Today I did my ‘big shop’ and I spent £31.11 and I now I have basis of most meals for two weeks. I just make everything go a very long way and I always buy the ‘value/basics’ range in which ever supermarket I use. It’s not proven to be any less nutritious and I promise you I can make anything taste good. So here is a delve into my uber-frugal world of food and making everything go a very long way.
To start with I stock take and look at what I can do with what I already have. I already have: 2 battered pieces of Pollock, 2 packs of sausages, 4 pork steaks, 3 salmon fillets. I have the basis of six meals there and will make: fish/chips and mushy peas, sausages with onion gravy, mash and veg, sausages and veggie casserole with spicy cous cous, sweet and sour pork and veggie rice, roast pork steaks with apple jelly, roast potatoes, veg and gravy, steamed salmon with cous cous and veggies. I’m going back to work on Thursday and will have much less time so I need to be stocked up and ready so I don’t have to shop.
Even though there is just the two of us at home, I still buy the family size multi-pack deals of meat – all the supermarkets are doing this now. You just pick the packs you like. They had lamb steaks and beef burgers but I always choose the best value and that which gives you the most of what you pay for.
I then divide the meat up into bags in the portion size that we’ll eat, DB eat one third more than me, so 250g of minced beef means 100g for me and 150g for him. Those are small portions, but we eat a lot of veg with our meal and three quarters of our plate will be vegetables; healthy and frugal.
I then bag everything and freeze if until I want it.
As I said, I always buy the value range and 2 kilos of chicken portions (there are ten quarters in the bag) were £2.79 so 27p per portion, I use it for casserole, pie, stew etc and it goes a very long way, I’ll even serve it as roast chicken portions if I have a large family meal to cook for.
We look at a fresh chicken as a real treat! We usually get three meals plus stock from one of them, or I can use it to feed six people for Sunday roast.
I also bulk out my budget with frozen veggies, they are just as nutritious, easy and extremely economical. The stir fry mix is especially good, the jars of sweet and sour sauce are only 30p and I have half a bag of quorn in the freezer so dinner will be quick, easy, cheap and very tasty.
So here is my menu planning for the next two weeks, I will pick and choose each day, what we fancy and I will also cook a bulk of this on Saturday ready to eat throughout the next busy week.
Breakfast – Porridge with homemade jam/toast and homemade jams/jellies/
Lunch – sandwiches, usually tuna/mayo or cheese with homemade chutney – or left overs in a Tupperware tub to reheat at work.
Snacks – homemade cakes, bakewell tart, carrot sticks
Dinners: 1- fish/chips and mushy peas, 2- sausage with onion gravy, mash and veg, 3- sausage and veggie casserole with spicy cous cous, 3 -sweet and sour pork and veggie rice, 5 -roast pork steaks with apple jelly, roast potatoes, veg and gravy. 6. steamed/grilled salmon cous cous and veggies. 7 Roast chicken, stuffing, roast spuds, veg gravy. 8. Chicken pie and veg. 9 Cottage pie and veg. 10 Lasagne and salad. 11. Spaghetti Bolognaise. 12. Pork cooked with cider and cream, with mashed potatoes and gravy. 13 Chicken casserole with veggie rice. 14. Cog au vin with roast potatoes and veggies………………….there’s plenty more besides and hopefully I can stretch out what I have even further.
‘Afters’: black berry and apple crumble and custard (I bought lots of the sachets of instant custard which are 9p a sachet and it’s more than enough for 2), I have enough blackberries in the freezer to keep us going for weeks on end.
I also have plenty of ingredients for veggie options if we get sick of meat, plenty of ingredients for cakes, biscuits and snacks and plenty of simple alternatives such as baked beans if we just want to eat them with toast. Including the ingredients we have in the house already, such as flour, UHT milk/cream then our total food spend for the two of us for most weeks is £20; which includes pet food, cleaning products and toiletries.
I feel like a frugal warrior preparing for battle and make sure I’m stocked up with the basics so I never need to pop the shops because that’s when it’s easy to let the budget slip out of control.
I also made sure I’m taken care of, I’ve scraped every last scrap of moisturiser out of the pot I have and I’m trying the version I found in Tesco today, which is similar to the product I usually buy from Lidl or Aldi; it smells wonderful and it’s one of the few toiletries that I can’t make myself. It cost £1.99 and as I saved £1.64 on the multi-buy offer today- I consider it a treat for 35p