Eating cheaply in 2018

Thank you SO much for the kind comments.  On the mend.

Regular readers know we live below the line as a matter of course.
Just as well, really, as there won't be any additional pennies coming in this month.

I'm quite disconcerted when I hear people say they just can't cut down on their outgoings/expenses.
The same people are incredulous to hear that we live happily how we do.

Dinner tonight is Woolton pie. We have chums coming to eat with us and there'll be plenty to go around.  Unless we are having a dinner party I don't bother with a starter or a dessert, just a big main course and plenty of hot beverages to go around.

Man Wonderful and I eat the same breakfast and similar lunches all week:
Oats with soya milk - or heated and made into porridge - with fruit.
Lunch everyday is salad with - tinned potatoes/kidney beans/chickpeas/tinned fish

Our main meals are vegetable-based. Veg is cheap, plentiful, seasonal and good for you. You can get it reduced, daily in every supermarket, and using just water with seasoning you can make a myriad of dishes.
If you enjoy eating meat - just reduce the amount you eat. Make it go twice as far.
You can add a handful of oats to most meat dishes (not roasts) to emulate the texture, and they take on the flavour of what they are cooked with.

To avoid the draw of the expensive take away, it really is cheap to make it yourself.
I know, I know: we come home shattered, we aren't well, we deserve a treat... Yadda, yadda...
So limit the amount.
Make it for birthdays.
You know - special occasions, or 'proper' emergencies?

Or: have something ready in the freezer that will be ready to eat quickly - and is blinking delicious and a treat - that you save for those occasions: like a posh supermarket pizza that costs £3.50 rather than the £15 to the moped least your tea will be hot...

When I cook curry or Dahl, I meticulously save leftovers and label them for the freezer (as I do our other meals) but I keep all the curried items in the same place in the freezer.
We always have a Thali to hand - a selection of different veggy curries - that just need heating through in the oven. In half an hour we have a free takeaway.
If you enjoy flatbreads, these take minutes to make - naan and popadoms can be bought and stored in the store cupboard if desired - and SO much cheape than a takeWay that it is criminal to buy one

And Chinese/Thai?
Oh please!
A packet of rice noodles, some soy sauce, smooth peanut butter, stir fry veg - make it a regular meal and save the leftovers!!

It is literally pennies to make a pizza base - even gf for fussy blighters like me! - and just a few minutes in the oven to bake it. We use garlic, tom purée, herbs and oil to top: no cheese as I'm dairy free and the alternative is expensive and not really worth it.

GF pasta is a little more than normal pasta, but we do eat it from time to time.

Most of our meals are very easy to make, too.

What do you do to save money with your food budget, while eating well?


  1. Very much what you do really. Breakfasts are porridge, although I was given a bag of nice muesli recently so it's turn and turn about at the moment. Lunches are usually home made soups at the moment. Lentils/split peas and veg. Delicious, warming and very healthy. Dinners are a real mixture but I've increased the number of meat free meals.
    J x

  2. And so glad you're recovering. xxx

  3. On the very rare occasions when all 3 offspring and their partners are here all together ....that's the one time when we have a giant indian takeaway. It's really good as we can try different things and it feels like such a treat.
    Chinese takeaways are a wedding anniversary treat. Other than that we don't bother!
    As for takeaway pizzas we get a leaflet through the door What a rip off they are! pizza base is pennies, I don't know how they get away with it.

  4. Ive never heard of using oats to add bulk...until today and I've read it on two blogs. Must try that. I was making cauliflower 'rice' long before it became fashionable and have been using it to thicken casseroles and pies for ages, but oats will be cheaper!

  5. I too eat a lot of veg, fruit and salads, soups and beans and rice. I did get a take out lunch today and realized with the right ingredients, I could prepare that at home. I also shop as the US Aldi which saves me about 40 percent from what I use to pay at the larger supermarkets in my area. Sadly, there don't seem to be yellow stickers here. Glad you are doing better.

  6. Definitely the eating less meat thing - we made a conscious decision some years ago to buy higher quality meat as we decided that if we were going to eat animals it's only right that they at least had the most pleasant life they could ahead of meeting their end for our gain. So it's free range chicken (if that's not available I'll choose a different meat) and higher-welfare, British everything else meaty. Ideally we buy from sellers we know and trust at Farmer's Markets. Pasta makes a great cheap meal as well - although as you mention less so for GF's - we buy the 20p spaghetti and bargain priced pasta for everyday use though - and NEVER anything with a post "faux Italian" brand name! It's also wel worth comparing between value and own brand products of all types to see whether the more expensive own brand is really any better than the lower priced value option - often I've found that there's no, or almost no difference, and that makes the choice to save a few pennies all the easier!

  7. While I do eat meat I have reduced my consumption and I do look for meat that is reduced by 50% for same day consumption (but it can also go into the freezer). I have also upped the vegetable consumption, along with using more beans and lentils. Leftovers are frozen or incorporated into future meals. Veggies that are getting past their best go into a pot of soup at the end of the week. I stretch meals like chilli or cottage pie with additional lentils or oats.
    I use fresh, frozen and canned fruit and alternate between them throughout the week.
    I eat a good breakfast, then tend to eat my main meal around 2 or 3pm and then just have something light in the evening - I'm retired now and don't really feel the need for 3 full meals a day anymore.
    I also stockpile but only on items that I will actually eat. I've gotten a lot better at rotating my stock and not letting anything go to waste - not perfect - but better.
    I am thinking about giving up beef, pork & lamb for Lent but allowing poultry and fish/seafood - along with more vegetarian dishes so it will be interesting to see how much of an impact it makes on my grocery shopping (I live smack in the middle of the 2nd largest country on earth) so fish & seafood, even frozen, is very expensive!


Post a Comment

Please leave me a message! All comments are moderated.

Popular Posts