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Help with a shopping list and meal plan on a very budget

(21 Posts)
PinkSquash Wed 31-Aug-16 08:41:05

I have recently moved into a temporary flat, having left abusive xh 4 months ago, I have very limited cooking facilities- a microwave and a tiny oven and I only have a fridge.

I have got £25 to last me for food until the 9th September and I am struggling to find anything nutritious and easy to prepare.

I need ideas for both lunch and dinners that escape the Pot Noodle trap I've fallen into.

It's normally just for me, but I have two DCs staying this weekend who will also need feeding.

I'll post a list of what I have in the cupboards on my way to work and I only have a Morrisons nearby (and I have a £3 off a £25 spend coupon)

Thanks in advance for any help smile

PinkSquash Wed 31-Aug-16 11:54:42

My cupboards contain
Long grain rice
Pasta n sauce
3 minute noodles x4
Tins of soup
4 x beans
Sweet corn
Frey Bentos pie
Tin toms x2
Stewed steak (tin)
Garden peas
Tin spaghetti in sauce
Jar tom & garlic pasta sauce
Clove of garlic
Half tub of butter

And that's it.

Please help me, I'm really struggling

caramelchaos Wed 31-Aug-16 12:01:04

Buy pastry for stewing steak to make steak pie? Buy mushrooms and peppers to add to pasta n sauce and pasta/jar of sauce to bulk out.
Buy mince and chilli seasoning for chilli with sweet corn, tinned toms and beans? You could probably get 2 days worth from that.
Noodles/beans/spag on toast/soup tins for lunches, buy porridge oats for breakfasts
You could use the garlic and butter to put on bread to make garlic bread to go with pasta

caramelchaos Wed 31-Aug-16 12:05:22

Milk cheese and eggs for omelette/eggy bread/scrambled eggs etc
So 31st- omelettes, 1st - steak pie, 2nd - pasta with pasta sauce and shrooms and pepper and garlic bread, 3rd - chilli and rice, 4th pasta n sauce with veggies and cheese, 5th - scrambled eggs with cheese, 6th - fray bentos and peas, 7th - chilli and rice, 8th pasta and sauce bulked out and 9th - a treat with left over money

caramelchaos Wed 31-Aug-16 12:08:21

Shopping list - milk, cheese, eggs, bread, mushrooms, peppers, pastry, chilli seasoning, mince, oats. £14 ish in total. You could use the left over money for bits to make the meals fancier (e.g. Meat for pasta, kidney beans for chilli), get snacky foods like fruit and something yummy for dinner on the last day. Make the most of reduces items in supermarkets, usually reduced around 5-7pm

WitchesGlove Wed 31-Aug-16 12:08:27

PM me- I can do you an online shop if you want.

caramelchaos Wed 31-Aug-16 12:09:13

And well done for getting your independence. Of you can do that, you can do anything flowers

Pootles2010 Wed 31-Aug-16 12:17:07

When you say just oven & micro - do you mean no hob at all? I was thinking maybe a type of risotto/fried rice, you could use your long grain rice, add some eggs if you're planning on buying them, add in your sweetcorn & peas? If no hob, you could do it in the oven if you do the eggs in the micro.

caramelchaos Wed 31-Aug-16 12:18:03

Ah shit, I assumed over with hob!

BiddyPop Wed 31-Aug-16 12:23:59

OK I won't be the most helpful, but I will try.

I think, from what you say, you don't have any hob at all - just microwave and oven?

Do you need lunches as well, or just breakfasts/dinners and weekend lunches?
So 9 dinners, 6 of them solo and 3 of them with DCs?
9 breakfasts, 6 solo and 3 with DCs
2 weekend lunches, both with DCs

I am sort of seeing a few meals in your ingredients, but the no pots on a cooker is throwing most of those out on me.
If you have a kettle, couscous can be "cooked" using just boiling water (I can't see how to cook the spaghetti or rice).

I would be inclined to try and do 1 larger shop so that you can use the £3 voucher.

Tinned tuna could make one of those sauces and some pasta into a bake, perhaps with some sweetcorn, as 1 meal not needing fresh meat so next week.
Rashers or bacon lardons also tend to have longer life, or a piece of bacon. Perhaps bake a piece of bacon for dinner with the DCs over the weekend (cabbage is a cheap but good veg with this, or carrots, or the peas you have), leftovers for sandwiches for lunch, and to add to another pasta bake dinner or use in scrambled eggs or frittata type "dinner" omlette.

My immediate thoughts on very useful ingredients include eggs, cheese and either bread or a bag of flour (can make basic bread/scones/pancakes then - as well as the basic white sauce or to bake).

As well as regular milk, maybe 1 bottle of long life milk or powdered milk to last longer.

Sorry I am not much help - I will have a ponder....

SheDoneAlreadyDoneHadHerses Wed 31-Aug-16 12:30:57

I'd buy a loaf, some cheese, some potatoes, some eggs, some frozen veg, milk, cereal.

1) spaghetti with butter and garlic. fry sliced garlic in butter then put through cooked spaghetti and grated cheese
2) make mash and use to top the stewed steak and serve with the peas/sweetcorn
3) Nigella's tomato and rice soup. Add the pasta sauce and the same again of water to a pan and add in a decent amount of rice. Cook till the rice is done and serve with a grating of cheese
4) Soup and toast is good for lunches. Or tomato soup using the tinned tommies, a stock cube, some water, and some dried herbs, and cheese toasty-croutons
5) 3 min noodles can be padded out with veg and some chicken/turkey if you can afford a small packet - thighs are cheaper
6) beans on toast for lunches/brunches
7) Fray bentos pie and boiled potatoes and veg
8) Tinned spaghetti with fried eggs and toast (kid food!)
9) I can't say much about the pasta and sauce as my cupboards full of them at the moment

it's not the most exciting menu but it's only for now.

