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    • JennyP
    • By JennyP 7th Feb 18, 8:59 AM
    • 931Posts
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    JennyP
    Really healthy eating on a budget
    • #1
    • 7th Feb 18, 8:59 AM
    Really healthy eating on a budget 7th Feb 18 at 8:59 AM
    I am simultaneously trying to spend less on groceries whilst eating more healthily. Not to lose weight (though would be nice) but because I get migraines and have quite a serious autoimmune problem.

    Eating healthily is expensive. For example, I can't eat normal stock cubes so have to buy kallo organic which are £1.60. I do have a mysupermarket alert set to make this cheaper.

    I've been told going gluten free would help but that makes everything more expensive. Trying specialist flours works out a lot more.

    Hubby is veggie though eating two portions of oily fish a week at my request.

    I have started meal planning recently and our food bills have gone up not down. Though admittedly we are having a bigger variety of foods and my cooking repertoire has got bigger.

    Take breakfast for example. I like toast and marmalade which is cheap but to be healthy make overnight oats with yoghurt and blueberries which works out a lot more.

    Eating veg or a salad lunchtime also works out more than having something on toast.

    Any ideas?
Page 2
    • tori.k
    • By tori.k 7th Feb 18, 11:44 AM
    • 3,186 Posts
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    tori.k
    [QUOTE=JennyP;73843519]We move to a house soon and will have quite a bit of land so I hope to grow some berries and veg too - though in the past, when I tried to grow veg, I spent more on compost and seeds etc than I saved on veg. I guess I have to do that carefully.
    /QUOTE]

    Gardening is horrible expensive , but it keeps me in a job so I shouldn't moan
    Keep the cost down grow only what you use that's expensive.
    I grow a lot of soft fruits, courgette, tomatoes herbs and salad greens and bits but don't give ground to things like carrots, onions and potatoes as they are cheap enough to buy in all year.
    I still have to buy in summer raspberries did well last year autumn did nothing but every little helps.
    Real seeds.co.uk is a great place for some interesting things they don't deal in F1 so you can self harvest your own maybe find a seedswap in your new area to keep cost down
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    • JennyP
    • By JennyP 7th Feb 18, 11:54 AM
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    JennyP
    That's a point. Soil is wrong for carrots anyhow here.
    But I like growing potatoes. My grandad was a potato farmer so I think it's in my genes. Herbs will be good. And I bet there is a seed swap. It's that kind of place.
    • suki1964
    • By suki1964 7th Feb 18, 12:45 PM
    • 11,101 Posts
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    suki1964
    I think your budget it really good tbh


    With the salads, defo think outside the box. Cabbage is versatile , can be used in a salad as well as cooked. I don't like veg tbh so I have to think outside the box a lot. It's salad tonight, the only traditional salad veg on my plate will be a beetroot. I'll make a slaw with the cabbage and carrots in the fridge, I'll chuck in some nuts, dried fruit, use some pickled walnuts, olives, roasted red peppers. It's salad is as much as I've not cooked anything

    Don't forget, sweet potatoes are a vegetable, not a potato

    Tinned tomatoes, I have down graded and buy the cheapest. That because I like really punchy flavours and the tomatoes are really only the sauce base so it don't matter if they are wishy washy. If I was eating them as they are, I'd go up the grade
    if you lend someone £20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it
    • phizzimum
    • By phizzimum 7th Feb 18, 3:13 PM
    • 1,697 Posts
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    phizzimum
    Hi Jenny

    Itís a challenge isnt it? Ive started making my own yoghurt using the slow cooker as the Bio stuff is expensive. I was buying Bircher museli and mixing it with oats but when Iíve used up what Iíve got I think Iíll just have oats and mix in some seeds. I top it with yoghurt and half a chopped apple or banana. I think thatís cheaper than even frozen fruit (unless itís foraged blackberries!)
    weaving through the chaos...
    • Lizabeth21
    • By Lizabeth21 7th Feb 18, 3:33 PM
    • 158 Posts
    • 186 Thanks
    Lizabeth21
    Stock is really easy to make yourself - you control whatís in it.
    I second the suggestion of veg and lentils -as soup or thicker as a casserole.
    You can also add spices from your cupboard to make the veg and lentils into curry or chilli.
    Veg is not that expensive if you try the non big name supermarkets- there are some good deals to be had.
    Rather than buying particular gluten free opt for things that are naturally gluten free.
    • joedenise
    • By joedenise 7th Feb 18, 3:41 PM
    • 5,176 Posts
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    joedenise
    I know you said you don't like porridge but I see you do overnight oats so obviously you can eat them like that. Have you tried baked oats - much nicer than overnight oats, IMO and much more filling too.

