Budget meal ideas?

(32 Posts)
Rtfairy Thu 22-May-14 17:08:59

Hello I'm currently on maternity leave and my smp is going to end shortly so we will be in receipt of DH's wage, child benefit and a small amount of savings so need to be cutting back. There is me, dh and dd who is 6 months and we have just started weaning. We will have approximately £50 per week for food and nappies eycwhich is very tight but will only be for 3 months. Any ideas on how to manage? We currently get a monthly meat order of £30 which lasts over a month and use supermarket own brand nappies!

Rtfairy Thu 22-May-14 17:09:45

Sorry for typos written on my phone!

Fluffycloudland77 Thu 22-May-14 18:23:39

Well there's Aldi & lidl, there both good & the fruit and veg at lidl is brilliant. Meal planning is the key plus using up leftovers & cooking from scratch.

I use ocado sometimes, if I have a good enough discount code I do the shopping from them or do three weeks cheese, meat & things that are on offer then a top up at aldi/lidl for fresh stuff eg last weeks shop for the two of us was £30 for us & £3 for the cat using a huge ocado order of £50 spread over three weeks & then going to aldi.

Lidl do good weekend offers where they discount 3 or 4 items by 50%. Aldi do super six fruit and veg which they rotate regularly & a £5 off voucher the last Thursday of most months.

A girl called jack is a brilliant blog for really filling food eg you could make home made pitta/wraps and falafel for pennies, with a bit of salad it's ridiculously filling.

I use co-op and tesco smart price cleaning products, it's not tested on animals so its more ethical than the big brands like flash etc.

Mum4Fergus Thu 22-May-14 19:31:34

Meal plan, meal plan, meal plan! Start tonight...make a list of everything in fridge, freezer and cupboards. See how many meals you can make from what you already have. Then see what you can make by only adding 1-2 ingredients, those ingredients should be all that's on your next shopping list...

RabbitSaysWoof Thu 22-May-14 19:54:00

I love Aldi nappies £4.50 for a big pack. Never tried reusables but I imagine them to be cheaper.

Iamnotanugget Thu 22-May-14 22:27:54

Have you checked all your other out goings and reduced them as much as possible? I now pay between £5-£7.50 per month for my phone with giffgaff. I was paying £26 per month to Orange.

How are you weaning? I would recommend baby led weaning where babies are given real food from day one so your dd will just need a mouthful or two from your meal rather than spending money on expensive, specially marketed made baby foods.

Meal plan and think carefully. Pasta is cheap. A tomato sauce is cheaper than a cream based one. If you didn't use a full tin of tomatoes you could freeze the rest, if you didn't use all the cream you'd probably put it in the fridge and then throw it in a few days once it's gone off.

serin Thu 22-May-14 22:39:22

At least it is coming summer so a lot of fruit and veg is in season and is therefore cheaper.

My cheapest meal of all is almost free! pick a whole bag of nettle tops (wearing rubber gloves), wash them, wilt down in a bit of butter, oil or even water.
Add a potato or two (cut up small) and a chicken or veg stock cube dissolved in water.
Simmer for a bit, blend and you have a gorgeous healthy soup.

Scones are very cheap and filling.

Chick peas and beans are about the cheapest form of protein I can think of.

Butternut, sage and parmesan (you only need a bit of parmesan) risotto is lovely.

Asian grocery shops are great if you live near to one, usually miles cheaper than even Aldi (if you can avoid the honey mango!)

Jinty64 Fri 23-May-14 08:48:32

Find out what time your local supermarkets reduce their "sell by date" goods. You can often pick up fruit, veg, bread etc for pennies. I have had full trolleys (including meat and fish) for under a tenner. It is a bit hit or miss but well worth the effort.

ThatBloodyWoman Fri 23-May-14 08:53:35

If you have a birthday coming up, ask for the book 'A girl called Jack'.

It contains some lovely budget recipes.

