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  • FIRST POST
    daysieblue
    Is OS *REALLY* cheaper?
    • #1
    • 12th Apr 07, 11:44 AM
    Is OS *REALLY* cheaper? 12th Apr 07 at 11:44 AM
    Hi

    Throwing a huge cat amongst the pigeons here, is it really cheaper to feed your family OS?

    DH has this mind block that if you can buy a ready meal for 99p, how does it work out cheaper to buy all the ingredients, and then spend the time and energy cooking? If anyone has any comparisons, OS vs RM, I would be really grateful. This is starting to turn into a bit of a deadlock for us, and I would love to be able to prove him wrong!!!

    thanks

    db xx


    Last edited by MSE Martin; 17-04-2007 at 5:30 PM.
    Official DFW Nerd Club - Member no. 360
    Thrilled to be member 21 of the "DMP mutal support club" LBM - 21.03.05
    Proud To Be Dealing With My Debts

    Trying SO hard to be O/S
Page 1
    • Churchmouse
    • By Churchmouse 12th Apr 07, 11:54 AM
    • 2,974 Posts
    • 20,708 Thanks
    Churchmouse
    • #2
    • 12th Apr 07, 11:54 AM
    • #2
    • 12th Apr 07, 11:54 AM
    daysieblue (love that username!) I'm no expert on costings and I'm sure there'll be better answers along soon. But he should make sure he's comparing like with like. Yes maybe he can get a RM for 99p, but what's in it? Mostly "recovered" meat, and lots of chemicals!! ( Now here I must declare that I actually like some M&S ready meals, the expensive one's without an additive in sight ) Anything you make at home will be good quality ingredients, freshly prepared and no nasty preservatives. So you need to compare home-made with good quality RM and then you're definitely quids in

    Does he think there's no difference between a mini and a ferrari except one's cheaper than the other? (no offence intended, trying to illustrate he'll get ferrari quality at mini prices )
    CMx
    Last edited by Churchmouse; 12-04-2007 at 12:35 PM.
    You never get a second chance to make a first impression.
  • Plum Pie
    • #3
    • 12th Apr 07, 11:54 AM
    • #3
    • 12th Apr 07, 11:54 AM
    If you're very well paid, buying a 99p readymeal may well be cheaper than spending time cooking from scratch. In my limited experience however, rich people generally eat out more and buy expensive ready meals when they do buy them.

    Cheap readymeals have cheap ingredients and more E numbers. For many OSers, this is a no-no and for them (this includes me!), OS is also a quality-of-life issue.

    There have numerous threads on eating well for 50p to £1 per head for a main meal.

    In a thread on biscuits or baking, someone commented that you should really compare homemade goods with premium supermarket products (Finest, Taste the Diff etc) because that's what you end up with when you DIY. You don't end up with value/smart-price* standard food.

    *In my experience, some economy ingredients are good but no economy prepared foods are good!

    • Uniscots97
    • By Uniscots97 12th Apr 07, 11:58 AM
    • 6,423 Posts
    • 23,806 Thanks
    Uniscots97
    • #4
    • 12th Apr 07, 11:58 AM
    • #4
    • 12th Apr 07, 11:58 AM
    I love flapjacks and I make my own so thought I'd compare it see how it works out (I love a challenge ):

    Prices all from Tesco price checker

    Bought:

    Flapjacks 99p (6)


    Home made:

    butter 53p
    sugar 78p
    golden syrup 77p
    porridge oats 61p

    total: 2.69

    roughly using the recipe on here for flapjacks I could make at least 60 large flapjacks (about same size if not bigger than ones bought in supermarket).



    Bought price per flapjack = 16.5p

    Homemade (OS) price per flapjack = 4.5p

    OS wins.



    Think that shows that for flapjacks you're better off making them and the ones I make are probably larger than the bought ones (and nicer!!!!).
    CC2 = 8687.86 (10000 )CC1 = 0 (9983 ); Reusing shopping bags savings =5.80 vs spent 1.05.Wine is like opera. You can enjoy it even if you don't understand it and too much can give you a headache the next day J
    • sammy_kaye18
    • By sammy_kaye18 12th Apr 07, 12:06 PM
    • 3,064 Posts
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    sammy_kaye18
    • #5
    • 12th Apr 07, 12:06 PM
    • #5
    • 12th Apr 07, 12:06 PM
    hi Hun

    Do you have children?? (i did this with my 3 year old to prove my bf wrong about OS ways)

    Bf loves his ready meals and doesnt see the point of slaving away cooking

    I brought a horrid cheap ready meal of bangers and mash (think their was gravy too) and basically made the same but a homemade OS version. I nuked the ready meal in the microwave for the said time and had the HM version served up ready for me and our 3 year old (there was a plate for bf but he didnt know that at the time) . SO when i brought mine and bens in my bf was sat there licking his lips saying how good it looked and smelled, then i served him up his RM junk. He wasnt so impressed.

