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Help me get enough food for a week with £80!!! 2 adults,2 kids,1 baby (diabetic coeliac dh!)

(42 Posts)
shoneshine Sat 13-Dec-08 13:17:18

Im now under a budget to pay bills and pay off my overdraft, have £100 pw after bills but would love to do my fd shop for less!Finding it harder since wev found dh is a coeliac as have to buy more potatoes, diff biscuits etc for when his sugar levels go low. Also like to have fruit etc for kids and I really must make my own babyfood! Kids are ds 4, dd 2 and baby ds 6m. Grateful to anyone w ideas! Thanks!

ps - I shop w Tesco direct for ease!

ruddynorah Sat 13-Dec-08 13:20:48


list what you have in at the moment, see if you can make 2 meals out of that. then list 5 more meals you could make and just buy food for them.

for fruit you may find a market cheaper than tesco, though they do have their stuff on half price at the moment.

MadamAnt Sat 13-Dec-08 13:24:22

Do you regularly get the money off codes for Tesco? That routinely saves me £5 to £12 (in fact I usually feel hard done by if I "only" get £5 off.

Can you cut down on meat?

There are a couple of books worth looking at: The Frugal Cook and the Pauper's Cookbook.

PeachyBidsYouNadoligLlawen Sat 13-Dec-08 13:27:04

I take it dh is getting food on prescription as he is entitled I believe?

Include some GF flour in the shop such as dove farms- they make excellent pancakes which are filling and easy.

In truth, the budget does need to allow for special diets- I know we are more expesive (6 od us, 4 on dairy free, 2 on GF) and in no way would £80 do it, £110 more like the average all in.

revjustaboutdrinksmulledwine Sat 13-Dec-08 13:32:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

breaghsmum Sat 13-Dec-08 13:36:30

have you tried meal planning, you'll soon get an idea of what you can use to make several different dishes.

chloemegjess Sat 13-Dec-08 17:30:05

£80 seems loads for a week shop. Do you buy all branded products? We Don't spend much more than that in a month, although only 1 DC and me and DH.

We get Value range of most things though, it is sooo much cheaper.

You can get a bag of value pasta for about 19p I think, which would do all of you one meal, tastes fine.

Oh an a big bag of potatoes for about £1 will do several meals, just have something potato with everything.

Bread again about 20p a loaf.

pecanpie Sat 13-Dec-08 17:51:56

The most difficult thing I guess is that DH is coeliac and the bread/pasta etc are really expensive. Did you know that you can get these on prescription for him? You'd still have to pay prescription charges but you can pay in advance for a card which covers the whole year so reduces costs dramatically. You can only get basics on prescription, but that's all you'd need.

Doves farm gluten free flour is pretty good - it's quite a bit more expensive than regular flour but still cheaper than buying ready made. I have a great recipe for GF scones if you'd like...

RumMum Sat 13-Dec-08 18:29:56

where do you get the tesco's discount code from... I'm ordering on line, as we speak....

VirginBoffinMum Sat 13-Dec-08 18:51:15

Go to Tesco website. Search for Value range of foods, buy mainly those (basically catering quality, most of it, and pretty good stuff). Aldi is even cheaper if you have the time to go up there, but the fruit and veg runs out fast, so mornings only is the best option. Buy stuff in season, eg root veg in winter, berries in summer.

Avoid branded food, fancy children's breakfast cereals etc (train them to eat porridge or ordinary cornflakes), individual pots of yoghurt (train kids to eat natural yoghurt with dollop of home made compote or some honey drizzled on top, even a dollop of your jam in it).

Get gluten free stuff on prescription or buy in bulk from a wholesaler.

Always do a weekly menu and never throw food away - make soups and things like stir fries out of it if there are leftovers. Cooked food keeps up to four days in the fridge.

Have a weekly baking day, and also pick and freeze or jam fruit when you can lay your hands on it for nothing (eg apples, blackberries, etc).