SheDoneAlreadyDoneHadHerses Wed 31-Aug-16 12:35:57

Ah just seen your bit about the micro and oven. No hob/freezer. Righto.

Jack gives advice on pasta with micro here. You can scramble eggs in a micro and melt butter/heat through garlic. You can also make risotto using normal rice in the oven too.

SheDoneAlreadyDoneHadHerses Wed 31-Aug-16 12:47:00

And Morrisons has some great deals on at the minute for cheese, bread and cereal (I'm a big fan of shreddies and a 500g pack is £1!!)

PinkSquash Wed 31-Aug-16 15:06:22

Thanks all for the inspiration, have some really great ideas flowers

Artandco Wed 31-Aug-16 15:14:25

If you cover pasta with some Tin tomatoes in oven dish and then fill can with water and add, you can make a pasta bake in oven without pre cooking the pasta.

I would get some baking potatoes ( baked potatoes in microwave, or wedges in oven), cheese, beans. Oats, milk for porridge. Bananas.

Potatoes easier than rice or pasta in the oven or microwave generally

Mummyshortlegz Wed 31-Aug-16 15:16:56

I spend £35 a week for four of us. My main technique is buying a joint and then using that for meat for 4-5 meals. You don't get a lot of meat at each sitting but that's fine. A chicken in aldi is £3.50 and I imagine similar in morrisons. We have roast / fajitas / egg fried rice / risotto out of it. If I don't have wraps I'll buy a sachet of powder or mix my own spice mix and mix the left over chicken with peppers and onions (frozen or fresh) and serve on noodles with some grated cheese. Risotto I use any old rice I have and chuck some peas and the chicken in at the end.

It's a quite dull way of eating to some but it makes money stretch as the most expensive bit of most meals is the meat. I buy bags of dried pulses and soak them over night instead of tins.

I buy the most cost effective veggies so we eat a lot of carrots and potatoes. Longer term you could buy those and onions from a farm shop and save a lot.

If you have leftovers freeze them in ziplock bags squashed flat, that takes up a lot less space.

One week we have roast chicken and one week roast pork and that is my meat for most of the week. The other three days we have sausages / omelettes (wonky veg)/ spaghetti (mine is very heavy on the orange lentils and the veg!) / beans on toast. Breakfast I have porridge and lunches we have sandwiches (ham / peanut butter / cheese / marmite) and an apple or a banana. Snacks I try and make a cake of a flapjack to make it go further.

A girl called jack is great for recipes.

Collarsandcutoffs Wed 31-Aug-16 15:22:01

Make in bulk and use for next day or two. Buying bulk usually cheaper overall but don't waste it.
Things like a big chilli/bolognaise thing.

Frozen mince is cheap and if you haven't a freezer you can cook it straight away. Bulk out with red lentils, an onion or two, Cheapo dried herbs and mega cheap tinned tom's. Look for Mushrooms in reduced section

If you make a shed load of it you can also buy moreisons basics own brand pasta and rice and have three meals with the kids. If there is some cheap frozen wedges or garlic bread you can do that with one meal to jazz it up.

Buy mixed frozen veg and garlic and stock and boil up then blitz to make soup. Bread to go with it.

Short grain rice and milk for rice pudding- filling and tasty and if you have money left buy jam too as then can use for jam and toast for brekkie.

Tin of custard and banana for a pudding

Don't buy cereal it is expensive and not filling. Buy super cheap oats. Can then mix up with melted butter and some honey or brown sugar for flapjacks too.

Pasta and sauce baked with a bit of cheese and possibly tin of tuna

Eggs are a filling lunch as scrambled or omelette.
Ditto jacket potatoes.

Forgo fresh fruit just for a bit you won't die of vitamin deficiency and fruit is relatively expensive and not filling.
Except maybe bananas which are filling and can be served with custard for a filling pudding.
Aim for veg with each evening meal tho- whatever is cheapest you can soup it up or mix into mince. Of decent serve alongside the steak etc.

From your store you have beans for the jackets, spaghetti hoops for toast, soup for lunch, stewing steak for an evening meal and maybe the pie too between three of you (depends how old/hungry kids are if both needed).

So initial list might be-
Pasta/ rice depending how much you have
Big jacket spuds to go with stewing steak and for JPs for lunch
Block of cheese
More butter (one cheap block)
Short grain rice
Basics jam
Frozen mince
Red lentils
Frozen veg
Stock/herbs/ garlic if you don't have
Any veg on offer
Bread loaf maybe go long life
Cheap oats for breakfasts

You will easily get that lot well in budget so can see where you are after a week.

Mummyshortlegz Wed 31-Aug-16 15:30:01

Tinned potatoes are very cheap and you could use them to make fish cakes with some tuna.

SheDoneAlreadyDoneHadHerses Wed 31-Aug-16 18:35:47

Also, if you get £3 off a £25 shop, see if they've any basic toasters on the home aisle for around £5, you'll have effectively got it for £2 then and it broadens your food a bit more

Artandco Wed 31-Aug-16 19:06:34

I assume toast can be made in the oven on the grill setting?

YelloDraw Thu 01-Sep-16 16:21:57

You can cook rice and pasta in the microwave.

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