Monday, 11 February 2013

1 week, 2 people, £35 quid

Living on a very small budget is not easy, but it is possible to have interesting and varied meals, planning ahead is key and if like us you are a meat eater buying 1 type of meat for the week allows you to plan a series of meals and cut your costs down. You don't need meat every day, so throwing in a few veggie meals and it is possible to have well balanced, filling and delicious food.

Buying a mixture of fresh, packaged, reduced and pre -prepared all go into the mix. we don't always have time or inclination to cook something from scratch, so being realistic is  important. We always have a few fall back things in the cupboard and oven chips, fish fingers and my husbands fave cauliflower cheese grills. This blog isn't about making anyone feel they should do anything, its purely about recipes and ideas you might want to try.

before deciding on meals for the week - check the fridge and freezer. Yes i know that sounds obvious but its surprising how often we don't and end up throwing things away because we haven't used them up.I'm certainly guilty of it, on such a limited budget we cant afford to do that..and well its bad form as captain hook would say.

a few tips if this is all new to you and you have suddenly found yourself juggling a tiny budget

  • Bulk buy fortnightly (if your on a benefit that pays out every 2 weeks) meal plan and shop accordingly 
  • Buy a few treats even on a tiny budget of sod all if you like pot noodle or fish fingers have something nice that's a  "I'm fed up of this crap" - mine is nice vanilla ice - cream
  • If you don't have much of a store cupboard buy 1 thing every shop so you build it up over time
  • **Freeze wine, left over stock even milk -
  • Take a calculator and know when a bargain is a bargain
  • its worth paying a little more for some things like tinned tomatoes 
  • try and buy seasonally its cheaper. 
**Im sure some will throw thier hands up in horror at freezing wine - however we rarely buy it, but it add lots of flavour to some recipeies. we pour the wine into ice cube trays.
This week we had a full store cupboard we just needed to replace Mung beans and coriander seeds.
The fridge had
2 leeks
half a bag of spuds
whole bag of onions (LM bought a huge bag last week)
2 carrots
Pot of natural yogurt
2 Eggs
1 bottle red wine (thanks mum in law)

I love pouring over recipe books, and chatting about what we fancy eating, my husband likes spicy food, were as im a bit of a wuss with spice. After a bit of intense marital discussion.. we decided the humble mince would have a starring role in this weeks dinners. Buying one type of meat, like a whole chicken, a load of mince etc allows you to get more from it and make your budget go further. Mince is very versatile

The trick with meal planning is you buy only what you need for a recipe.Supermarkets are good at packaging it all so you can never quite get the amount you need and end up paying more. If you cant get to a butchers, try out the butcher and deli counter - sometimes they have offers on and you can buy just the right amount you need.

Bearing in mind what we had - we decided on:

Breakfasts: porridge for me, malty cereal for my husband

Lunch - My husband works full time and takes a packed lunch, as I'm at home i either have soup or pittas
Spicy Lentil Dal pasties
Stuffed pittas - Egg salad
Blueberry & lemon cakes (variation of Orange and Cranberry cup cakes)

Sunday Lunch - Leek & Potato soup (using left over leeks and spuds from last week)
Sunday dinner - Cauliflower Surprise

Monday - Savoury mince, veg and mash (may yet be a Shepheard's pie)

Tuesday - Meatballs in Tomato Sauce & Pasta

Wednesday - Chili con Carine in jacket spuds

Thursday - Lasagna, Salad & garlic bread followed by Apple pudding *well it is valentines day

Friday -  Cauliflower & Veg Curry, Nan bread and Rice

any left overs will be frozen

Our total spend for 2 adults was £35.00 - we aim to keep it below £40 a week for both of us this includes stuff like washing powder, light bulbs etc. which pushes the cost up

Shopping list:
from the market
cost £4.50
Large Cauliflower
1Lb carrots 
3 x Bramley Apples
3 courgettes
4 large king Edwards (baking and mash)

£4.00 for mung beans, green split peas and coriander seeds from a market stall - we could have got them a tiny bit cheaper in the supermarket but hey the stall holder complimented me on my hat.

Supermarket £19.00
750G Mince
Pitta bread
fresh ginger
2 little chilli's
3 slices of nice ham
 6 x yogurts
pack of jelly
baked beans
Clover (marg)
non edible house bits and bobs - kettle descale etc
Rye Bread
Pack of granose veggie burger mix (for the store cupboard)
Milk 4 pinter
Bread Mix

My husband does all the chopping, i cant manage it but you can use pre chopped veg, tinned, frozen or a gadget to do the hard work. when you work out your meal plan you will know what you can do or manage.
This blog isnt just aimed at people like me who cant physically manage to cook.

I will write up the recipes over the week and post them up.

1 comment:

  1. Why not save a few bob & add to your store cupboard at the same time by purchasing white vinegar (5L) for cleaning, descaling & for use as a condiment? To be honest it works every bit as well as proprietary cleaners, I'd not better! It works out cheaper too!