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How do you eat healthly on £50 a week?

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  • I have a husband and two growing boys to feed and I find the key thing is streeeeeetching the meat and other expensive ingredients so that they go further (plus of course buying them reduced so they are cheaper in the first place!). Yes, in an ideal world we would eat a whole roast chicken between us in one meal, but it's possible to make it last for 3. For the roast, we fill up with lots of the cheaper items - roast potatoes, yorkshires, veg - and have got used to having smaller portions of meat as part of the meal rather than a great big chunk of it. The second meal will be something like risotto or jambalaya and again, lots of cheaper ingredients (frozen veg, rice) to bulk it out. You don't get a lot of chicken in this second meal so it's more of a garnish to add flavour. but makes the meal nicer than just a pea risotto or whatever without the chicken! Finally the bones for soup with lots of cheap seasonal veg, can make a huge panful and all eat loads.

    Similarly, there's no way we'd eat one sausage each or 1/2 chicken breast each if they were just grilled and served up as they are, but chopped and served in a sauce with pasta/rice/etc and lots of veg makes a hearty and filling meal.

    You can bulk your meals out plenty using veg and pulses without them becoming unhealthy (as per the OP). Obviously these extras don't cost nothing but they do help when you are trying to stretch the expensive stuff.
    That man is richest whose pleasures are cheapest. Henry David Thoreau
  • DebtFree2012
    DebtFree2012 Posts: 3,573 Forumite
    I find now that I am meal planning, cooking from scratch and being aware of what I buy - that we're alot healthier. before I wouldn't have a clue about what we consume as it'd be a meal to do in oven and shove on plate - ergh.

    However now, yes we have treats and such, but our meals are planned and bulked out with very good for you seasonal veg :)

    My grocery bill's halved and the month's where i have extra time it's reduced even futher.

    xx
    Debt - CCV £3792
    CCB £1383 (took a hit for a holiday)

    Loan 1 £1787
    Loan 2 £1683
    Total £8601 Was £39302
  • SALOPMAN
    SALOPMAN Posts: 521 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker First Post PPI Party Pooper
    I also find if I make like a veg stew in the slow cooker then on day 2 or 3 whatever is left (if u make a huge potful there will be some left!) you can then blitz the rest down and add some more stock and make a nice soup out of it - 3 meals in one go!!:j
    Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness. :beer:
  • valk_scot
    valk_scot Posts: 5,290 Forumite
    Combo Breaker First Post
    I prefer free range chickens when I can get to the farm shop (they do two big ones for £10) but otherwise, I've discovered Tesco sell four medium chickens for £12. Given that four chicken breasts cost £6 in the same meat aisle it's worth half an hour of my time to cut up three of them and put the fourth in the freezer for a roast. The chicken breasts I got are actually quite a bit bigger than the ones in the pre-packs, probably because I didn't take the "mini-fillets"/supremes off, so I froze them in pairs and two breasts will make one meal for four of us. I diced down all the thigh and drumstick meat plus the trimmings from the carcassand got well over two pounds of of meat for curry etc (thigh meat is far more sucessful in casseroles and curries. Breast meat can go very dry.) so that's another 2-3 meals, depending on what I do with it. The wings got added to the bag of wings in the freezer. I'll make BBQ wings for the next buffet meal or picnic. Finally I put all three carcasses into the stock pot and made a big bowl of very concentrated stock, whick will be used for soup and rissotto. The cats get the chicken scraps from the stock pot.

    The whole chicken I froze will also make one roast dinner, a stir fry and soup stock.

    So four chickens for £12 make eight meals for 4 people, with a good portion of meat each. Plus four pots of soup, chicken wings as an extra meal somewhere and scraps for a couple of days for two cats. I could stretch it more but I'm very concious of nutrition and portion sizes, especially for the kids. But it's still so, so much cheaper than buying eight chicken breasts for £12 and using them in 2-3 meals which is what some folk seem to do. One lady on one of the other boards said her OH insisted on two whole chicken breasts for his meat portion, and that was just a mid week meal!
    Val.
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