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Diet and Budget woes


Minimin Addict
Hey Guys,
I've snuck back in again, been trying out the new pro points system but in all honesty i'm eating the same rubbish that made me 22stone in the first place (freezer junk)so i'm really not feeling it anymore. We move on the 2nd Jan (great timing) so money is super tight and we did agree just to live off freezer stuff but i'm sure its making my tummy bad again, i'm fairly confident i can do sw on a fairly tight budget and i usually stick to green days anyway and i'm moving just around the corner from the lovely new sw consultant group (who still texts me weekly to see if i'm ok even though i've not been to group in 6 weeks)

On the positive side, i've lost 7lbs this week from being so poorly.

Is anyone else doing slimming on a budget, how do you find it, do you have to stick to green?
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S: 14st7lb C: 14st1lb G: 11st0lb BMI: 31.8 Loss: 0st6lb(2.96%)
I have been doing sw on a budget and although it's hard, it's still eAsy enough and there are 4 of us in the household! I have ee days as then it gives me some leeway.

I shop in aldi and get weetabix and porridge. I get lots of potatoes n frozen veg. And I get pasta and mince beef n chicken breasts and some frozen fish. Also eggs milk and wholemeal bread and apples and a melon. That's about it. If we have some more money then I get more interesting fruits such as berries but at least i'm still being good!! So u can do it :) I sit and plan breakfast lunch and dinner for the whole week and our tight budget can be about 30 and our usual budget is 50 and we usualy stick to it.

Hope this helps in some way x
I started s.w just over 2 months ago & am on a very tight budget. I'm currently doing green as i'm veggie & seem to find it quite easy to stay in budget as long as you plan ahead.

I usually spend £25-30 for 2 of us a week- how much do you have to spend?

I make sure i check out this thread http://www.minimins.com/slimming-world/40089-where-bargains-anything-else-thats-useful.htmlto see if there are any bargains in the shops then work my shopping list around there.

I try to buy value stuff or stock up on things i know i'll use when it's on offer.
I usually go to morrisons so stock up on value rice & potatoes. I also check on the veggie seconds because you can generally freeze veggies if you cut them up- like peppers/mushrooms/herbs etc.
Because i eat a lot of eggs i tend to go to my local farm as they are free range & cheap! I get the little ones 24 for £2.

Good luck, I'm sure you can do it :D & make sure you plan ahead!

Good luck with the move too! At least it adds to your exercise :D


Minimin Addict
Thanks for the tips, before money was tight we'd go into asda spend £50 and seem to have nothing. Now we're shopping in Iceland and spending about £30 but i was planning to start getting more fish/unprocessed stuff. Think organisation is the key and having to climb a flight of stairs for the first time in 5 years is gonna help.
S: 14st2lb G: 10st0lb
I buy 15 kg bags of potatoes from the farm shop in my village for £4.00 and keep them in the cold utility so last ages :) Also buy eggs from the farmer I rent my unit from £1.50 for 12. Pasta I buy the shop own brands because they are mega cheap. Also (not this week though as life hectic at the moment) do a weekly planner so know what meals we are having. Do you have the big directory? If so have a look at free or low syn things from iceland. Hope it helps x
S: 13st3.4lb C: 12st13.4lb G: 8st13lb BMI: 34.3 Loss: 0st4lb(2.16%)
Hi there,

I'm doing SW on a tight budget and sometimes succeed and sometimes don't (if I'm being honest) I rely on public transport or on-line shopping, theres not an aldi near me and I live on my own. I find the freezer very helpful as I can buy frozen veggies from Iceland.... I don't have a fridge so keeping fresh fruit and veg can be a nightmare. I tell myself that tinned is good veggie wise as well.

I know that months ago on Lifeline online there was a seven day menu for folk on tight budgets - thibnk it was aimed at students? The only downside was that it had meat in and I'm mainly veggie. But.... I no longer have access to it but if you do you might find it helpful.

I use a lot of rice and pasta. Not that many potatoes as I find they go off quick - green and sprouty. And there is only so many jacket potatoes a girl can handle.

I'm looking forward to any hints and tips that might be given you. I try to go for cheap and cheerful but being on a budget can be such a downer at times.

S: 10st13lb C: 10st5lb G: 9st9lb BMI: 25.7 Loss: 0st8lb(5.23%)
Heya ... we`re uber skint at the moment so i can completely understand where you`re coming from.

We mostly shop at Aldi .... their packs of meat (hams etc) are only 99p .... Cottage cheese (49p), eggs (99p large 1/2 dozen), bacon (extra trimmed £1.45). Fresh and steam bags of frozen veg, fruit, taties and salads are very, very reasonably priced, and their packs of skinless/boneless frozen fish are just gorgeous, and very cheap (we get Tuna steaks, Haddock (smoked and plain), Cod, Salmon, Sea Basa etc).

