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to think it is entirely possible to feed 2 adults for a month on £50

(66 Posts)
smilingthroughgrittedteeth Mon 03-Jun-13 14:21:53

Long story short we are skint, I have some weird chronic fatigue illness (still waiting for diagnosis) so have had to drop a day at work and dp had an accident at work in January and has been off sick since then.

Because of this we are £1200 a month worse off.

I can cover all the bills and rent and dp can cover his child maintanance payment to ex and petrol for me to get to work but there is no money left after that, we have lowered all bills as much as we can.

I did some extra work on Sat and earned £50 which I plan on using for food shopping, I will be going to Morrisons as dp works for them so we get a discount, I don't usually shop there but I can't afford the petrol to get to aldi or asda so the options are Morrison's or Tesco.

Money was tight before so I've been shopping on a budget of £100 per month.

Just spoken to a friend who asked to borrow a book, I said I'd drop it in to her on weds as would be passing her house on the way to Morrison's and she asked why I wasn't going to asda as normal so I told her, she was horrified and kept offering to lend me money.

Now it's very kind of her but aibu to think that it's entirely possible for me to feed dp and myself for the month on £50? I have basics such as flour, herbs, pasta and don't need any cleaning products so will be spending the whole amount on just food, I cook from scratch and we are used to making a chicken last several meals and I split packets of mince and freeze so it does 2 meals.

We might not have any fancy dinners but we will eat or am I being to optimistic and we will in fact struggle to buy enough?

WorrySighWorrySigh Tue 04-Jun-13 17:30:42

Do you know anyone with an allotment? At the moment there isnt a lot to pick except rhubarb but lots of people I know have this coming out of their ears.

If you can put the word out then we will be soon heading into the season of glut.

Also if you havent got them planted ask if anyone has a surplus of runner/french bean plants.

HighInterestRat Tue 04-Jun-13 17:33:24

I don't think I could blush.
We spend almost double that per week but we do have two toddlers in the house.

MinimalistMommi Tue 04-Jun-13 17:45:27

I agree with jux
Offer to give the £50 to your partner and see how he copes if he insists on meat. In a time of crisis, vegetarian food is so much cheaper and a way to get the veg in.

TheCrackFox Tue 04-Jun-13 17:47:16

Are there any food banks near you?

AKissIsNotAContract Tue 04-Jun-13 17:50:30

I always find these threads impressive. I can't even get our food bill below £50 a week.

Jux Tue 04-Jun-13 18:27:55

How ill is he? Could he do a spot of baby-sitting? Also, sorry to go on, but it is healthier to have much less meat.

MummyAbroad Tue 04-Jun-13 18:35:59

off on a slight tangent here....but regarding the cleaning products (which you said you dont need just yet anyway) I have cut my expenditure down to practically nothing by cleaning everything with watered down vinegar and baking soda. I buy both in bulk and I also buy some clear bleach for disinfecting toilets (and DS's potty) and stuff (and use that watered down too) Try it, you will save ££££££'s.

Jux Tue 04-Jun-13 18:39:01

MummyAbroad, that's interesting. What do you use for clothes? I kow you can use white vinegar instead of fabric conditioner, but is there something you can use for the actual wash?

NumTumDeDum Tue 04-Jun-13 19:58:36

If you've got time, could try the Valued Opinions website. I do surveys, and when you get to £10 credit they'll send you a voucher. I can't remember which supermarkets they do, I normally choose John Lewis and save them for christmas/birthday presents but if you've got the patience and time it all helps.

NumTumDeDum Tue 04-Jun-13 20:01:17

Jux you can add soda crystals to bulk out your powder.

valiumredhead Tue 04-Jun-13 20:06:07

My mum uses a tiny squirt of washing up liquid in the drum of the machine, she says it works as well as any detergent.

smilingthroughgrittedteeth Tue 04-Jun-13 20:25:33

I tend to buy cleaning products and washing powder when it's on offer and stock up, I probably only buy it once a year, same with toiletries.

Dp has a back injury so isn't able to do any form of work, as much as he would like to.

We both do online surveys and mystery shopping.

We do eat lots of fruit and veg and dp will happily eat jacket potato, soup and salads but he likes meat and isn't willing to give it up, I spent £13 on meat and £21 on veg so I think even on a tight budget we are still going to be eating a healthy diet.

