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Seriously skint, meal help needed please

(29 Posts)
EricNorthmansFangBanger Sat 08-Sep-12 14:55:48

So, we're currently in dire straits and any advice on how we can get by would be really appreciated as I'm rubbish at this kind of thing!

I've got about £15 in my purse at the moment, £5 in the bank and no money until 19th September. We're going to try borrow some money off our parents if we can, so I might have around £50 to spend on food to last us from 10th Sept to the 19th Sept. The shops I have close-ish by are Aldi, Lidl, Tesco and Sainsburys. We don't drive so can't really 'shop around'.

The freezer is running low, we have a few tins of beans/spaghetti and around 2 bags of rice in the cupboard, as well as a bag of tageliteli, chopped tomatoes, kidney beans and canelloni beans (sorry about the spelling! blush) Oh and two or three tins of soup.

If any of you could be so kind to give me cheap meal ideas to last us 10 days for breakfast/lunch/dinner for 2 adults (one who's pregnant) and 2 children aged 4 & 1, then that would be fantastic. 1 year old will be at nursery from Monday and have the majority of her meals there, 4 year old at school so has school dinners covered. I'm a student and DH is job seeking so we will need meals for us, although we have been skipping around one meal a day to stretch food.

Thank you in advance.

itsnotjustaslap Mon 10-Sep-12 19:41:11

If you do a 'weekly' shop, try and stretch it out to two weeks. Obviously you will need to buy more food, but not as much as two weekly shops. It's really enticing to pop more treats or foodstuffs that aren't really essential into a trolley, while sticking to a two week shop makes it easier to focus on the essentials.

Keeping basics like bread, milk, rice, pasta, potatoes, flour, butter, eggs, cheese, frozen veg (cheaper and easier), and meat or fish will mean you can make a meal out of anything.

I have lots of marinades in the fridge (they keep for way longer than the recommended six weeks) to liven up the most tired and cheapest cuts of meat and fish. Cheap chicken wings or drumsticks are delicious given a coating and bunged in the oven to cook. Likewise fish in a marinade can be cooked in minutes in a microwave.

If you can get to a supermarket at odd times (if they are within walking distance) it's always worth scouring the reduced sections first - especially for things like meat and fish which can be frozen. I have sold my old tumble dryer to make space for an additional freezer which is stocked with very reduced meat or fish). Bread is also usually substantially reduced at more unsociable times (ie after 7 - 8 pm).

Toad in the Hole is a nice comforting, quick and cheap meal to make for the family.

Pasta meals are also filling and quick - you can make your own cheap pasta sauce by frying onions, any seasonal veg you have to hand (aubergines, mushrooms, peppers) and simmering it in 1 - 3 tinned chopped value tomatoes (depending on how much veg you have, then blitzing it with a blender. It can be frozen easily in portions so takes just minutes to prepare a family meal.

milk Sun 16-Sep-12 15:22:51

How did it go EricNorthmansFangBanger?

zinaida Sat 06-Oct-12 11:35:55

I know it's'a bit late, but this bacon and lentil soup is lovely, easy, and about 50p per person, and would make a main meal if served with rolls.
Serves 6
100g bacon (get cooking bacon it's'incredibly cheap in Sainsburys)
1 leek, 1 carrot, 1 onion
2 sticks celery
200g red lentils, rinsed
1.5 litres water
Tbsp oil

Slice the veg and bacon. Fry the onion for 5 mins, add everything else and bring to a simmer, simmer for about 1 hr or until the lentils and veg have softened.
You can serve this with chopped frankfurters added if you have extra cash, otherwise it's'perfectly nice without.

I do a massive '2 day' pasta bake. I soften onion and garlic then sauté veg, I usually use peppers, tomatoes and courgettes. Put this in a large baking dish. Add a large pan of pasta that you have already cooked e.g. fusilli or penne to the dish. Then I make a white sauce, pour it over and sprinkle cheese on top. Bake at 190 for 30-40mins. Sometimes the dish is veggie, sometimes I add tuna or bits of crispy bacon. Anything goes really.

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