Cook ahead on a Sunday if you have time - a stew, a fish pie, a rice pudding, a crumble with an oatmeal topping, and some little jam tarts, for example. Only takes an hour or two with it all going at once while your roast is in (if it's chicken, you will also get a risotto out of it for Monday; if beef, mince the leftovers yourself and make a diving cottage pie; if pork, cook up with apples and red onion and a few juniper berries plus a splash of wine, and serve with boiled potatoes; if lamb make shepherd's pie). Put radio on in kitchen and sip wine whilst doing all this - very pleasurable 'me-time'.

Do you want me to send you my current weekly menus for a month and associated shopping lists, which come to around this amount? If so gve me an email address.

MadamAnt Sun 14-Dec-08 14:11:41

Sorry RumMum, I guess I'm too late, but for future reference, go to [[ and look for the Tesco vouchers.

There's also a MN thread that lists Tesco codes (in the savings and promotions section).

shoneshine Mon 15-Dec-08 10:41:04

Yes please 'virginboffinmum' and 'pecanpie' recipies and shopping lists would be great!
Would also appreciate any info on how to use leftovers, we never use ours even though there are plenty as Im not sure how to avoid food poisoning!!!
I will have to enquire bout the gluten free prescriptions, dont think dh would like the bread (too used to warburtons etc b4 coeliac) but the pasta would be useful. Also we wouldnt have to pay for his prescriptions as hes diabetic. I have a range of glutenfree flours, doves is good, the scones sound yummy!
The glutenfree cornflakes are what he currently has for breakfast but are over £2 a box!

nappyaddict Mon 15-Dec-08 11:24:01

Would you be able to get GF porridge oats on prescription? Porridge is usually cheaper than other cereals but not sure about GF ones.

my biggest money saving tips are:

look on uswitch to check you are with the cheapest energy providers

keep all leftovers for lunch next day/to give dc for their dinner/freeze.

each week look at what you have left before you go shopping again and meal plan. try to make the most of what you have and only buy the extra things you need to make the meals on the plan for the next week.

if you are inclined to buy takeaways when you can't be arsed to cook then cook things in bulk and then put into portions and freeze so you can reheat those instead of buying a takeaway or ready meal.

Eat more meat free meals. We do this to save money and what meat we do buy comes from the market.

Use Lidl/Aldi/Netto for for half price fruit and veg, tinned beans, chickpeas etc, frozen peas, olive oil (we decant it into a spray bottle so you use less), fresh herbs, tuna, tinned tomatoes, noodles, free range eggs, cheese, milk, plain yogurt, frozen fish, free range chicken, dishwasher powder, washing up liquid, washing powder. Then we go to Asda for unrefined sugar, wholemeal flour, wholemeal pasta, brown rice, salt free pasatta, porridge, shredded wheat, salt and sugar free muesli, free range butter, bread (you could make your own if you wanted to be really good), spices, bouillon powder and other stuff you can't get in Lidl (in your case the GF stuff.)

AussieLou Mon 15-Dec-08 12:25:45

have a look at this wesbite.
Some of the stuff is perfectly fine. Never used it myself but know people who have and said its great.

shoneshine Mon 15-Dec-08 21:23:03

Thankyou everyone!!! any tips on ensuring any leftover meat is safe??? Probably over cautious frm my paranoid mother so Ive always steered clear of keeping any leftovers!

VirginBoffinMum Mon 15-Dec-08 21:48:38

Email me at boffinmum at hotmail dot co dot uk if you want menu plans and linked shopping lists. The book I have based them on is Dorling Kindersley's 'Children's Cookbook' so the kids can join in food preparation.

Cooked meat lasts up to four days in a fridge between 0C and 4C as long as it doesn't smell wierd and rancid/vinegary (you will know if it's off). Only reheat things once as a maximum and if in doubt cook within an inch of its life.