    He said it looked revolting, tasted bland and he just in general couldnt eat it, so i gave him the HM version and he wolfed the lot down. he hasnt whinged at me since.

    Also i just got my sister into the swing of making HM baby food a few months ago. I told her to read a powder baby food mix box and tell me what everythign was - she got a few things but couldnt say what everything was so i showed her how to make her own baby food so she knows every ingredient and shes much happier now. Plus her little girl (17 months) has less medical issues now - her eczema was playing hell, she was constipated all the time, always had colds or flu but since shes been having HM baby food she has alot more fruit and veg and is a much happier baby without any of the before mentioned medical issues.
    • rumblytum
    • By rumblytum 12th Apr 07, 12:06 PM
    • 472 Posts
    • 3,575 Thanks
    rumblytum
    • #6
    • 12th Apr 07, 12:06 PM
    • #6
    • 12th Apr 07, 12:06 PM
    Hi there,

    I can't do a proper costings comparison, but I can tell you that my average shopping bill literally HALVED when I learnt to cook from scratch.

    It also depends how much seasonal stuff you want to buy - if you buy asparagus, duck, strawberries etc etc out of season then they will be more expensive. I saved a lot by changing our habits, and my OH and DD came on board straight away, because the food was SO much tastier!

    rumbly
  • tr3mor
    • #7
    • 12th Apr 07, 12:09 PM
    • #7
    • 12th Apr 07, 12:09 PM
    Maybe you couldn't make a single portion ready made lasagne for 99p, but you could make 6 portions of home made lasagne for a lot less than £6!

    Add that to the fact that ready made stuff, especially the cheap variety, is full of crap - I know which I'd rather eat!
    • Churchmouse
    • By Churchmouse 12th Apr 07, 12:12 PM
    • 2,974 Posts
    • 20,708 Thanks
    Churchmouse
    • #8
    • 12th Apr 07, 12:12 PM
    • #8
    • 12th Apr 07, 12:12 PM
    tr3mor has made a very valid point. Single portions and RM (well cheapo ones) are going to seem better value. As soon as you're doing more, HM comes cheaper and of course is much better quality.
    You never get a second chance to make a first impression.
    • newlywed
    • By newlywed 12th Apr 07, 12:14 PM
    • 7,473 Posts
    • 24,341 Thanks
    newlywed
    • #9
    • 12th Apr 07, 12:14 PM
    • #9
    • 12th Apr 07, 12:14 PM
    My meal choice has increased.

    If you compare the number of "choices" of ready meals in a smaller supermarket and then think of the number of recipes you can easily cook from scratch or the number of recipes you have in your books/online. There isn't really a comparison.

    Plus all the additives as has been said.
    Grocery Challenge August = 300 hopefully!
    DMP support thread (member #32)

    • pudding06
    • By pudding06 12th Apr 07, 12:14 PM
    • 616 Posts
    • 514 Thanks
    pudding06
    interesting thought.

    I do think it depends how many you are catering for and how big their appetites are, and how well you shop and plan meals etc.

    In my case I am cooking for 6 adults (inc 5 males with huge appetites) and quite frankly I would have to buy them each at least 2 ready meals and pad them out with veg etc to make them filling enough.

    that would make them approx £11 for one meal!!! ( maybe only £10 if OH has only one - but then he'd wonder what he'd done to upset me lol)

    If theres only 2 people and you are really pushed for time then maybe its debatable ie time = money too.

    my budget for the week would have to be £77 just for main meals!!!

    for 2 that would only be perhaps £14 - £28 per week depending on appetites/portions sizes.

    With o/s you would batch cook, and freeze for another day so you could for instance cook one months bolognese sauce in one go and freeze the other portions for ready meals later. that would make it cost effective.

    I cook for 6 and quite often double cook for a lazy day later in the month.

    teaching my mohter to suck eggs again I see lol sorry you o/s's I was just putting my thoughts down on 'paper '

    pudds
    August 2009 grocery challenge 172.64/,,,,,

    no point in doing grocery challenges, have no money left over to eat :0/
    • Uniscots97
    • By Uniscots97 12th Apr 07, 12:15 PM
    • 6,423 Posts
    • 23,806 Thanks
    Uniscots97
    OS is going to be cheaper as long as you have a fridge, a freezer and lots of tupperware. I live by myself and I batch cook things and freeze the extra portions.
    CC2 = 8687.86 (10000 )CC1 = 0 (9983 ); Reusing shopping bags savings =5.80 vs spent 1.05.Wine is like opera. You can enjoy it even if you don't understand it and too much can give you a headache the next day J
    • Pink.
    • By Pink. 12th Apr 07, 12:17 PM
    • 17,431 Posts
    • 40,365 Thanks
    Pink.
    I think it is cheaper.....though I'm feeding a hungry family of five and buying five ready made lasagnes/cottage pies etc wouldn't fill us and would cost much more than it does to make a large one for all of us.