    Mix oats with a little sugar (optional); an egg & some yoghurt. Cook in oven for about 30 minutes at 200 degrees. I make them in muffin tins. You can also add flavourings if you want. My favourite flavouring is almond and then top the muffins with some flaked almonds before cooking. I add some chopped or frozen fruit and yoghurt on the side to have with it.

    Denise
    • JennyP
    • By JennyP 7th Feb 18, 4:02 PM
    • 931 Posts
    • 654 Thanks
    JennyP
    Hi Jenny

    Itís a challenge isnt it? Ive started making my own yoghurt using the slow cooker as the Bio stuff is expensive. I was buying Bircher museli and mixing it with oats but when Iíve used up what Iíve got I think Iíll just have oats and mix in some seeds. I top it with yoghurt and half a chopped apple or banana. I think thatís cheaper than even frozen fruit (unless itís foraged blackberries!)
    Originally posted by phizzimum
    You can make yoghurt in the slow cooker?
    Wish i 'd known. I bought an easiyo. It was half price though.
    • JennyP
    • By JennyP 7th Feb 18, 4:17 PM
    • 931 Posts
    • 654 Thanks
    JennyP
    I think your budget it really good tbh
    Originally posted by suki1964
    Thank you. I didn't feel I was. I was unfavourably comparing myself to all the £1 a day people!
    • JennyP
    • By JennyP 7th Feb 18, 4:18 PM
    • 931 Posts
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    JennyP
    I do find a lot of healthy eating books make you spend a fortune on odd ingredients. I got Deliciously Ella a few years ago and bought stuff I would never normally eat then ended up wasting it when I didn't like the foods. Even Michael Mosley's books, if you look at the recipe plan, has you buying an awful lot of stuff that then won't get used up.
    • tori.k
    • By tori.k 7th Feb 18, 4:35 PM
    • 3,186 Posts
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    tori.k
    Thank you. I didn't feel I was. I was unfavourably comparing myself to all the £1 a day people!
    Originally posted by JennyP
    The thing with the £1 a day, is they usually depend on yellow sticker, or heavily processed items,I used to follow some budget slowcooker groups but most of the recipes where based on tin soups or processed sauces which is what kept them cheap, if you tried to replicate with homemade alternatives you soon broke the budget.
    Find your happy medium, life is to short to drink bad wine
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    • JennyP
    • By JennyP 7th Feb 18, 4:52 PM
    • 931 Posts
    • 654 Thanks
    JennyP
    QUOTE=tori.k;73845582]The thing with the £1 a day, is they usually depend on yellow sticker, or heavily processed items,I used to follow some budget slowcooker groups but most of the recipes where based on tin soups or processed sauces which is what kept them cheap, if you tried to replicate with homemade alternatives you soon broke the budget.
    Find your happy medium, life is to short to drink bad wine [/QUOTE]

    Thank you for saying that. I think I was feeling like a failure.
    Last edited by JennyP; 07-02-2018 at 4:54 PM. Reason: pressed send too early
    • suki1964
    • By suki1964 7th Feb 18, 6:00 PM
    • 11,101 Posts
    • 29,659 Thanks
    suki1964
    Thank you. I didn't feel I was. I was unfavourably comparing myself to all the £1 a day people!
    Originally posted by JennyP
    And there are those that heat and light a house with just one candle and wear sackcloth

    I can stretch a penny, most of us here can. But there has to be a balance. Sure the £1 a day meal plans are fantastic to get a family through a very tight month, but those meals can not be lived on 365 days a year

    Last week I done fantastically well and got 14 meals out of £5 of meat. But that was a fluke as I had most of the veg sat here already. As you know, you eat your stocks, they need replacing, a dear shop the following week