One of my (biologist) friends even eats roadkill! He says your bowels sort out any problems. I have to say I am not an advocate myself ...

shoneshine Mon 15-Dec-08 22:06:52

I know I`m being too cautious, just didnt wana take a chance and get ill but your right, you can usually tell if its not right.

nappyaddict Tue 16-Dec-08 00:29:40

If you think you won't use it within 4 days then freeze it. If you freeze 2 days after cooking write on the freezer bag use within 2 days of defrosting or whatever.

becklespeckle Tue 16-Dec-08 00:44:52

this thread usually has some great money off codes although they have been a little thin on the ground lately Tescos the meanies are probably not putting many out there over Chrismas as they know people will spend more in store - hopefully there will be more come January!

As for babyfood, since DD was 6 months old I have mainly been giving her the same food as we have. I save some, refrigerate it and she eats it the next day. I find that adding a little water or milk to the food once mashed/pureed gives it a nicer texture and is easier for her to swallow.

treedelivery Tue 16-Dec-08 01:37:39

This is how we shop -

Cut right down on meat.
Make your hand into a claw - thats your veg portion, cup your hand - thats the carbs, palm of your hand [no fingers] is your meat at absolute maximum. About thinkness of your palm too.

Chicken legs actually taste better than breast. You may need to skin them yourself - but that might save you £2. Cheap mince is often better in a bolognese as it has fat in it that adds flavour. Same old cow same old factory.

Veg can be frozen - fresh veg was probably picked weeks ago anyway and kept so chilled it's nearly frozen. Frozen peas, sweetcorn, runner beans are lovely. Frozen carrots work of the devil, but carrots are cheap veg anyway.

If you include cleaning stuff in your budget - use 1/4 of dose washing powder and 1/4 soda crystals. Perfectly good cleaning I promise. 1/4 fabric conditioner and a bit of white vinegar if you are in hard water area.
Cheap cream cleaner will clean everything in your house, and the white vinegar will make a sparkle on glass etc. particulary if you rub with newspaper. These cleaning costs cuts will save you a bomb!

Loo roll, it's just wiping your bum so buy the 12 rolls for £1.40 and it's ok I promise!

Cheap own brand porridge is the way forward - saok it overnight in twice its volume of liquid [milk, or milk and water mixed] and warm through in the am. You'll be stuffed till 2pm!

I think sandwiches [the bread and the contents, marg, ham etc] cereals and fancy drinks are huge expenses you won't miss so much. Buy a cheap litre carton of orange juice [45p] water it down to 3 litres and it's still refreshing and lovely. stick in a Bit of fizzy water, its a treat for kids and good for them.

Beware buy on get one free on things you don't actually need! BOGOf £2 sweet and sour sauce is no bargain if you can get a different brand for 60p anyway! Packet sauces are WAY cheaper!

Now is no time to buy rubbish though it can be sooooo cheap. What you eat should be good quality and to the point. It's sensible to buy basic, but check ingredients to see they haven't suffered. With base products like oats - they haven't, with refined products like bread - they may have. I find cheap white bread just sugar and air - not filling and of no nutitional value.

Hope this helps!

treedelivery Tue 16-Dec-08 01:41:09

We spend about £40 on 2 adults, 4 year old and a cat BTW. It's going down to £30-£40 due to redundancy but I'd struggle to go lower and provide ANY variation in diet.

nappyaddict Tue 16-Dec-08 01:49:56

i find cleaning porducts really expensive so now i don't buy them. i use vinegar, olive oil, baking soda and lemon. i found this site and this site really helpful.

nappyaddict Tue 16-Dec-08 02:03:15

oh and we use soap flakes for washing clothes. soda crystals can be toxic so don't like to use those with DS around. Forgot to add I use cornstarch and cream of tartar sometimes in the homemade cleaners and toothpaste is a good abrasive. here is another good website about it

some good stuff on here but you have to go through a load of other stuff to find it

nappyaddict Tue 16-Dec-08 02:10:21

toothpaste is great for cleaning brass, silver or stainless steel and removing crayon marks from the floor and wooden furniture. Also if you rub gently on water marks on wood with a damp cloth it removes them.

treedelivery Tue 16-Dec-08 02:25:48

Really? I have 1000's of water marks. Let me at them!

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