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How much does it cost you to make a cottage pie, a lasagne, a roast dinner?

(56 Posts)
WombatChocolate Mon 24-Feb-20 14:21:06

Just wondering what people spend on preparing these standard family meals?

So, for ease of comparison, please do your calculations to cover a decent 4-5 portion meal.

For a cottage pie I would include the following;
- 500g extra lean mince £3.75
- carrots, peppers, mushrooms - about £1.50
- potatoes -- £1
- herbs, Worcester sauce, stock cube - 50p

Total - £6.75. Does that sound pretty average for a meal of this type?

My lasagne would cost an extra £1.50 as I'd use a carton of passata £0.50 plus a jar of white sauce £1 (I know, cheating) so £8.25.

Is anyone making these meals much cheaper and if so how? I'm not keen to go for very cheap meat. I don't mind cooking in bigger bulk and freezing if it helps.

Many thanks.

OP’s posts: |
Etcni Mon 24-Feb-20 14:26:34

I'm not in the UK so prices aren't directly comparable for me, but in general you don't need extra lean for things like cottage pie or lasagne, so you can easily go up to 10% fat even if you don't want 15%. Or you could do something like taking out some of the meat and replacing it with mushrooms (or lentils, but mushrooms are better if there's already some in the meal) to make the meat go further.

dustibooks Mon 24-Feb-20 14:29:27

I'm literally just about to make a cottage pie for 4 adults, so I will count up as I go.

Cheeseontoast4 Mon 24-Feb-20 14:32:49

I make a vegetarian version for 4 using Quorn mince and Passata ... costs a couple of pounds less - I also mix quorn mince with tinned green lentils to make it go further

Letseatgrandma Mon 24-Feb-20 14:33:20

Interesting-I was thinking about this earlier. I bought a supermarket lasagne which was really nice and only £5 which fed the whole family. It took 40 minutes to cook and no washing up-I added some salad to it as well.

Had I made a lasagne, it would have taken an hour to cook and then wash up. I’m sure homemade tastes nicer, but this was certainly cheaper and quicker.

VirtualHamster Mon 24-Feb-20 14:38:35

I only use 250-300 g of mince to make bolognese that will serve 4/5. It's bulked out with onions, carrots and celery.

jillandhersprite Mon 24-Feb-20 14:44:38

1) bigger quantities - can buy bigger packs of meat much cheaper
2) choice of meat - we use pork and beef mince as its cheaper than lean beef, on stews/slow cooker meals we use cheaper cuts of meat, buy up and freeze when there are offers on, check out the discounted fridge
3) bulk out with more veg and pulses - swede, carrots, celery, lentils, beans and so on
4) rarely buy fancy ingredients - like random spices, weird expensive additions that you see in nigella and jamie recipes
5) can substitute - not greek yoghurt but the cheaper greek style yoghurt, gran padano cheese instead of parmesan, cured ham instead of parma ham, own brand plum tomatoes rather than napolina, and so on...

WombatChocolate Mon 24-Feb-20 14:49:29

Is 500g of extra lean mince too much to feed 4-5? If I bought a 750g pack, I could probably get 2 meals from it by adding a few more carrots etc and the mince would only be £1.50 more for the bigger pack.

For the 500g of mince, I'm adding 2 carrots, 1 big pepper and perhaps 6 mushrooms, as well as onions or leeks and garlic. This does make 4-5 decent portions....would probably feed 6 at a push.

I guess I forgot to add bits for a decent chunk of butter(perhaps 40p) - perhaps 1/4 of a pack and a cup of milk.

The £5 supermarket one sounds good value and nice and quick, but what is the meat content?

OP’s posts: |
WombatChocolate Mon 24-Feb-20 14:50:59

Anyone able to do a calculation for how much those meals cost you please? Thanks.

OP’s posts: |
VirtualHamster Mon 24-Feb-20 14:55:45

Is 500g of extra lean mince too much to feed 4-5?

I don't think it's excessive but I think you could use less if you were trying to save money. I use 250g not to save money, but to increase the amount of veg we were eating and to cut down on meat consumption but it is cheaper too. So i'll put enough carrots and celery in that there's a portion of veg per person.

mindproject Mon 24-Feb-20 14:58:46

I make vegan versions:

Cottage pie - Packet of Tesco vegan mince (£1.75), a few potatoes, onions and carrots (80p), tinned tomatoes (30p), vegetable stock, vegan butter/milk for the mash (50p), a few herbs and spices (10p). Total is £3.45

Lasagne - Packet of Tesco vegan mince (£1.75), mushrooms (90p), lentils (20p), tinned tomatoes (30p), garlic herbs and spices (20p). For the cheese sauce I use vegan butter, cornflour, soya milk, bouillon powder, nutritional yeast, turmeric (total is about £1). Then lasagne sheets (60p). Total is £3.95

Roast dinner - potatoes (60p), broccoli (60p), carrots (30p), other veg (50p), 6 vegan sausages (1.25), stuffing mix (40p), vegan gravy (20p). Total £3.85.

