you go shopping. I remember first moving out and flat sharing and it becomes a real temptation because you will introduce each other to new foods, and generally lead each other astray! Great fun, but can be expensive!

    I tend to plan 3-4 meals a week and have a bit of flexibility with the rest. Go easy on buying veg - that's an eay thing to overdo and end up throwing away. Try to buy as much as you will need for planned meals and a few staples and then, on the day before you next go shopping have a good look in the fridge at what's left and see if you can plan a few soups/stews to use it up before buying loads more on your next shop.

    Good luck!

    annie
  • What meals do you like? Work out which are your favs, then maybe we can help with a good healthy cheap alternative recipe:confused: I would suggest doing a meal plan but maybe just doing a 2/3 day one to start with.

    £100 pw on 1 person is alot, but would assume this is mainly convienance food which can be very over priced. Set yourself a budget of say £60pw to start with and see how you get on. If you manage well on that cut it further and so forth.

    Good luck.

    PP
    xx
    To repeat what others have said, requires education, to challenge it,
    requires brains!
    FEB GC/DIESEL £200/4 WEEKS
  • Cazzdevil
    Cazzdevil Posts: 1,052
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Forumite
    £14 a day on food?!! That's more than my entire weekly budget!!

    I freeze things like:
    Chilli & rice
    Spag bol
    Veggie casseroles
    Curries
    Leftover sunday dinners (plate them up & freeze them - it's like a home made tv dinner!)

    And if I've got any scraps left over from a roast I pop those into a freezer bag too so that if I'm making a curry again I can defrost some of the scraps to put in it.

    Is any of the wasted food veg? If you're worried about veg going bad you could always chop it up and freeze it, or just bung it all in a big batch of thick veggie soup which can also be frozen.

    Also don't forget you can grate cheese and freeze it if you think you'll not get through a whole brick.
  • annie-c
    annie-c Posts: 2,542 Forumite
    Just to add: I used to spend £100ish a week for one - on expensive ready meals, veg to throw out when it had gone off, wine, gin, chocolate and just random odds and ends that 'fell' into my trolley as I went round - so I think I know where you're coming from. Now I am fairly frugal and yesterday had to laugh at myself as I walked past Iceland and turned my nose up at the posters advertising £1 ready meals - I used to turn my nose up at Iceland because I thought it was poor quality and cheap - now I turn my nose up because I think I could cook so much nicer/healthier/bigger portions for £1!!!

    It has taken me the best part of a year to change - round about since I started lurking on these boards this time last year.... I recommend taking small steps and trying maybe just a few new ideas and 1 or 2 new recipes per week. :)
  • Crazychik
    Crazychik Posts: 1,994 Forumite
    WOW!!! £100 is alot, are you shopping at Harrods? ! I normally spend this amount every fortnight for a family of 4. I Only buy fruit & veg, milk & break as I need it.

    Before going shopping, have you thought about doing a meal plan for the week.? eg, mon- shepherds pie, tues spag bol - etc! Even if you cook fresh, just cook slightly more, and freeze the rest for another day. This will cut down your costs, of buying extra what you dont need!

    Every month I stock up on my fresh meat, ie - mince, stewing steak, chicken breast, etc. Our local butcher is currently selling mince meat 99p per lb. Buy in bulk, sepreate into freezer bags, and take out what and when you need.

    Spag bol, Chilli, savoury mince (ready to use for shepherds pie) are good meals to freeze, stews, curry's, are cheap and easy to make, and always have plenty left over for another day. My mum lives alone, so usually I cook plenty and let her have the left overs. Perhaps your mum could do the same for you!!!

    Like a previous message, avoid buying chicken meals with sauces etc, they are too costly and dont taste the same as when you do it your self. Buy some condensed Campbell's soup (chicken, mushroom & tomato) are firm favourites to use as a sauce. Just add your own herbs and seasoning as required. Cooked with chicken, these dishes can be served with rice,pasta or vegetables.

    Any veg you have left over, throw into a slow cooker with veg stock, seasoning, and make soup, ideal for the winter ahead, if that doesn't appeal, try cooking the veg, (steam is best) till its crunchy, leave to cool, then freeze, then all you have to do, is place in a pan of boiling water for 5 mins to reheat.

    Good luck
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