    For me OS cooking is more about quality rather than price. Home made food tastes so much better and as previous posters have mentioned you know exactly what's gone into it.

    These older threads might help:

    is home baking cheaper?

    Is Old style really money saving?

    Pink
    • catkins
    • By catkins 12th Apr 07, 12:19 PM
    • 5,550 Posts
    • 11,839 Thanks
    catkins
    Hi, I don't buy ready meals because I like cooking and like to know exactly what I am eating but I must ask what sort of ready meal can you get for 99p? Is that for one person? The few times I glance at any ready meals in the supermarket I am always amazed at how much they seem to cost for what looks like such a small portion.

    I just don't like the idea of my food containing loads of salt, sugar, e numbers, additives etc. Maybe not all home cooking is cheaper but it certainly is healthier.
    • Uniscots97
    • By Uniscots97 12th Apr 07, 12:28 PM
    • 6,423 Posts
    • 23,806 Thanks
    Uniscots97
    OS lasagne vs. Ready meal lasagne
    Ready Meal Lasagne 99p


    OS lasagne (my recipe):

    beef mince (1Kg) = 2.00
    lasagne sheets x 2 = 0.54
    tin of tomatoes x 2 = 0.38
    tbsp of herbs = 0.05
    glug of worcestershire sauce = 0.05

    white sauce
    flour = 0.05 (1 kg bag is 27p)
    butter = 0.15
    milk = 0.20
    little grated cheese = 0.10

    total = 3.52

    This normally makes 8 'man' sized lasagnes (i.e larger than the standard 400-500g ready meal) or 11 standard size (roughly same size as ready meal). Very difficult to judge item where I'm not using the whole thing what the cost is so its a best estimate.

    All prices from Tesco price checker.


    Ready meal lasagne 99p per portion

    Homemade 'OS' lasagne 32p per portion (assuming same size as ready meal as portion guide)


    OS wins again and no additives in sight.
    CC2 = 8687.86 (10000 )CC1 = 0 (9983 ); Reusing shopping bags savings =5.80 vs spent 1.05.Wine is like opera. You can enjoy it even if you don't understand it and too much can give you a headache the next day J
    • pudding06
    • By pudding06 12th Apr 07, 12:48 PM
    • 616 Posts
    • 514 Thanks
    pudding06
    Lat nights tea quiche lorraine

    pastry was shop bought ( not very o/s but I'm dreadful at pastry in our hot kitchen) 79p

    4 free range eggs 59p
    3 rashers outdoor reared smoked bacon £1.50
    organic mature cheddar cheese ( red price £2 for 400g) approx 100g 52.5p
    skimmed milk approx 250 mls aldi's own 9.5p
    2 small onions approx 15p
    total £3.65

    with leftover pastry 21yrs old son made 1 dozen jam tarts for afters lol

    12 teaspoons jam ( organic strawberry and blackurrant ones natch) ???

    2 quiches and 12 jam tarts for about £4 quid. - added potatoes ( chipped)

    you can probably buy it cheaper in a shop (but it wouldnt be organic/free range stuff0

    but the remarks from the lads about how fantastic it was that makes it all worthwhile. lol

    pudds
    August 2009 grocery challenge 172.64/,,,,,

    no point in doing grocery challenges, have no money left over to eat :0/
    • Bargain Rzl
    • By Bargain Rzl 12th Apr 07, 12:48 PM
    • 6,174 Posts
    • 21,392 Thanks
    Bargain Rzl
    I can't say the difference in cost is huge for me, because I was always a cheapskate but now I'm a better class of cheapskate

    When I used to buy ready meals I only ever used to buy them when reduced to clear, so they never cost all that much. Prices ranged from 10p or 20p (if I struck really lucky at closing time at Sainsbury's Local!) to about £1.50. I used to spend £15-£20 in total per week on food, that's cooking mainly for one, not including wine.

    When I first started making an effort with OS cooking, it became VERY cheap as instead of the cheapie reduced ready meals I would buy cheapie reduced meat, supermarket veg and "value" products. I was probably feeding myself for £5-£10 a week on average.