These are big quantities of food, enough for 6 people. There are only two of us and we don't eat huge meals, so cooking these portions would mean there is food for days.

WinterCat Mon 24-Feb-20 15:01:17

Mine cost a lot more but I use loads of cheese. Even if I use white sauce from a jar, I’ll still add extra cheese. I also use mushrooms, carrots, wine, stock pot etc.

No wonder my supermarket bills are so high.

VirtualHamster Mon 24-Feb-20 15:03:42


Mince 250g 1.25 (we buy it at £5 quid a kilo from the farmshop and freeze)
Onion 0.10
Garlic 0.10
Stock Cube 0.10
Tomatoes/Passata 0.50
Carrots 0.25
Lasagne Sheets 0.25
Celery 0.25
Herbs & Spices 0.10
Flour 0.10
Butter 0.40
Milk 0.50

£3.90 (i think, feel like i've missed an ingredient out somewhere)

MyDcAreMarvel Mon 24-Feb-20 15:03:45

For a cottage pie I would include the following;
- 250g 12% fat £1.30
- carrots, peppers, peas - £1
- potatoes - £80p
- Worcester sauce, stock cube - 30p
Total £3.40

MyDcAreMarvel Mon 24-Feb-20 15:04:25

Mince that should say 12% I do drain it.

BillieEilish Mon 24-Feb-20 15:13:05

I totally agree with the sentiment I think you're trying to get across OP

I am vegetarian, I cook for 4.

My cottage pie is lentils, onions, courgettes, tomatoes, carrots, celery, olive oil etc etc

Potatoes, butter and cheddar

My lasagne has ricotta or mozerella, grana padano in it. Again all veggie plus lasagne, milk, flour, butter. Auberrines etc

My veg curries and chillies the same. Adding sweet potato/lentils etc.

All in all I was working the same thing out in bed the other night! I spend about 8 euro minimum on a home cooked lasagne/cottage pie for 4.

I am veggie so the meat doesn't come into it.

BillieEilish Mon 24-Feb-20 15:17:20

So people with the cheapest versions are saying half what I spend?

I really couldn't do it cheaper. In Spain. Where veggies are cheap.

I agree with PP on the cheese being expensive.!

MyFamilyAndOtherAnimals1 Mon 24-Feb-20 15:18:36

White sauce is sooo cheap to make - literally a spoonful of flour and some milk

BillieEilish Mon 24-Feb-20 15:21:54

I am too luxurious in my making of white sauce then!
That wouldn't cut it for me.

VirtualHamster Mon 24-Feb-20 15:24:57

I agree with PP on the cheese being expensive.!

Cheese doesn't feature in my lasagne, which makes a difference to the cost for sure.

TriSkiRun99 Mon 24-Feb-20 15:30:15

Tin of green lentils added to 250g mince lots of veg and easily feeds 4. Make double and freeze the extras. My meat loving DH didn’t notice the lentils for a year until I pointed them out and the kids didn’t notice either cheaper and healthier cottage pie. Or for lasagne I add a couple of tins of tomatoes and lentils to bulk it out.

TheLarkDescending Mon 24-Feb-20 15:31:03

For cottage pie

2x cans lentils - £1 or 450 / 500g beef mince - £3.33
Onion - 10p
Carrots - 25p
Potatoes - 25p
Stock, herbs, Tabasco sauce - 40p
Red Leicester cheese - 25p

So £2.25 for the vegetarian version and £4.58 for the meat version.

Just costed the veg up at Ocado so you’d probably be able to get it cheaper

dustibooks Mon 24-Feb-20 15:39:41

Right - back with ingredient list of cottage pie I just made:

500g 12% beef mince £2.35 (but I bought it just as they were reducing them) so £1.18
1 onion from big bag costing 59p so say 10p
1 Oxo cube 14p
1/2 stick celery about 5p
Pinch dried parsley 5p
2x tbsp frozen peas from giant bag 10p
1x tsp Bisto gravy granules as I've run out of cornflour 5p
1/4 of a £2 bag red potatoes 50p

to serve:
1/4 green cabbage 20p
1/3 bag carrots 20p

Total cost £2.57
If mince had been full price it would have been £3.74

Rosalo Mon 24-Feb-20 15:42:36

We use 1kilo of mince and it feeds 6 people with enough for two extra meals the following day.

I need to work out costs.

WombatChocolate Mon 24-Feb-20 15:45:43

Hmm. Interesting. It's mostly my expensive extra low fat mince which is making the difference in price.

I'd say 1/3-1/2 of the meal is veg (carrots, peppers, leeks, mushrooms) but I don't use lentils. I might look into those.

I forgot cheese too - for both my lasagne and cottage pie it's just what is grated on top so not loads to be honest or very costly.

Perhaps I'm adding too much for the price of potatoes and other veg and bits like the stock cube.

OP’s posts: |

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