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How do you eat healthly on £50 a week?



  • CH27
    CH27 Posts: 5,531 Forumite
    I go to the farm shop once every 4 weeks and buy

    4 chickens £16 -- each chicken makes 3 main meals & sandwiches and soup

    2 gammon joints £10 -- each does 3 main meals + soup & sandwiches

    2kg mince beef £5 -- this will make 7 main meals. I make chilli, spag bol, cottage pies etc

    18 sausages £8 -- these makes 3 main meals

    18 rashers of bacon £9 -- makes 3 main meals when added to pasta sauce.

    I also buy whatever is on offer ie pork or lamb mini roasts etc.

    I never spend more than £60 to last 4 weeks.
    The meat is all excellent quality.

    I went to the farm shop today & bought

    2lb carrots
    Green beans
    6 onions
    2 leeks
    6 eggs
    red pepper
    10 apples
    5 bananas
    5 pears
    5 small oranges

    Cost £12.50 so I spend £50 every 4 weeks on fresh fruit & veg.
    I grow my own tomatoes.

    So I spend £60 on meat & £50 on F&V which leave £90 for pasta, rice etc.

    Hope it makes sense. I'm trying to do several things at once:D
    Try to be a rainbow in someone's cloud.
  • m33r4
    m33r4 Posts: 503 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    CH27 - that is a very helpful and detailed post.

    Many thanks.
  • CH27
    CH27 Posts: 5,531 Forumite
    m33r4 wrote: »
    CH27 - that is a very helpful and detailed post.

    Many thanks.


    One farm shop is attached to a farm & the F&V is cheap & extremely fresh.

    I use my freezer a lot.
    Pearl barley helps to bulk soups & stews out & it is cheap.
    Try to be a rainbow in someone's cloud.
  • CH27
    CH27 Posts: 5,531 Forumite
    I also bake a couple times a week & it saves me lots on shop bought cakes & biscuits.

    I find it cheaper to shop in winter than summer as we eat lots of soups & stews in winter which use much cheaper cuts of meat.
    Jacket potatos are really cheap & filling.
    Try to be a rainbow in someone's cloud.
  • VfM4meplse
    VfM4meplse Posts: 34,269 Forumite
    Combo Breaker First Post I've been Money Tipped!
    oldtractor wrote: »
    lots of pulses and lentils home made bread adn home grown fruit and veg.

    I couldn't agree more! If you made vegan Chinese / Indian main meals (curries rather than fried food) you'd be healthy and a bit wealthier. I buy myself lots of non-food luxuries, but take a fierce pride in eating as little as possible and not spending outrageous sums in this area. That means no processed food, if I want something in particular, I will cook it from scratch
    m33r4 wrote: »
    2 litre oil (lasts me 2-3 weeks depending on how often I fry) = nearly £4 .
    I am just getting to the end of a 1.5L bottle of oil, which has been stored carefully since I opened it in 2004!

    "No man is worth, crawling on the earth"- adapted from Bob Crewe and Bob Gaudio

    Hope is not a strategy :D...A child is for life, not just 18 years....Don't get me started on the NHS, because you won't win...I love chaz-ing!
  • floss2
    floss2 Posts: 8,030 Forumite
    Don't forget that not everyone has access or transport to a good cheap local farm shop / greengrocer / butcher / asian food store, or even has the time to get to these places if within reasonable travelling distance due to work & family committments.

    OP, I agree with Ubamother's suggestion of gradually reducing your budget. This can be done by slowly and increasingly bulking out your meat meals with pulses or oats and filling up your family with wholesome bars or cakes or puddings. If you have teens, they are probably a bottomless pit for carbs, so a wodge of h/m cake or fruit crumble or cobbler & custard (one of the 5 a day ;)) will fill any gaps.

    I can't remember which value supermarket sell f/r eggs a a good price, I'm sure someone will help out there...flour can be bought in bulk (needs to be frozen for a week before storing to deter weevils) as can rice, look at the offers on pasta in the supermarkets, and shop at your nearest market when you can for veg to make pasta sauces to freeze.

    Do you have any allotments near you? If so, get your name down for one - low-cost fruit & veg and lots of fresh air & exercise to keep the family fit while saving money :)
  • TinyToes
    TinyToes Posts: 150 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    i usually do my main shop at asda, so i write my list, go online and write down what i need, the price and also the weight/volume etc, i then go to lidl and see what i can pick up there, cereal, veg, flour etc. its amazing how you think oh thats just as cheap at asda etc but your actually getting more weight in lidl and slightly cheaper. i save a good £30 a month at least by doing this. try own brands. DH doesnt like diluting or fizzy juice but loves ribena which is expensive, i asked him to try lidl high juice at 99p a bottle and he says it tastes the same. it is deffo possible to eat for £50 a week, and decent meals, we eat better now i meal plan and cook from scratch. fresh bread daily too.
  • CFC
    CFC Posts: 3,119 Forumite
    edited 13 July 2011 at 12:50AM
    My shopping list - enough for two adults and probably a child too (we do tend to throw a bit away). I shop at Lidl. I've gone off cooking and I want to walk the dog when I get in at night so a lot of it is quick dinners.