    However I feel I now have a much better balance. I am back to spending about £15-£20 a week, but that includes some top quality meat and cheese from Borough Market and independent suppliers; I buy veg in bulk, very cheaply from local shops and markets, I eat far more veg and less meat than I used to. I try to buy only organic eggs and milk; I never buy "value" meat, and although I do still keep my eye open for supermarket reduction bargains, I generally only buy fresh meat reduced from the premium ranges (Finest, Taste the Difference etc).

    So it's swings and roundabouts cost-wise but the end result is a much better quality of diet.
    Operation Get in Shape
    MURPHY'S NO MORE PIES CLUB MEMBER #124
  • helping_hubby
    Here's my example:

    We used to have 1 large pizza express pizza and garlic ciabatta doughballs. This cost £4.35 + £1.49 = £5.84 for 2 people.

    Now I make homemade pizza, and a garlic bread...
    1 bag of strong flour £0.49 (does 3 bases), so 16.3p
    Yeast - 65p sachet does about 24 bread/pizza so 2.7p
    Olive Oil £2.99 for 500ml (1 tablespoon) so pennys
    Salt, sugar, milk (negligible)
    1 pack of mozzarella at 63p
    30pence worth of mushrooms
    The tomato sauce - I save small pots from when I make my huge batch of tomato sauce for pasta (so pennys really).
    Ready to bake baguette - 38p, but 2 in a pack, so 19p
    Put my own garlic butter on (garlic = 20p, butter = 53p) - so, what another 10p maybe 15p max?

    Thinks that's everything
    So in total:
    £1.46 for mushroom pizza for 2 and a garlic bread. And even if I add on 50p for good measure for all the negligibles, that's still less than £2

    //edit:
    OK so you could probably get a value pizza for less than that, but surely the above is healthier and has less additives? Either way it's saving me as the Pizza Express pizzas were the only home baked pizza I would eat before.

  • daysieblue
    Thanks everyone, you have more than proved my point All I need to do now is print this off and stick it under DH's nose and see if he can digest it!

    db xx
    Last edited by daysieblue; 12-04-2007 at 12:56 PM.
    Official DFW Nerd Club - Member no. 360
    Thrilled to be member 21 of the "DMP mutal support club" LBM - 21.03.05
    Proud To Be Dealing With My Debts

    Trying SO hard to be O/S
  • helping_hubby
    Lat nights tea quiche lorraine

    pastry was shop bought ( not very o/s but I'm dreadful at pastry in our hot kitchen) 79p

    4 free range eggs 59p
    3 rashers outdoor reared smoked bacon 1.50
    organic mature cheddar cheese ( red price 2 for 400g) approx 100g 52.5p
    skimmed milk approx 250 mls aldi's own 9.5p
    2 small onions approx 15p
    total 3.65

    with leftover pastry 21yrs old son made 1 dozen jam tarts for afters lol

    12 teaspoons jam ( organic strawberry and blackurrant ones natch) ???

    2 quiches and 12 jam tarts for about 4 quid. - added potatoes ( chipped)

    you can probably buy it cheaper in a shop (but it wouldnt be organic/free range stuff0

    but the remarks from the lads about how fantastic it was that makes it all worthwhile. lol

    pudds
    Originally posted by pudding06
    Mind me asking how long your quiche took in total (prep + cooking)? I made one a few weeks back, it wasn't too much of a success. Do you have a recipe for yours?

    • Uniscots97
    • By Uniscots97 12th Apr 07, 12:57 PM
    • 6,423 Posts
    • 23,806 Thanks
    Uniscots97
    Lat nights tea quiche lorraine

    pastry was shop bought ( not very o/s but I'm dreadful at pastry in our hot kitchen) 79p

    4 free range eggs 59p
    3 rashers outdoor reared smoked bacon 1.50
    organic mature cheddar cheese ( red price 2 for 400g) approx 100g 52.5p
    skimmed milk approx 250 mls aldi's own 9.5p
    2 small onions approx 15p
    total 3.65

    with leftover pastry 21yrs old son made 1 dozen jam tarts for afters lol

    12 teaspoons jam ( organic strawberry and blackurrant ones natch) ???

    2 quiches and 12 jam tarts for about 4 quid. - added potatoes ( chipped)

    you can probably buy it cheaper in a shop (but it wouldnt be organic/free range stuff0

    but the remarks from the lads about how fantastic it was that makes it all worthwhile. lol

    pudds
    Originally posted by pudding06
    Can I have your quiche recipe too please?
    CC2 = 8687.86 (10000 )CC1 = 0 (9983 ); Reusing shopping bags savings =5.80 vs spent 1.05.Wine is like opera. You can enjoy it even if you don't understand it and too much can give you a headache the next day J
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