MummyAbroad Tue 04-Jun-13 22:59:09

Jux good point. I forgot about the expense of washing powder. I bulk buy a cheap one in huge quantities, and add vinegar to really smelly or stained washes. It is a good cleaning agent as well as softner, and great for getting smells out, but yes, I do use powder.... and toilet roll... and deodorant... and soap, shampoo, conditioner... actually there is a still a lot of stuff left in the "cleaning" category! But at least I save £££ on furniture polish, floor cleaner, window cleaner etc

BiddyPop Mon 10-Jun-13 11:10:57

While your DP cannot do heavy work, can he do very light gardening? If so, see if you can get some pots/troughs on ebay, chuck in some compost, and seeds for crops over the summer. You might even get lucky and find free tomato/courgette/peppers/other plants on freecycle too (enthusiastic gardeners who plant enough to oversome inevitable failures and end up with too many seedlings as a result). You may also find people with excess seeds that they'd give you part of a pack of a few different things.

Things like lettuce, radishes (fast), turnips (fast), carrots, peas, beans of various types (french, runner, broad etc), are all good for seeds. Tomatoes can be grown in pots (or bush types in hanging baskets - so less bending). Courgettes are prolific too and can also be in pots. Brassicas (cabbage, cauliflower etc) are not great in small spaces, but brocolli (calabrese is the summer green one) is good and the side-shoots are good to eat too not ust the top green crown. Brussels sprouts are good for winter if you have a small space to pop one in. Sping onions can mark the spaces between plants and grow away merrily too. And if you started a pot of leeks now, they can go into small spaces that are freed up later as broad beans or whatever come out, again for autumn/winter eating.

Peas and climbing beans against fences are nice and almost hide there, and I plant lots of veg in between the shrubs and flowers in the back garden.

BiddyPop Mon 10-Jun-13 11:28:34

If DP needs meat, would a pack of bacon lardons be enough to "flavour" a meal? So maybe a caesar salad with bacon, omlette with mushrooms and bacon and cheese, macaroni cheese with bacon and lots of veg, or pasta with tomato sauce and bacon and veg. Or bacon sprinkled over a jacket potato?

Taking that further, (we'd often get the Lidl bacon lardons pack, and one portion can be enough for carnivore DH to feel like it's a "meat" meal). If you get a joint of bacon (often large ones are very good value), boil it and have bacon meal, use the water with a pack of frozen peas to make "ham and pea soup" for another meal, and portion up the rest of the bacon for sambos, and in chunks for meals as above. Leftovers can be frozen and are fine defrosted for mixing into things.

Stretching a chicken is another great thing to do. Roast your bird, and enjoy the roast dinner. (I usually try to only roast enough spuds for the meal, or use leftovers as "homefries", either grilled or fried, but do loads of veg especially when using medditeranean types, to use with pasta etc next day). Take ALL the rest of the meat from the carcass (it can be frozen) and use it for various dishes (sambos, omlettes, pasta dishes, curries or asian stir fries, risotto, pies, chick and mushrooms with cream sauce (or campbell's chick or mush soup) etc). But then use the bones to make stock - with a carrot, onion, celery (if have it), some pepper and some herbs - boil it up and then take some for freezing/using as stock, but blitz the veggies into remainder as soup (take out stalky herbs before that point).

For mince dishes, I add loads of veg to it too. So spag bol is made with 500g mince, 2-3 carrots, a courgette, half a pepper, handful of mushrooms, big onion, 3 cloves garlic etc, and the tin of tomatoes. And that then serves about 6 adults. I know my DSis does it using all "orange" veg - carrots, butternut squash, red lentils etc, and is able to stretch it even more. For shepherd's pie, I do the same only tend not to use pepper, but add frozen peas instead and I do use lentils (green/puy? something like that) in that. Leftovers are also frozen.

Frozen veg is good (the kind you buy in freezer aisle), check yellow stickers and freeze veg at home too. I also pick up the stalks of the brocolli plants (in our SM, they have a hacksaw to cut them off, but allow people to take them home "for the rabbit" - I often bring a bag if they are thick). So I'll buy the head as usual, but the bag of stalks comes too. The outside skin and the stringy bit just inside are peeled off, and then I use it sliced up in stirfries, or diced into my mince dishes as part of the veg mix. (I noticed after I started doing this, that I suddenly recognised one of the ingredients in my Chinese takeaway!!). It's tasty and nutricious, just not something most people think of using.

Hope those bits help.

BiddyPop Mon 10-Jun-13 11:29:42

Oh, and things like leftover roasted veg, could make lovely roast veg tarts when laid on a sheet of pastry with some cheese on top and baked, serve with salad and it's a lovely dinner.

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