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Can you make a meal for a family of 4 for £5 or less?

(55 Posts)
Jayne266 Sat 15-Jun-13 22:21:11

I have just challenged my DH to this. I have got a spaghetti bolognese using value range were applicable (not the meat) and came up to £3.64.

Basil £0.61 (dried)
Carrot £0.08 (1 carrot)
Chopped tomatoes £0.62 (2 Tins)
Spaghetti £0.19
Mince £1.50
Onion £0.18
Garlic £0.30
Garlic bread £0.33

Have you got any ideas?

FoundAChopinLizt Sat 15-Jun-13 22:30:03

Two large pizzas

Flour 500g max 50p
Yeast not even 5p
Olive oil v small amount (pennies)
Tomatoes chopped 33p basics
Mozzarella basics £1.40
Onion 15p
Garlic 30p but only a bit so 10p
Ham or left over meat or veg 50p


So enough left for good salad to go with it.

Trills Sat 15-Jun-13 22:33:29


Do you have to start from zero and only spend £5?

Or are you allowed to buy (for example) a pack of carrots for £1 but only count 25p of it because you only used 1/4 of the pack?

This makes a big difference, but also leaves you with a lot of leftover ingredients that need using up.

joanofarchitrave Sat 15-Jun-13 22:38:06

Yes, but not necessarily a very nice or interesting one.

Pasta with burnt onions: oil 10p, onions 50p, value pasta around 50p.

Frittata: oil ?5p, onions 20p, 12 eggs £3.10, potatoes 50p, salt 1p.

Baked potatoes with beans and cheese: potatoes £1.50, value beans 50p, cheese £1.

MegBusset Sat 15-Jun-13 22:43:30

Yes, loads. Most of our meals cost far less. We don't eat meat though, and shop mostly in Aldi. I spend the remainder on wine grin

Idislikemymil Sat 15-Jun-13 22:44:39

Baked potatoes, tuna, sweet corn, salad.
Dahl curry and rice
Dahl soup and bread
Vege pasta (tin toms, onions, garlic, a veg, such as courgettes)
Any kind of veg/lentil soup.
Black eyed bean curry and rice
Fish fingers, mash, beans
Omelette and salad
Spicy rice and salad.
I'm bored now. But there's loads. In fact, most nights we feed 5 for under a fiver at our house.

FoundAChopinLizt Sat 15-Jun-13 22:45:22

Tuna pasta

Pasta £1 for nice pasta on offer need 60p worth for four
Tuna two tins £2 again cheap or on offer
Onion 20p
Garlic 10p
Chopped tomatoes 33p basics

So £3 so can add extra veg e.g.
Frozen sweet corn say 20p worth
Mushrooms basics say 30p worth
Cheese for on top

Still enough for salad!

FoundAChopinLizt Sat 15-Jun-13 22:50:00

Quiche is very cheap, as local eggs can be £2 dozen free range.
Chickpea curries

We feed six fairly cheaply, today lunch was mackerel pâté (basics mackerel, basics cream cheese, pepper, lemon juice) with homemade rolls and lentil veg soup.

You can eat well for less, but it does take planning, effort and facilities to cook and shop.

Awks Sat 15-Jun-13 22:50:42

Salmin and dill spaghetti - all Sainsburys

spaghetti 19p
salmon trimmings 1.50
creme fraiche 1.10
lemon 30p
dill 80p
french stick 80p

my favourite easy supper

Trills Sat 15-Jun-13 22:51:40

I think that "not necessarily a very nice or interesting (or healthy) one" is the key here.

It's perfectly possible to make a meal for 4 people for £5, especially if you are don't have to count the cost of the whole packet of whatever you are eating, but it is not necessarily sustainable.

You wouldn't want to have to eat that way all the time, anyway.

FoundAChopinLizt Sat 15-Jun-13 22:51:56


My sainsburys doesn't do salmon trimmings anymore

<<not fair>>angry

Maryz Sat 15-Jun-13 22:53:14

Are you allowed to use part of a store cupboard ingredient?

