to think that eating healthily is too expensive?

(190 Posts)

I need to lose weight. Lots of it.

I have degenerative disc disease so have restricted mobility. I don't eat dairy or soya (my BF son is intolerant to both).

I have a budget of £40 a week to feed me, DH, a 3yo and a 1yo. I make sure the children eat well and healthily but just don't have the money to buy all the fruit and veg I'd like to. DH and I end up eating carb-based meals because they're cheap - sandwiches, pasta, rice, potatoes etc.

Am I missing a trick somewhere? How do others manage?

CanIHaveAPetGiraffePlease Thu 03-Jan-13 08:33:02

I think eating healthily is expensive, although there are shortcuts. Frozen veg has all the nutrients etc.

I'm very impressed you feed everyone for 40 a week. I haven't managed that.

onetiredmummy Thu 03-Jan-13 08:36:17

Carbs are fine but watch your portion sizes. An adult serving of pasta is a tennis ball size. Also perhaps buy the wholewheat version instead of white.

Is there a cheaper place to get your veg rather than a supermarket? A market stall say, where the stuff isn't pretty to look at or waxed but is still perfectly decent?

If I need to do a cheap shop one week I have a vegetarian week, just carbs & veg as meat is so expensive.

cory Thu 03-Jan-13 08:38:09

Boiled potatoes are actually quite healthy as long as you avoid fatty sauces: it's the fat they're cooked in that adds to the calorie count. Also carrots, leeks, onions, lentils.

Afrodizzywonders Thu 03-Jan-13 08:40:19

Soups....make big batches of soups, lentil is cheap as chips and a staple here is chorizo and chickpea. We make our own bread,mworks out 50p a loaf, could do it cheaper but we buy the mixes from Lidl.

I also make big batches of meals and freeze, see what's on offer and base meals around that. Veggie chilli is a good healthy meal, we have it with rice, or tex mex on homemade potato wedges.

I know Lidl gets lots of threads on here but I think their veg is great, you have to go with what's in season but that's good I think.

EllieArroway Thu 03-Jan-13 08:40:53

Yes - I agree. But don't underestimate how good for you value tins of fruit & frozen veg is. Much as I would love to buy all fresh stuff, I can't afford it.

Dead impressed that you have managed to get it down to £40 a week. Wish I could (and there's only 2 of us!).

invicta Thu 03-Jan-13 08:41:02

Definitely agree. Apples cost a lot more then a packet of biscuits, plus they go off a lot sooner.

One tip,is to go shopping in the evening and look in the reduced sections. I often buy meat and bread cheaper then, and freeze it up. Batch cooking is another method to save money.

Veg from markets is often cheaper than supermarkets, especially if you get stuff in season.
Tinned tomatoes make cheap healthy sauces (we're dairy free too)
Bacon trimmings are cheaper than rashers, and a few of those can flavour a meal nicely.
Potatoes are good cheap carbs, and lentils can pad out meat dishes so you need less meat in them.
Adding a stock cube can make rice and peas into a meal.
We spend around £40 p/w in supermarkets for 4 of us, buying healthy food, including wine/beer, it can be done.
Snacks can be expensive, encourage eating of oat cakes, or better still make your own flapjacks from value oats, raisins and apple purée.
Grow your own veg, fruit and herbs as much as possible, it saves a lot of money.

Yes, I'm looking at portion sizes as I know that's a problem area for me. I do most of the shopping at Lidl (unless one of the supermarkets has a really good deal) and top up at the local grocer.

I'm starting to make soups - how do you make veggie chilli?

AltinkumATEalltheTurkey Thu 03-Jan-13 08:47:49

I find it the opposite way tbh.

I done my food shop yesterday (well last night)

I brought, green gabbage, dozen carrots, parsnips, cauli, courgettes, butternut squash, tatties, corn on the cob, spinach, kg of tatties, all for £8

I then brought meat for £10 mince, ham and a chicken, and then a extra £5 on sausages and bacon.

The rest was for tomatoes, beans, lentils, chickpeas, eggs, flour, cereal etc...

With that we will get quiche, lasagne, chilli, chicken soup, roast chicken dinner, ham in coke, and also ham in marmalade (big joint) sausage sandwich etc

I make my own pasta (for lasagne etc) own bread etc...

That will be for about a 7-9 days worth of food.

AltinkumATEalltheTurkey Thu 03-Jan-13 08:49:38

Sorry I should say also, I get my fruit and veg from tr farmers markets, fruit is coming today and will be around £10.

That will be for strawberries, blueberries, apples, bananas, oranges and raspberries.

crescentmoon Thu 03-Jan-13 08:50:55

Can you make it to ethnic food shops for pulses and beans? They are far cheaper than supermarkets. Also vegetables and fruit. NOT farmers markets- I can't believe how expensive veg can be in those posh weekend markets compared to the cheap Asian street market I'd go to for fresh ingredients when I was a student.