I get a lot of the "staple" stuff once a month from Tesco`s .. Like my frylight, tins of no drain tuna, beans, tinned toms and shape zero`s.

But tbh my bill rarely comes over £70 for 3 of us for a weeks shopping ... and most of the stuff i get has long dates on it, and stores really well ... That is half the battle, having frozen and tinned stuff that you can cook up/make at a moments notice ;)
Just checked on lifeline online & most of the student recipes have meat in- like you say judith...but there are some recipes on ther that they say are for a tight budget

Sausage & bean casserole

1 onion
Fry Light
½ tsp chilli powder,
8 Quorn sausages
2 x 420g cans baked beans
420g can red kidney beans in chilli sauce


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas 6 (or 150°C for fan ovens). Peel and finely slice the onion. Spray a pan with Fry Light and gently fry the onion until softened and lightly browned, add the chilli powder if using and transfer to a large ovenproof lidded casserole pot.
  2. Add the sausages to the frying pan, turning at regular intervals until browned, then add them to the casserole pot along with the baked beans and red kidney beans.
  3. Stir well, cover and cook in the oven for 25-30 minutes until piping hot. Serve immediately.
Carrot and lentil soup

Serves: 6
Syns per serving: Free on Green
Preparation time: 10 minutes Cooking time: 50 minutes

6 carrots
1 large onion
Fry Light
6oz dried red lentils, rinsed
Salt and pepper

  1. Peel and chop carrots and onion add to a large saucepan sprayed with a little Fry Light, and cook for 3-5 minutes. Then add the rinsed lentils.
  2. Make up 2 pints of stock with the Vecon, add this to the pan with the vegetables and lentils and simmer for approximately 35 minutes. Season to taste add more water if required, and simmer a further 10 minutes
  3. Once cooked, blend the soup either in a liquidiser or with a hand blender and serve.
Tip: Really good for filling up on a cold winter’s day!

Speed Pasta

Serves: 2
Syns per serving: Free on Green
Preparation time: 10 minutes Cooking time: 12 minutes


Dried pasta 300g fusilli
2 x 420g canned chopped tomatoes
1 red pepper, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
Garlic powder to taste
Worcestershire sauce to taste

Healthy Extra portion of cheese sprinkled on top

  1. Cook the pasta according to packet instructions. Meanwhile, spray a large pan with Fry Light, add the chopped pepper and onion and gently fry for a few minutes, then add the canned tomatoes, garlic and Worcestershire sauce.
  2. Simmer for 10 minutes until the vegetables have softened slightly.
  3. Drain the cooked pasta and pour the sauce over. Top with a Healthy Extra portion of cheese, if you like, and serve immediately.
Tip: This recipe is also a nice base for soup. Just leave out the pasta and cook the 'sauce' for a little longer, then blend it in a food processor or use a hand blender and stir in a little very low fat fromage frais for a sweet tomato soup!

Winter kebabs

Serves: 4
Syns per serving: Free Original and Green*
*(add 6 Syns if not using chicken as a Healthy Extra ‘b’ choice)
Preparation time: 10 minutes Cooking time: 30 minutes

3 chicken breasts
Vacuum packed cooked beetroot
Butternut squash
Mushrooms (125g)
Peppers (2)
Onions (2)
Fry Light
Salt and Pepper
Garlic, finely chopped

  1. Cube the chicken, quarter the beetroot, chop the butternut squash into medium sized cubes, slice the peppers roughly and quarter the onions.
  2. Thread the ingredients onto a damp skewer and place on a large baking tray, spray with Fry Light, season and sprinkle over the finely chopped garlic.
  3. Place in the oven at 180°C/Gas 4 for about 30 minutes, until the chicken and butternut squash are cooked thoroughly. Serve with a huge salad
Tip: This is a really healthy meal that uses lots of fresh vegetables and they’re all speed foods!

Egg fried rice

Serves: 1
Syns per serving: Free on Green
Preparation time: 10 minutes Cooking time: 20 minutes

125g rice
¼ cucumber diced
½ red pepper
½ green pepper
2 tomatoes diced
½ onion diced
Fry Light
Soy sauce
1 egg

