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How do you eat healthly on £50 a week?

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  • CH27
    CH27 Posts: 5,531 Forumite
    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.

    The chickens are larger than supermarket ones.

    Sunday hubby & son have a leg each & I have a some breast
    Monday I use one breast & make into into a pasta sauce with lots of veg
    Tuesday I use the other breast for something like chicken casserole with veg.
    I use the wings & carcass & the bits of dark meat for soups & stews.

    The sausages are big fat things.

    I think it's all about portion control & appetite.
    Try to be a rainbow in someone's cloud.
  • tessie_bear
    tessie_bear Posts: 4,898 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post Mortgage-free Glee!
    um thats interesting how u make a chicken stretch....my best with a chicken for 4 of us is a roast chicken dinner and a chicken pie for 4 and then stock with the bones and scraps...i dont think i could make 1 breast feed 4 of us even with veg....we must be greedy
    onwards and upwards
  • cdodd
    cdodd Posts: 638 Forumite
    i think the best way to stretch meat is portion control I always weigh meat and allow 100g per adult and 50g each for the kids (aged 5 & 8). This stemed from dyas when I was watching weight and has stuck. Same for cereal look on the back of the packed and weigh out their recommened portion amount.
  • lostinrates
    lostinrates Posts: 55,283 Forumite
    I've been Money Tipped!
    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.

    soup you really need just the carcass and the bits hanging on to it.

    6 sausages wouldn't feed four around my table whole (I think two each is a fair amount, and at 12 and ten I'd give kids the same meat portion). BUT sliced and used with tomatoes and pasta or in a risotto one each is MORE than enough. :) two would be ok, but less generous. So, in your shoes I'd buy enough sausages for a meal and use the end of the pack in a pasta sauce/risotto or similar.

    For a chicken meal, I'd serve a ''big eater'' a large part of one breast, or a leg and thigh. I'd eat a leg, a thigh or about half a thinly carved breast. A roast is so easily well augmented by veg, stuffing and potatos IMO the ''bulk'' of a meal is easy to pad out and calorifically, with roast potatos, stuffing and gravy its hard not to over eat anyway! Similar to the sausages, the slicings left of breast would go into a meal...the carcass the soup.
  • rozmister
    rozmister Posts: 675 Forumite
    edited 13 July 2011 at 3:20PM
    I too am trying to reduce my grocery bill (only 1 of me though except when the boy comes for tea). My biggest downfall is not eating enough meat/buying meat one pack at a time (e.g. stir fry pork) and not using offers so today I decided to buy meat/fish for the freezer at the start of the month and eek it out.

    Today I bought:

    2 x Sainsbury's Chicken Breast Pieces - £5 (about 12 pieces altogether)
    1 x Sainsbury's Basic Fish Fillets - £2 (maybe 5 or 6 in there)
    1 x Pork Escalopes - 2 for £5 with Pork below (4 escalopes)
    1 x BGTY Pork Mince - 2 for £5 with Pork above (will make 4 or 5 portions depending on how hungry I am).

    So that's 25 - 27 portions of meat & fish for £12 (£3 per week). Obviously you'd need more so it would cost more but I think £3 pppw for meat & fish is very reasonable! Plus your little one won't need an adult size portion!

    With my meat/fish buys I intend to make:
    • Chicken Curry with brown rice
    • Pesto & tomato chicken with brown rice
    • Chicken & stuffing roast
    • Mango chicken with spiced brown rice
    • Chicken stir fry
    • Armenian pork with brown rice
    • Honey & mustard pork
    • Satay pork
    • Homemade fish fingers
    • Fish Pie
    • HM Breaded fish fillet
    • Fish Pie fillets (fish fillet with white sauce + filo pastry on top as I have filo in the freezer)
    • 4 - 5 mini meat loaves using my pork mince (probably 5 with all the bumphing out stuff you put in meat loaf)

    I find the most important thing with buying unexciting meat & fish is to jazz it up. If you make a nice dressing/sauce/seasoning to put on it suddenly it seems a whole lot tastier. The Basics fish fillets are Pollock which I find a bit bland but I find hiding it in something else helps with that! I also always eat brown rice because I find it to be much more filling than white rice and it's better for your insides!

