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Help with ideas 350 food for family of 6(8 Posts)
I've had an unexpected bill come in and now only have 350 for a months groceries instead of 500. My income is down by 800 this month as I've started a new job and had a small gap. Please help with ideas of how I can save I'm usually pretty good but this is tight for us. We usually have 500.
I have a full store cupboard loads of pasta, beans, sweetcorn, spices, rice etc. Jams and spreads all fine. Got all toiletries. I can bake and cook.
Any ideas of how to make this stretch. We need nappies for one baby each week and wipes. We use around 16 pints of milk a week. This has to include packed lunches for start of September and work lunches for me. Happy to eat a lot of sandwiches. Any ideas?
I would try to live off the store cupboard as much as you can. Pasta and rice salads are fine as an alternative to sandwiches. You can mix in chickpeas and beans to get your nutrients and protein without having to buy fresh food and rely on bread. I know bread is cheap but what you put between it isn't so sandwiches can work out pricey. There is of course nothing wrong with a classic jam butty for lunch!
Dry chickpeas and beans are very cheap but you have to boil them for several hours and some need soaking so you will need some spare time if you want to go this route. Potatoes are cheap if you buy them in a sack. You can have potato salads for lunch, baked potatoes, layered potato bakes, chips, potato curries......
You have to buy the milk and nappies so see if you can manage with little else. Only buy fresh food (meat and veg) if it is in those end of date super sale areas. You could also consider using a local food bank until your finances are on an even keel, situations like yours are what they are there for and you might be able to get some nappies and other baby essentials too.
Pasta and rice and cheap. Chickpea curry is my go to cheap meal at 50p a head. Tomato and courgette pasta is a similar price, even seafood paella comes in at under £1 a head.
I find the trick is to limit treats, snacks and extras - the real food is only around half my bill. Make a plan for this week based on 20% of the available money (store cupboard may run low in the later half of the month so leave flexibility). Make substitutions like smart price/value products where possible and buy things like bulk oats and make flapjacks for school lunches. Sandwiches actually aren't that cheap remember, mine took pasta salad to school
You may have a farm shop in your area, worth a google. Ours does sacks of potatoes and other veg quite cheaply. I rarely buy meat and bread for full price but look for yellow stickers and freeze. My local Tesco’s is good for this about 7 pm. Also if you hop on a Sunday, just before closing at 4.
Check the price of the milk you buy, as it can vary significantly, you may save quite a bit by changing to an "Essential" or "Basic" type. This is true for all your other purchases too, baked beans, bread, breakfast cereals etc. etc.
Porridge is a cheap and filling breakfast. Eggs made into frittata with vegetables, or into egg fried rice are an economical meal. Instant noodles would be a cheap quick lunch.
If you can shop when the supermarket puts out its reduced goods you will save a lot, the information for timing for this is often on the shop website, or customer services desk will tell you.
If you've got any store card or Nectar points now is the time to use them.
Your well stocked store cupboard will help you get through this rough patch, use that first. You could post here or on "Food" with a list of store cupboard items for ideas on how to best use them.
Thank you ll so much for your replies. I've never looked on the food board so will look there today.
Chicpea curry is a great one id forgotten all about. I've quite a few tins of chickpeas so that's a great idea. I've had a good look last night and we've got 16 tins of beans, some tins of soup, chick peas, I've a huge bag of porridge oats too as well as loads of plain noodles, pasta bags and 7 or 8 sauces. Loads of tins of tomatoes.. Thanks for the suggestion of porridge I'm going to do that once all our open cerel has been used. I've fair amount of tin fruit so I thought I could use that for puddings or if fresh runs out. I shop at aldi and lidl so for the month I should be OK. We will def try the pasta and potato salad for lunch. Thanks so much.
Jacket potatoes with beans and cheese are the ultimate money saving meal. Also omelette with chips and beans/peas, and homemade soup with bread rolls/toast.