    And sometimes I want steak and not mince padded out with lentils

    If your income can take the amount you are spending on food you have no worries. It's when you don't have enough money to get through the month you start to look at where to cut costs
    if you lend someone £20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it
    • caronc
    • By caronc 7th Feb 18, 6:11 PM
    • 3,885 Posts
    • 24,787 Thanks
    caronc
    And there are those that heat and light a house with just one candle and wear sackcloth

    I can stretch a penny, most of us here can. But there has to be a balance. Sure the £1 a day meal plans are fantastic to get a family through a very tight month, but those meals can not be lived on 365 days a year

    Last week I done fantastically well and got 14 meals out of £5 of meat. But that was a fluke as I had most of the veg sat here already. As you know, you eat your stocks, they need replacing, a dear shop the following week

    And sometimes I want steak and not mince padded out with lentils

    If your income can take the amount you are spending on food you have no worries. It's when you don't have enough money to get through the month you start to look at where to cut costs
    Originally posted by suki1964
    Completely agree
    To me being is getting the best I can from the money I have for the things that are important to me and not wasting things thoughtlessly.
    Last edited by caronc; 07-02-2018 at 6:15 PM.
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    • purpleivy
    • By purpleivy 7th Feb 18, 6:31 PM
    • 3,391 Posts
    • 20,723 Thanks
    purpleivy
    I too look at the very limited budget threads and think 'I couldn't do that' when I see the amount of YS foods and people being at the shops all the time! Also as the OP said, lots of manufactured foods.

    BUT I could do better with what I have! The end of the bread got over looked and is now looking distinctly iffy! I had to get a garlic bread from the freezer to go with the meal!
    "Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad"
    Trying not to waste food!
    • phizzimum
    • By phizzimum 7th Feb 18, 6:53 PM
    • 1,697 Posts
    • 9,247 Thanks
    phizzimum
    You can make yoghurt in the slow cooker?
    Wish i 'd known. I bought an easiyo. It was half price though.
    Originally posted by JennyP
    I used to have an easiyo but didnít do very well with it. I wasnt using the packets as my husband has allergies so maybe thatís why.

    I agree with what everyone is saying about expensive, trendy healthy ingredients. Ive got sucked into buying cocao nibs and coconut flakes and things like that then not wanting to use them. So many of these products are from the other side of the world, maybe itís better to eat things that havenít travelled so far, we have lots of lovely food grown in this country. (Aware that I suggested banana in my earlier post, so Iím contradicting myself here!)

    This has reminded me of the chia seeds and coconut oil that are lurking in my cupboard
    weaving through the chaos...
    • carrielovesfanta
    • By carrielovesfanta 7th Feb 18, 7:19 PM
    • 1,575 Posts
    • 12,049 Thanks
    carrielovesfanta
    Hi Jenny,

    I'm hoping that I can be a bit helpful. As other posters have said, you are unlikely to be able to eat very frugally constantly and as you would like.

    I would look at what you currently spend, and what you would like to get it down to.

    We aren't frugal in many ways as we mostly buy organic local meat from a local butcher (or supermarket organic chicken), and organic veg boxes. Also, my husband is an amateur Crossfit athlete and has a high protein diet.

    My current budget for food + all household is £250 a month. Now this does include little top ups and discretionary spends. My actual food shopping is around £30-£50 a week.

    I started meal planning, and originally fell into the same trap as you did - I was creating these very exciting, varied menus and having to buy lots of things each week. I have now changed this to buying one large joint of meat and using it for several meals through the week. To keep up with hub's protein needs, I use 90-100g of meat per person, per meal. This includes lunches.

    If you eat large lunches and dinners, it may be an idea to have slightly smaller meals (of 500-700 cals) and more substantial snakcs.

    I too have been buying the Quorn when on offer. Dried pulses are also good bulkers (red lentils, black beans, chickpeas). I cook them in large batches in the slow cooker then freeze them.

    I make our bread in the breadmaker - if you are gluten free, this will likely be cheaper.

    Yogurt is easy to make in a flask - maybe sell the easyio?

    I often do easy egg based meals or large batches of soup.