  1. Cook the rice according to the packet instructions. While the rice is cooking, chop and dice the cucumber, peppers, onions, tomatoes, and set aside
  2. Once the rice is cooked run it under the cold water to cool, which stops it sticking together.
  3. Spray a frying pan with Fry Light and add the cucumber, peppers, onions and tomatoes, then add the rice and soy sauce to taste, cook until hot. Cook the egg in a separate pan and scramble or use the microwave to scramble, and then add the egg to the rice and vegetable mixture for a few seconds, stir and serve.
im a student and until now by uni schedule was so hectic that i couldnt even have a part time job. But i still managed to live healthly off a tight budget. I go to the reduced aisle in tesco and get things like a bag of seasonal veg for 95p and use some of the veg for my tea that night and the rest ill make into a vegetable soup that does me for another meal. I also buy the tesco value rice and pasta. I always check calorie and fat intake on the back compared to others (even though slimming world doesnt opperate like that its just to make sure im still eating right) and the value stuff is the same and sometimes lower. Im a veggie so i buy meat subsitutes which is cheaper if your on a green day. They have offers on quorn quite a lot like 3 bags of sausages for £5 or 2 for £3. For fruit i ALWAYS go to the fruit shop rather than a supermarket they always have good deals and i sometimes freeze the fruit and have it as a little frozen treat. It takes ages to eat and is really filling :) x
S: 107kg C: 85kg G: 79kg BMI: 33.2 Loss: 22kg(20.56%)
I have tomanage on a budget too but as I am in Spain our prices in Aldi and Lidle seem to be very different. 12 eggs is 99cent so I suppose a bit cheaper.

My staples are soups, rice and potatoes. I use potato as a topping for a baked bean pie. I mix cumin and garam masala with the baked beans top it of with mashed potato and cook it in the oven until the top is golden and crispy.

A favourite and really cheap soup is two tins of tomatoes blended with a few cooked potatoes and cooked onion until it is smooth and then stir in a generous tbs of mint sauce. Delicious. Sometimes I use my cheese allowance and float it on top of the soup and cook it until it is bubbly under the grill.

Be back with more later.


S: 19st3lb C: 18st1.5lb BMI: 42.2 Loss: 1st1.5lb(5.76%)
I've started buying large frozen chickens for £4.79 from Sainsburys its labelled as feeding 7/8 people.

I have managed to stretch this out to 3 meals cant quite believe it :D we are a family of big eaters mainly my 4 6ft blokes I live with, but we have managed to get sunday dinner out of it, a big (in fact massive) pasta bake last night with 1/2 an added chorizo and there was still loads left over for sandwiches :eek:

I also get another special offer joint and stretch it out over a couple of days.

We were always buying fresh chicken breasts, but no more. Frozen whole chicken all the way now because of money being tight.

Lidl is also my veg shopping base now as its so cheap and can always get other stuff in there which is bargain price.

The best thing I have learnt though is meal planning, doing that means I am ready prepared and dont have to keep popping to the shop and giving in to all those special offers that seem to keep popping up.
S: 11st6lb C: 9st9.5lb G: 8st7lb Loss: 1st10.5lb(15.31%)
I am really lucky that we're not really on a budget, tight or otherwise, but that being said, I make it a point of principle not to pay more than I need to for things - food included ;) There are only 2 of us, but even including food for the 3 cats (who eat nonstop lol), and buying local, organic produce, line-caught fresh fish etc., our grocery shopping never really goes above £50 (last time it was that high, we had bought a HUGE tuna steak that cost over £20, and split into about 6 meals lol). If we bought value fruit and veg, and frozen fish (hardly ever buy meat anyway), that would easily go below £30. And around £10/15 of that is cat food :eek:

Meal planning, and shopping around & knowing where the bargain bin is in the supermarket is the key really - I work out seven or so main meals, based around the same/similar ingredients a lot of time - so if we're making a tomato based pasta dish, I'll make double the sauce, and make another dish with it too, (just tweaking the sauce and changing the main ingredients is often enough to make them totally different!), then freeze that one for the following week (all extra portions go in the freezer too - and I double most recipes anyway, to make extra portions of each meal, to freeze - saving me money, and time spent cooking ;)) that way I can make sure that I always use up every last bit of food that I buy - absolutely nothing is wasted, or left to rot in the fridge! Then, we have around 3 or 4 'fresh' meals per week, and 3 or 4 meals from the freezer, with fresh veg, pasta, rice, whatever cooked at the time to go with them.

I also slow cook a LOT - it takes cheaper cuts of meat, and makes them amazingly tender, and full of flavour, and works brilliantly with veg and pulses as well. A stew/casserole that makes up to 10 portions can cost as little as £3 or £4.
I use dried beans and pulses, soaking and cooking them as required, rather than buying tins (doesn't save huge amounts, but pennies add up! and it saves on unnecessary tins, so less to recycle ;)), and always, always make my own sauces etc. Our herb and spice 'rack' is enormous lol.
We buy own-brand on a lot of things - cereals/biscuits/bread/frozen veggies/quorn equivalents etc. Much cheaper and 99% of the time, no-one can tell the difference. Some of them are actually a LOT nicer than the bland branded versions too!