    Brekkie - porridge. Husband has oats and eats his at home, I take instant oats from tesco (£1 a box) and just add hot water when I get to work.

    Lunch - fruit salad. Mix of whatever fresh fruit is on offer and canned fruit. Husband also takes an own brand cola drink and 2 cereal bars.

    Example week's dinners

    Monday - Lidl;s own fresh ravioli type thing (about 69p a packet, we use 2 packets) with a Pasta Master jar of sauce (18p!)
    Tuesday - £2.65 for 4 chicken portions, turned into a curry with rice. I forgot to add potatoes, normally this could be turned into a chicken and potatoe curry and do two days.
    Wed - potatoe salad, quiche, normal salad stuff and fresh beetroot. Fresh cooked baguette each (39p for 2, vacuum packed) - quiche is about £1, Lidl salad stuff is cheap and I'm addicted to their potato salad (£1.76) which will do 2 people for 2 days easy.
    Thurs - potatoe salad, scotch eggs, normal salad stuff, fresh beetroot. Fresh cooked baguette each
    Fri - Chili con carne, jar of chili sauce (£1) tin of kidney beans (40p), Lidl mince (2.30) and rice. This would also make a meal for the next day with a bit of veg added and I do this if we have it at the start of the week.
    Saturday - splash out, often a home made pizza, sometimes a bought one. Bought one this week. Home made pizza is good, 2 huge pizzas cost about £4.
    Sunday - Egg sausage and chips. (Oven chips.)

    We don't normally bother with lunch on Saturdays or Sundays, if we do it's just a sandwich as the only day I will ever buy a loaf of bread is when I actually do the shopping. We waste it otherwise as all of our meals are planned out.

    We are not great fish eaters as husband is not keen but Tesco do a lovely cheap pouting and also we have smoked mackerel on occasion. Odd tin of tuna in a tuna sandwich.

    We do buy snacks on occasion but I try to limit them to weekends. Also purchase 2 Tropicana cartons of fruit juice for me, 2 bottles of energy drink (own brand) for husband, and 2 bottles of real coke. I don't buy puddings but usually buy some ice cream as a weekend treat.

    I only drink real coffee, I buy a double pack every 2 weeks. We only use about 4 pints of milk a week.

    I find it averages out between £35 and £50 a week, dependent on what store cupboard stuff I need to top up with. This budget also includes all cleaning materials. This week I spent £50 and that includes chicken for the dog (Lidl chicken thighs, sometimes I curry them for us) and cider for the husband. Also includes frozen spiced chicken thighs for the freezer for future reference. This week was an expensive week.

    Husband is six foot four and can eat for Britain so they are pretty generous portions!

    Sadly it doesn't cover my husband sneaking into tesco on the way home from work for a Red bull and a packet of pringles or popcorn - he's a menace! ;)
  • suzybloo
    suzybloo Posts: 1,104 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker I've been Money Tipped!
    Reducing your budget will take time and some effort, but given patience and a few weeks you will manage. To start with I used to try and make it a game so I didnt get fed up. I split my budget up and it was like this: Meat £15, fruit and veg £7, Cleaning/toiletries stuff £8 (some weeks less - but would add any left out of this budget to the general shop), general £15 - bread, biscuits, tins etc. ANything I had left over out of the total budget I would put in a money tin - even if it was just 50p, and this would go to buying a store cupboard item for my winter box. Try to eek meals out with a bit more veg, make HM soups, bake as much as you can, and shop around.
    For instance I would use local butchers as you dont have to buy 500g mince if all you want is 300g, sausages you can buy 7 - you dont need 10 or 12 size packs etc. I would also say meal plan as much as possible, once you have your meal plan go through your cupboards and then make up your shopping list, no point in buying ingredients you have already got and also cuts down the chances of you running out to the local corner shop for an ingredient then impulse buying other things you dont need!
    Every days a School day!
  • anguk
    anguk Posts: 3,412 Forumite
    edited 13 July 2011 at 7:54AM
    CH27 I wish I lived near your farm shop, it's so much cheaper than my local one. Mine charges:

    1 chicken - at least £8 for a medium size
    1 gammon joint - at least £10
    3 sausages - about £3 (I only get them for DH, they are big though 1 would do a meal)

    It would cost me more than double than you pay to buy my meat from there so it's now a treat to go to the farm shop. The veg is very expensive too. Sadly all the farm shops near me have become upmarket & "posh" with a trendy coffee shop attached and they charge premium rates now. :(

    I get my fruit & veg from the market, on Saturday I got:

    2 broccolli stalks
    lots of carrots (we snack on them)
    1 iceburg lettuce
    some new potatoes
    4 peaches
    7 apples
    2 melons

    it cost £8 and the apples, potatoes & broccolli have all been eaten so I need to buy more. I reckon I spend at least £20 just on fruit & veg each week for 3 of us.

    floss2 I think it's Morrisons who have the free-range value eggs.
    Dum Spiro Spero
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