    I can't offer much help on lunches as I generally just eat salad or toast and for breakfast I either have weighed out cereal or fruit & yoghurt (expensive but my favourite) but I just wanted to show that meat & fish don't have to be an expensive choice & you don't have to give them up to save the pennies.
  • 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.


    300g of pasta for one person is a LOT ;) I love yummy big portions hence sweating it about fitting into my dress for our summer ball lol but even I would struggle to finish on 300g. :p
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  • 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)


    I cook a version of this and its super yummy.

    Value pasta boiling away. I allow 375g for 2 adults and 2 teens.

    Fry an onion in a pan until gently browned add some bacon pieces or other such meat. Sometimes some salami. Add a tin of toms and a a bit of easy garlic. Bubble away for a little, add some herbs, I usually have to rely on dry as its a nightmare getting them here ( I really must try and grow some)

    Drain pasta, mix in the tomato sauce, stir well.

    Serve and a little of grated cheese on top! Its a fave in this house and so easy and cheap! Going to give your version a try next week I think. Thanks!
    Save 8k in 2013: Member #100
    £450 / £8000
  • maman
    maman Posts: 28,566 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post
    anguk wrote: »
    floss2 I think it's Morrisons who have the free-range value eggs.

    I've seen cheapish free rage eggs in Asda, Iceland, Lidl and Aldi although I'm not sure if they always have them.


    On the stretching meat question, I have a few ideas beyond the lentils/oats/veg in bolognese. If you think of the amount of meat you'd get in a restaurant where portion control means profit then you can get some tips from there.

    For a roast, like chicken, then make sure you've got yorkshires, stuffing balls and plenty of roast potatoes plus the other veg and serve bread on the side if necessary to mop up juices/gravy.

    For sausages, then it will depend on the meal you're cooking. Basic sausage and chips/mash can look a bit mean with less than two sausages each. Try putting them in a sausage casserole with a tin of beans and other veg and serve with a heap of pasta. I can do 3 sausages between 2 of us (cut into meatball size pieces) and feel full after.

    For stir-fry, I do the tiniest ever bit of meat for 2 of us: steak about the size of a large matchbox or leftovers from a roast. I freeze the steak in tiny portions then cut it really thin from almost frozen. I do such an enormous heap of veg and rice/noodles no-one ever complains about the quantity of meat.

    DH and I would prefer large mains to puddings but when the children were at home I often made sponge/suet pudding in microwave to fill them up.
  • CH27
    CH27 Posts: 5,531 Forumite
    I cook a version of this and its super yummy.

    Value pasta boiling away. I allow 375g for 2 adults and 2 teens.

    Fry an onion in a pan until gently browned add some bacon pieces or other such meat. Sometimes some salami. Add a tin of toms and a a bit of easy garlic. Bubble away for a little, add some herbs, I usually have to rely on dry as its a nightmare getting them here ( I really must try and grow some)

    Drain pasta, mix in the tomato sauce, stir well.

    Serve and a little of grated cheese on top! Its a fave in this house and so easy and cheap! Going to give your version a try next week I think. Thanks!

    And i'm going to try yours:D Thanks.
    Try to be a rainbow in someone's cloud.
  • I do think a lot of it depends on where you live, and how much time you have to shop around. For example, a chicken from my local butchers is £13 and there isn't another one for miles. However, the local frech fruit and veg from the greengrocers are about half the price of the supermarket and much tastier too.

    So I save money on fruit and veg but spend a lot on meat if i get it from the butcher....I have mixed feelings about supermarket meat but often have to resort to it as I simly cannot afford £13 a chicken, £5 per 500g mince beef, £5 a pack of bacon etc.

    So for me and other half...my overall shopping bill (including cleaning products, laundry products and some toiletries)is between £60-£70 a week. However my OH is a meat lover so we do eat it often and I do get some of it from my expensive butchers. I think if i had a farm shop near here that did deals as good as some of the ones you guys have it would be less than £50!
    :cool:"More people would learn from their mistakes if they weren't so busy denying them." - Harold J. Smith:cool:
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