In the main-eat vegetarian, buy from market as much as possible, and check offers and reductions.

dashoflime Fri 23-May-14 08:56:58

Cannot reccomend Jack Monroe highly enough. Read the blog or treat yourself to the book and learn to make absolutely anything out of tinned tomatoes! You will be amazed. My favourite very cheap meals are:

Lentil soup
Chilie (eat healthy with rice or unhealthy poured over tesco value

dashoflime Fri 23-May-14 08:57:11

So

dashoflime Fri 23-May-14 08:57:11

Sor

dashoflime Fri 23-May-14 08:57:21

S

dashoflime Fri 23-May-14 08:57:21

S

dashoflime Fri 23-May-14 08:57:31

S

dashoflime Fri 23-May-14 08:57:31

S

ThatBloodyWoman Fri 23-May-14 08:57:37

Immediately cut out any air fresheners, cleaning wipes, fabric conditioners, and any other unecessary cleaning products.

For 3 months you can do a lot if using up stuff in cupboards -see what you have a supply of and look up recipes.Ditto with bulk buys in the market.

Ask around as to what budget brands are good.

dashoflime Fri 23-May-14 09:07:02

Sorry phone seems to be playing up. As I was saying: chilie- pour it over tesco value tortilla and cover it with cheese
Jack Monroe bean goulash
Potato Gratin (substitute full fat milk for cream)

In general: if your cooking say a stew where the flavours are meant to mix in together, rather than a meat and two veg thing where food is separate on the plate, you can get away with frozen meat, fish and veg and tinned veg and fruit.

dashoflime Fri 23-May-14 09:08:52

That bloody woman yes, absolutely! I use washing up liquid for all kitchen surfaces and floor. Works fine.

ThatBloodyWoman Fri 23-May-14 09:12:35

When I was a chambermaid, we used spray polish, bleach, washing up liquid and rags.
That was it!

ThatBloodyWoman Fri 23-May-14 09:13:13

The bean goulash id delicious, I agree.

dashoflime Fri 23-May-14 09:41:45

Yay for washing up liquid. I wouldn't economise on it though. You need a lot of proper soapy bubbles!

NickyEds Fri 23-May-14 10:29:31

Markets and batch cooking. I don't know if there is a good one near you but we go to Leeds Market on a weekend when we don't have much on-buy loads and do a massive cook- pasta sauces, chillis, soups and thai paste are really good. Last time we went fairly late in the day and got some real bargains-( including 12 punnets of cherry tomatoes for £1, a box of mushrooms for £1!!). You need to be able to cook the stuff quite quickly and freeze it though-it's good but won't last more than a few days, which is actually ideal if you're doing any fruit mashing!

Rtfairy Fri 23-May-14 18:25:04

Thank you very much for suggestions. Am going to start shopping at Aldi think that is the way forward. I actually already have the Girl called Jack book so will make a couple of her recipes each week and continue with our meat order as it is fantastic value. Think it will definitely be doable I see it as a challenge!

Sandthorn Fri 23-May-14 20:57:53

Totally agree with the meal planning and aldi/Lidl. Also recommend you check out your local pound shops and similar. Here, once I've written my list, I do a weekly visit to Home Bargains before I go to the supermarket... That way I can pick up some proportion of what's on my list for less than I'd pay elsewhere.

BUT I really, really recommend you get familiar with what items should cost before you put your faith in pound shop prices. I know they do two-packs of branded biscuits, and that kind of thing, where you could buy nearly-identical supermarket own-brand biscuits for about 30p a packet. Benchmark the items that regularly show up on your list, and only buy them when you know they're as cheap as they can be.

Also agree with running down the stores. Get creative with something from the back of the cupboard for at least one meal a week. This week I will be using my collection of mismatched last-sheets of lasagne and some cooked butter beans from the bottom of the freezer! Organise your stockpile of toiletries and cleaning supplies, so you know what you don't need to buy for the next while (conditioner in my house!) even if it is on a fantastic offer!

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now