Vege chilli:
Fry off an onion, add chopped carrot, courgette, aubergine, whatever bulky veg is in season, with a teaspoon full of chilli powder, a veg stock cube and half a teaspoon of turmeric (if you have it).
Add a tin of tomatoes, a couple of crushed garlic cloves and a tin of kidney beans, seasoning, cook down for a while and add another tin of tomatoes if you want it really nice.

Pilfette Thu 03-Jan-13 08:53:15

Veggie chilli for me entails a packet of quorn mince (or even cheaper, dried soya mince from Holland and Barrett or similar, like this that makes kilos of the stuff when rehydrated), a tin of value chopped tomatoes, chopped fresh chilli or a few tsps of lazy chilli from a jar, chopped peppers (2 or 3), plus any other veg, beans, cauli, mushrooms, carrots etc, a tin of value red kidney beans, a chopped onion or two, and if I'm feeling wild some cheap red wine then 8 hours in the slow cooker on low, or 4 hrs on high. It makes a ton - I freeze about 5 portions in plastic take away containers then defrost when I CBA to cook of an evening. We have our with a baked potato or over rice, but that's not great if you are watching your carb intake. Also, I find, if I make it quite hot, I feel fuller. That might just be me though.

crescentmoon Thu 03-Jan-13 08:53:40

Lol cross posted.well maybe iv not been to enough farmers markets- I always thought they were very expensive based on the ones iv been to.

confused
Where do you shop, Altinkum? Please tell me, I want to go there grin

I shop at the cheapest of the "big" supermarkets (no choice, live in the middle of nowhere and can't drive so have to get delivery) and find that meat in particular is very expensive. I'd never manage to get several different types of meat for under a tenner!

YABU.

Meat is expensive though. Lentils and beans are dirt cheap, try cutting out the meat from meals and replaceing with lentils.

carovioletfizz Thu 03-Jan-13 08:56:17

How about a stir fry with rice noodles - should feed you all for under £2?

whois Thu 03-Jan-13 08:57:12

I disagree OP. its much cheaper to cook from scratch veggie healthy meals than meat based.

As others have said: use pulses, frozen veg, cheap types of veg, veg from the market etc

I find spending a bit of money on having herbs and spices in the house plus some tasty ingredients e.g. Capers, anchovies, jar of rosters peppers etc means I can make something quite boring into something special.

Pilfette Thu 03-Jan-13 08:59:28

Also, if you have a well stocked spice rack, veggie indian from scratch is bloody cheap and very tasty. I just google Madhur Jaffrey vegetarian recipes (or the veg I want to use) as I can't justify paying £20 for her cookbook at the moment. I've linked to this before, but some of the stuff on The PPK website is good for low cost bulk cooking. It's vegan so by default contains a lot of pulse based stuff. Some of it it weird (I still don't know what seitan is) and you have to translate from american cooking measures but the lentil stew style recipes are cheap, tasty and filling.

If you don't have a suitable 'ethnic' supermarket (deepest Sussex here, I expect my nearest one is Brighton, i.e. too damn far) dried pulses etc can be bought in bulk online. The world foods aisle at tesco is also waaay cheaper for lentils, chickpeas etc than the wholefoods section...

I grate courgette and carrot into every sauce I make too. Bulks things very cheaply.

TeWiSavesTheDay Thu 03-Jan-13 09:02:55

Farmers markets ludicrous around here too! Regular market in poorer/more mixed area is much cheaper.

If you do go to the supermarket watch how they price things, loose fruit + veg is generally, but not always cheaper than prepacked. You will probably find that you eat a lot of carrots and bananas because they're so cheap - but it's still good for you!

Also if you're not buying any crisp//chocolate/biscuits at all you'll have more money to play with.

Good luck! I know it's hard. Eggs are cheap and a brilliant source of protein if you're saving money by cutting down on meat.

Sirzy Thu 03-Jan-13 09:03:29

I think if you plan meals then it can be much cheaper.

Do a roast on a sunday, use the left overs to make a soup.

Things like spag bol are pretty cheap to make.

Make big hot pots/casseroles and freeze some of it.

Asda do 3 for £10 for packs of meat which you could probably get 2 meals out of if bulked up well.

Sirzy I love those 3 packs for £10 deals, I usually get 2 large packs of mince and a whole chicken, then I can batch cook and do chicken soup and eke it all out over the week.

I'm starting to cook with lentils etc (mainly chucking a handful into soup etc) but I never quite know what to do with them otherwise.

Thanks for all the tips. smile

1stMrsFalalalalalalalala Thu 03-Jan-13 09:15:43

Even Ocado does 3 packs of meat for £10 as a regular offer. The best trick I learned from MN is to make spag bol, chilli etc with same amount of meat as usual, but with extra veg, tomatoes and lentils to bulk up to twice the amount. Can also do the same with slow cook casseroles - adding soup mix, pearl barley or lentils, chickpeas/beans etc and extra veg. And buy seasonally - broccoli has been cheap just before Christmas and blueberries just don't feature in my shopping except the height of summer!

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