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How do you eat healthly on £50 a week?

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  • CH27
    CH27 Posts: 5,531 Forumite
    anguk wrote: »
    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'm in the North West.
    Try to be a rainbow in someone's cloud.
  • lostinrates
    lostinrates Posts: 55,283 Forumite
    I've been Money Tipped!
    http://www.cheap-family-recipes.org.uk/

    have a look, site was set up by Weezl who posts on here a lot :D


    As a matter of interest has this ever been re priced to show recent food inflation?

    (not an attempt to knock a good piece of work and haven't clicked the link but visited in the past).



    OP, things that save me money include: my freezer. If it can't be eaten before it goes off its prepped and frozen. This included apples from the tree in the garden and whoopsied stuff.

    Meal planning: I make a ''flexible'' meal plan, based on what we have and what we need from shops. I find meal plans work best over roughly a ten day period. It allows leftovers to be incorporated, unexpected plans to be fitted in and makes sure it doesn't get too repetitive. Weekend to weekend for us risks becoming monotonous. When you are not used to meal planning it can take a long time. It becomes easier and quicker.

    Being genuinely interested in food. Weekly cycles of the same old favourites would bore us and I think we'd get expensive as we excused more frequent takeaways or meals out. Being interested in food and ingrediants means that, for example, the cheap but delicious new vegetable curry I made last week was exciting for us. Plans are determined mainly around whoopsied meat or food inseason (whether from the garden, foraging or the shops)

    Eating more vegetarian food. Meat is not a daily necessity but when we buy meat buying responsibly farmed meat is important. Any number of pasta sauces are meat free and take less time to complete than the pasta takes to cook. Its possible to get a good, cheap vegetarian pasta on the table in under ten minutes....but you might find it better to be slower: people can't get in the door, take shoes off and wash their hands etc as quickly as you can cook a simple pasta meal!


    Having the right snacks/meals for the moment. Right now our snacks are strawberries and gooseberries. They aren't free, we paid for the plants, but they just keep giving. As puddings the strawberries just keep giving: I try to change how I serve them all the time so that it doesn't get repetitive and the fresh raw ones retain the excitement. We ate scarily early blackberries this weekend. We like the value tortilla crisps (25 pence for a small sharing bag ample for tewo peope, great with houmous and crudite). Otherwise we don't buy much ''junk''. Wre have a last resort junk food cupboard where junk bought accumaltes for those times nothing else will do. And a baking cupboard. If you don't have milk chocolate in the house you don't eat it and thats 50p (or whatever)saved when you get the craving!


    Loving leftovers/odd meals. I live alone mon-fri and have been known to make some odd meals for myself. One of my favourites through colder months is to wildly over cater red cabbage for a sunday meal and eat left over red cabbage, for lunch, supper on Monday and Lunch on tuesday. If I had a child to cater for I wouldn't eat just red cabbage, :o but rather serve with sausages (always bought when whoopsied) and perhaps some mash. Left over curry is brilliant too. Steamed broccoli with oyster sauce is another favourite meal.

    greengrocer/markets. Veg fruit is cheaper but requires a frequent visit to use fresh. Finding one en route to somewhere you need to go regularly is key: spending extra petrol is counter productive. :)
  • Gigervamp
    Gigervamp Posts: 6,583 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker First Post
    m33r4 wrote: »
    2 litre oil (lasts me 2-3 weeks depending on how often I fry) = nearly £4 .

    :eek:

    I buy 1 litre bottles of olive oil and sunflower oil and they last about a month. I take it you're deep frying to get through that much? Have you tried oven cooking instead of frying?
  • quintwins
    quintwins Posts: 5,179 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    edited 13 July 2011 at 10:02AM
    m33r4 wrote: »
    A few questions please:
    How much do you spend on fresh fruit per week and are we talking just apples of other fruits too?
    an average week we buy apples, bananas, oranges, plums and at the moment grapes because there cheap
    The only veg you have are frozen carrots?
    no sorry all our veg is frozen except for carrots, we buy 2 bags of mixed, a bag of brocolli,sweetcorn,peas every 2weeks and we have a bag of spinage every month or so, we don't really buy salad as i'm the only one that will eat it
    Do you buy your meat from a halal shop as their prices are rock bottom or is this from a known supermarket?
    we buy a mixture of supermarket and the local butcher, mainly supermarket reductions
    3 large chickens for £5 = is that boiling chicken? Do the 3 chickens last 3meals?
    this is 3 large roasting chickens however we do live in the next town from a chicken processing factory so i do understand not everyone can get these cheap, and they each last 2 meals and maybe a few sandwichs
    Do you have a dessert after your meals - if so do you buy that or make it and if so have you counted the ingredients within your £50 weekly shopping?
    we have alot of yogurts for desert, or reduced/forgaed berries and icecream, or jelly, or angel delight
    What do you give your 3 kids for their packed lunches or do you pay for that separately in dinner money?
    this includes lunch for me and the 3 kids, we pay £4 to the nursery for snacks a week so thats gives the older 2 some fruit and toast/pancakes/muffins/yogurt in the mornings
    With regards to the 2 adults - do you buy your lunches daily?
    we don't buy lunches i make mine or have leftovers, hubby gets his supplied at work 5 days a week
    What is the chest freezer for - are you buying in bulk to make savings and are then splitting the big buy cost into weekly amounts to give a figure of £50 per week here?
    we use our freezer for all that frozen veg and reduced meats, also we buy reduced breads/muffins/pancakes/bagels and freeze them