The 'Old-style' forum on Money Saving Expert is brilliant for tips/ideas/recipes - although you would probably have to tweak them to ensure they were SW friendly.

Old Style MoneySaving - MoneySavingExpert.com Forums

I found this book recently which is really good, and might help (you can probably find it in the library, or maybe ask for it for xmas? ;)) It has recipes/shopping lists with receipts showing that a weeks meals for 4 ppl comes to around £25-30, and explains everything in very simple terms

How to Feed Your Whole Family a Healthy, Balanced Diet: With Very Little Money...: Amazon.co.uk: Gill Holcombe: Books

I've been doing it for years, and find that it fits perfectly with SW as a lot of it is not buying processed foods, making stuff from scratch, batch cooking etc. Plus, you'll always have a full freezer, so if you've had a bad day, are ill or simply can't be bothered to cook, you just grab something out of the freezer, and whack it in the oven or microwave, safe in the knowledge that it is homemade, healthy and either free or low-syn :D (I label everything with it syns values on the different plans before I put it in the freezer, so I don't have to guess or rely on my terrible memory!)

Crikey, that was long!



Mad old Bat with Attitude
S: 14st5lb
I get my veg (when I've run out of home grown) from our local veg shop. They generally have local produce and alot of it is far cheaper than the supermarkets. I got some dried butterbeans and chickpeas there as they were just going out of date for 25p a pack. If you have a pressure cooker then after you've soaked them overnight they only take minutes to cook. A bag of red lentils does the 2 of us 4 batches of soup for about 80p.
I make stock (20 mins in the pressure cooker again) from a chicken carcass and make chicken and veg soup. If you save 2 or 3 carcasses in the freezer you get a good strong stock.
If you go to a market later in the day you can get veg very cheaply, they don't want to cart it away.
The only thing I don't compromise on is loo roll :D I like a nice loo roll!
So agree with the toilet roll! :rotflmao: :sign0131: I'm happy to buy value anything really but need the softstuff for my botty! :D

A lot of interesting stuff here- Thanks to Nicki for starting the thread :)


Silver Member
S: 15st3.5lb C: 12st10.5lb G: 10st10lb BMI: 26.4 Loss: 2st7lb(16.39%)
My cheap shopping list currently is porridge and skimmed milk for breakfast (if im REALLY skint i make it with water), the seasonal veg packs for 89p which usually consist of carrots, parsnip, onion and swede which i make into a soup and then buy meat like steak, chicken, gammon, etc which are reasonally cheap from Morrisons and keep frozen veg in and thats dinner sorted. Can't afford snacks atm! lol!


Minimin Addict
Thank you guys, you convinced me and hubbs that it can be done, even with him eating out the freezer (between you and me i'm going to try and end that pretty quickly)
The only thing that worries me is that i don't eat veggies or soup due to weird repressed childhood stuff but my new years resolution is to try a new veg every week. Our new house has a garden with flower beds so i might attempt to grow some stuff, maybe just potatoes and herbs as i'm told these are the easiest. Worryingly with the way things are going we might have to grow alot of our food because neither of us are going to be getting wage increases and after watching the news today, think we may be in trouble if we're not carefull. Buying a frozen chicken is a brilliant idea, we buy chicken breasts but they are sooo expensive and hubby loves it. We buy our loo roll at farmfoods and its called nicky and its dead cheap but it is the softest, thickest stuff ever, better the andrex.
Nicky is good. My friend buys it. You can also buy it from Aldi (I think it is!) and Home Bargains....usually in a blue/green wrapper or orange!

But for me it's always Charmin I'm afraid. BUT I only buy it on offer so it's cheap! In 4 years I don't think I've ever paid full price!
Nicki- you could always get your veggie intake with soup if it's difficult for you to eat 'normal' veggies :D

I'm not overly keen on boiled/steamed veg, so I usually roast a load of different veg in fry light & balsamic vinegar & they are really yummy. You can use them for lunch in a pitta or with some pasta aswell as with a main dinner.
S: 107kg C: 85kg G: 79kg BMI: 33.2 Loss: 22kg(20.56%)
If you don't want to face chicken for several days on a run cut it in half and freeze it that way.

I make chicken-burgers with the last bits of the meat. They are SW friendly. I bulk the chicken out with bread from HE's . I roast a red pepper, sling the lot in the blender with an egg, salt and pepper or any herb or spice you fancy, shape the burgers , pop them in a Yorkshire pudding tin, the one with individual moulds and bake in the oven until crispy on top.

The carcass goes in a pan with every vegetable I have in the fridge, a chicken stock cube and water. I boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about an hour. Take out the carcass, by this time any meat that is left should have dropped off. Put the lot in the blender for a smooth soup. I add a tbs of fromage frei or quark for a creamy consistency.

All so cheap, so easy and every bit of the chicken used.

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