Because that makes a huge difference. dd has to do a challenge soon which involves feeding herself for £3.30 a day (€4 in Ireland, where things are very expensive). She could do it over a week, because she could buy a pint of milk or a packet of mince and eke it out, but she has to buy each day's food for the money, and eat it, and wait for the next day to get the next amount.

I think she will find it very tough (no access to salt, butter, herbs, anything like that).

Oh, and no oven (no baked potatoes), just a camping stove, and she has to do a nutritional analysis so can't eat all crap.

I suspect pot noodles may play a part grin

TheSecondComing Sat 15-Jun-13 22:53:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Idislikemymil Sat 15-Jun-13 22:54:45

Yep, pasta dishes too. Cheap as chips. Or cheap as pasta.

Sorry, can't be bothered to itemise my meals. In a wine haze. I love sainsburys basics wine in a plastic bottle. Think it's only £3.50 a bottle.

forevergreek Sat 15-Jun-13 22:56:25

Idis- I would find some of them things hard to keep under

Just tuna baked pototoes are:
X4 large pototoes -£1
X2 Tins of Tuna - £3
Sweetcorn -65p
Salad -£2 ( mixed leaves, some cucumber, tomatoes at min)

And I would struggle making an omelette as a meal for under

Eggs x8 - £2
Potatoes -50p
Onion -20p
Some filling ie spinach/ tomatoes/ peppers - £1.50
Salad - £2

Or am I not doing this properly? I mean where can you get mince for £1.50??

Idislikemymil Sat 15-Jun-13 23:04:39

No forever! I buy a 7. 5 kg bag of potatoes at sainsbury's for £5. Tuna is about £1 per tin or less, basics sweetcorn roughly 25p, a squirt of mayo.
Salad is cheaper - basics salad with a good homemade dressing. Yum yum.

Trills, I eat mostly cheaply and healthily. Honest. And enjoy it.

Idislikemymil Sat 15-Jun-13 23:07:52

Forever - I buy eggs from the milkman. 6 eggs are £1.20.

FoundAChopinLizt Sat 15-Jun-13 23:08:37

Spinach is good for cheap salad, you can put it in the omelette too.Or grated carrot, cabbage with a little onion and a dressing. Vacuum packed beetroot is cheap, nice with a dressing.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Sat 15-Jun-13 23:11:13

I think the odd meal I cook comes up at under £5 for four of us but not very often.

We eat mostly free-range meat and sustainable fish which is expensive, and veg is not as cheap as it was. I spent nearly £40 on just fruit and veg for the week for four of us earlier.

MegBusset Sat 15-Jun-13 23:14:53

Some of you really need to get to Aldi! eg baked potatoes there are 90p for four, tin of tuna 59p, tin of sweetcorn 29p, salad bag 59p.

Maryz Sat 15-Jun-13 23:14:58

Bloody hell, eggs are over €2 for 6 here, own brand tuna is €1.50 at least a tin. Own brand sweetcorn over a euro for a small tin. Milk over a euro a litre.

Salad is very expensive, isn't it?

Alibabaandthe40nappies Sat 15-Jun-13 23:16:27

Meg we don't have one, and I like to buy british where possible.

BriansBrain Sat 15-Jun-13 23:16:50

Toad in the hole with sweet corn and gravy.

Garlic and herb Philly, bag of frozen chicken pieces (£2 feeds 4) pasta swirls.

Home made sausage rolls and coleslaw


Growing your own herbs on the kitchen window seal really does make any mince, pasta meal a tasty.

It works best to have beans, eggs, cheese etc on toast for one weeks bufpdget and then spend the saved amount on store cupboard basics like

Emergency dried herbs
Worcester sauce

Queen0fFeckingEverything Sat 15-Jun-13 23:19:51

Yes, but it would only be a 'nice' meal <foody> if I was able to use basic store cupboard stuff (oil, seasoning etc) and only count the cost of the amount I used iyswim.

Loads of our meals cost around that but we do have a decent store cupboard which makes that possible - olive oil, sesame oil, decent vinegar, herbs/spices, yeast/bicarb/baking powder for example - and huge amounts of herbs in tubs outside.

I could still do it without that if I had to though.

Triumphoveradversity Sat 15-Jun-13 23:23:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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