    I'm a big fan of frozen veg and fruit. Especially peppers. Think seasonal when it comes to fresh goods.

    If you do like things like cacao nibs and chia seeds, I get mine from Bulk Powders at a good price - I always wait for the 33% off deals. They have 40% off at the moment. They also sell 1kg tubs of peanut butter for £4.99 mmmmmmm yummy

    I would go through each item on your list and really think about it... can it be replaced with something similar? Do I really need it this week? Can I downshift a brand? Am I getting the best offer? Can I batch cook this cheaply? Can it be bulked out? Can I make it vegetarian?

    There will come a point though that you can't spend less without making a sacrifice somewhere. As long as you can afford it, try not to feel too guilty. This issue is if you can't afford it and keep spending the money!

    Also - you will get better at it! It took me a good 6 months to get our food spending back to a point where I was happy with it after hubs embarked on his journey.

    I'm happy to discuss and tips or recipes with you. Feel free to pm me.

    All the best

    Clf x
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    • dibblersan
    • By dibblersan 7th Feb 18, 7:24 PM
    • 238 Posts
    • 1,019 Thanks
    dibblersan
    Cheese - the one I buy is almost always on special offer!
    Originally posted by JennyP
    Picked up on this: look at the price per kilo/how much it is for what you actually use (stronger flavoured cheese you tend to use less when cooking)

    'Special Offer' is often not the best value for money.
    • away-with-the-fairies
    • By away-with-the-fairies 7th Feb 18, 8:28 PM
    • 43 Posts
    • 34 Thanks
    away-with-the-fairies
    I sympathise. I suffer from migraines and found that I was gluten intolerant and migraines stopped when I tried to cut it out of my diet. It may have been a coincidence. As you know gluten free stuff is hideously expensive. As porridge is the only breakfast cereal left apart from cornflakes I do have to but gf Ines at 2.50 for 500 g. I now don't eat bread at all or pasta as the alternatives were too costly. Fast food is difficult as sarnies are out, as are pasta salad boxes and such like. I am sure u will find a way to cut out the gluten and be more healthy
    • suki1964
    • By suki1964 7th Feb 18, 8:33 PM
    • 11,101 Posts
    • 29,659 Thanks
    suki1964
    Picked up on this: look at the price per kilo/how much it is for what you actually use (stronger flavoured cheese you tend to use less when cooking)

    'Special Offer' is often not the best value for money.
    Originally posted by dibblersan
    That goes for Everything


    I remember way back before I found oldstyle , I thought I was being a savvy shopper because I got most of my shopping off the end plinths, you know, where all the supermarkets place their "special offers"? I used to walk along the centre of the store dropping the offers in the trolley willy nilly. Then I found out that you have to check the price per kilo/litre/gram/pound to get the best value. Just recently I was buying 1/2lb blocks of butter because buying 2 of those worked out 8p cheaper then the 1lb block. I check the price of everything now, from biscuits, to cheese, mince to soap powder , carrots to larger

    It may only be a penny here and there, but they are my pennies
    if you lend someone £20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it
    • JennyP
    • By JennyP 8th Feb 18, 8:50 AM
    • 931 Posts
    • 654 Thanks
    JennyP
    I used to have an easiyo but didnít do very well with it. I wasnt using the packets as my husband has allergies so maybe thatís why.

    I agree with what everyone is saying about expensive, trendy healthy ingredients. Ive got sucked into buying cocao nibs and coconut flakes and things like that then not wanting to use them. So many of these products are from the other side of the world, maybe itís better to eat things that havenít travelled so far, we have lots of lovely food grown in this country. (Aware that I suggested banana in my earlier post, so Iím contradicting myself here!)

    This has reminded me of the chia seeds and coconut oil that are lurking in my cupboard
    Originally posted by phizzimum
    We don't use the sachets with our easiyo. We just use normal yoghurt, milk and skimmed milk powder. It took two or three goes to get it right and I looked at a lot of yoghurt websites to trouble shoot!

    I had chia seeds and coconut oil too! Chia seeds make me gag. But we've got into coconut oil and bake with it. It's a good - if oily - moisturiser. Good on eczema.
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