    no i tend to go shopping weekly as we need milk anyway i just buy offers when i see them and freeze, some weeks i have to buy loads of veg but no meat or bread, it all depends what we have in, and i always stock up of tins when on offer

    Thanks.

    have replied in red
    DEC GC £463.67/£450
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  • quintwins
    quintwins Posts: 5,179 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Gigervamp wrote: »
    :eek:

    I buy 1 litre bottles of olive oil and sunflower oil and they last about a month. I take it you're deep frying to get through that much? Have you tried oven cooking instead of frying?

    i use about half a bottle of olive oil a month sometimes not even most of my food is oven cooked, even when i have a fry the only thing fried is my hubbys egg, but if i do change the oil in my chip pan were talking about £3-£4 thanksfully we don't use it much and it has a lid so only change it 3-4 times a year
    DEC GC £463.67/£450
    EF- £110/COLOR]/£1000
  • foxgloves
    foxgloves Posts: 11,094 Forumite
    First Post Name Dropper First Anniversary
    Neither of us are vegetarians but I do cook a fair amount of meat-free meals depending on what ingredients I can pick up for a good price. For example, at the moment, Aldi are selling tins of red kidney beans for 19p a can, so I have been having tuna & bean salads for lunch & making veggie chillies & curries. Lots of pulses are used in Indian cuisine.....I think red bean curry is called Rajma curry? I found a recipe online & made a big panful & not only was it very good, it freezes well too. Can also make bean burgers to serve with salads in rolls, and veggie fajhitas. All very tasty. In case anyone is thinking we live on red kidney beans, we really don't. I love cooking & make all sorts of things, but at this price, it seems worth making use of them. Nutritious, filling & cheap!
    "For each of our actions there are only consequences" (James Lovelock)"For in the true nature of things......every green tree is far more glorious than if it were made of gold & silver" (Martin Luther King Jnr)
  • CH27
    CH27 Posts: 5,531 Forumite
    300g pasta 32p
    1 value ball of mozarella chesse chopped 47p
    Large handful of frozen peas 15p
    3 rasher smoked bacon £1.50
    Fresh basil & oregano

    Cook the pasta & the peas.
    Grill the bacon until crispy. Cut up in small piece.
    Add to the drained pasta & stir in the diced mozarella.
    Add the herbs & serve.

    Done in 15 mins & costs £2.44 ( 0.81 per person)
    Try to be a rainbow in someone's cloud.
  • HappyMJ
    HappyMJ Posts: 21,115 Forumite
    Combo Breaker First Post
    CH27 wrote: »
    300g pasta 32p
    1 value ball of mozarella chesse chopped 47p
    Large handful of frozen peas 15p
    3 rasher smoked bacon £1.50
    Fresh basil & oregano

    Cook the pasta & the peas.
    Grill the bacon until crispy. Cut up in small piece.
    Add to the drained pasta & stir in the diced mozarella.
    Add the herbs & serve.

    Done in 15 mins & costs £2.44 ( 0.81 per person)
    For 4 people? That's only just enough for me. There is no way I could divide that by 4. I could possibly have a little left over for later but it wouldn't be much.
    :footie:
    :p Regular savers earn 6% interest (HSBC, First Direct, M&S) :p Loans cost 2.9% per year (Nationwide) = FREE money. :p
  • CH27
    CH27 Posts: 5,531 Forumite
    HappyMJ wrote: »
    For 4 people? That's only just enough for me. There is no way I could divide that by 4. I could possibly have a little left over for later but it wouldn't be much.

    3 people.
    100g of pasta each.
    The mozarealla melts is string so you don't need much.
    Try to be a rainbow in someone's cloud.
  • YORKSHIRELASS
    YORKSHIRELASS Posts: 6,294 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post
    CH27 wrote: »
    I go to the farm shop once every 4 weeks and buy

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

    This is what I struggle with. There is no way I could make a chicken last for 3 main meals + sandwiches + soup. It would have to be a chicken of Christmas turkey proportions!!! My hubby is as thin as a rake but has a tough manual job and eats like a horse. My kids are a bit older (10 and 12) and both skinny but they are always on the go and always hungry. A chicken just would not stretch that far, even served with loads of veg. Same with Sausages, 6 Sausages would just not feed 4 of us as a main meal.

    This is in no way a criticism, I admire anyone who can do it but I know half an hour later everyone would be looking for pudding or snacks in my house.
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