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Expensive?

#1
Hi!

I'm new to the site but have been at slimming world since August bank holiday last year.

I'm struggling at the moment trying to find food ideas. I'm finding that the food shop is getting expensive, fresh fruit and veg is at silly prices, and meat too.

How have you all found it? I do a good shop but I can't afford to be buying so much stuff every week. Most of the recipes require it though.

It's hard trying to work from what's left in the cupboards - I can't afford to buy new food each week! Need to use up what I have but none of it is that healthy.

Any tips? Do you know of any cheap ingredients, or how to use up what is in the cupboards?

This is the only problem I have, rubbish food seems to be cheaper! :(
 
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julie19

Silver Member
#2
I agree with you and I started shopping for fruit & veg at the market & Aldi, buying my meat in bulk from the butcher, it seems more to start with but if you do a price comparison over the month it does work out cheaper - that said I had to go & buy fruit & yogs this lunchtime & it cost me £20 altogether, healthy food is certainly more expensive than the cheap, unhealthy stuff, once you have your main spices etc though you will see the cost does come down, also look at meals where you can have the leftovers for lunch the next day.
 
#3
i find searching online for offers helps and buying in bulk or from the market but i definately agree health food is far more expensive than all the crappy ready meals and stuff!
 

Mrs V

Loves Life!
#4
I buy a lot of frozen veg, as I cant afford to waste anything.
I also by the frozen fruits from Asda like - raspberries, mango, blackcurrants and cherries as they are far cheaper than buying fresh. Aldi or Lidl have offers on their fruit and veg all the time too. Also the time that you go shopping helps..if you go around 5pm (if possible) there are more reductions that you can grab. You could get cheaper cuts of meat and casserole them to stretch the budget a bit further.
 

pesty

Fighting the bulge
#5
Tinned foods,frozen food. potatoes and stocking up with spices! The spices you only have to buy once and they last ages making any boring meal interesting. Potatoes are good for green / EE days as a bag will last a long time and you can make, Jackets, Chips, Wedges, Slices (gratin etc), New potatoes, potato salad, mash and all sorts with them, and they go with nearly every meal!

Tinned foods are also a must! Especially tomatoes and beans :)

Ive heard good reports about frozen chicken fillets aswell :)
 

*EB*

Gold Member
#6
In my opinion, I think even though im paying some more out on food, the food i am eating is better - so if my health costs a little more then so be it.

I would rather spend more and lose weight - but if budgets are tight, use the 'where the bargains are at' thread - its very useful.

x
 
#7
I've been buying food off the market we have here, its an awful lot cheaper then tescos and I can ask the butcher for leaner cuts of meat. Also I have found fresh veg and fruit expensive but again the market is cheaper and I've also found the quality is better.

Shop around, see what bargains you can get and the Sell by dates etc buy longer lasting stuff and that will help cut down your weekly food bill.
 

Meli

Gold Member
#8
Markets are great for buying bulk of fruit. They had 25 peaches for £2, 2 boxes of grapes £1, bananas for 49p/kg!
 
#9
I use Iceland a lot. I love their bags of veg. Most of them are only £1, you get loads and there is no waste. Also their Batchelors rice and Pasta n Sauce are all on BOGOFF. They do very large bags of baking spuds for £2, or salad pots for £1. Their sugar-free pop is dirt cheap. 6 litres for £1. My fave things in Iceland are their sliced beef in gravy and chicken breast in gravy. £1 each and free on EE and red. So easy if you are feeling tired. Chuck it in the microwave for 5 mins.

Lidl is very good for cheap veg, fruit and superfree pickles eg beetroot, gherkins.
 
#10
I totally agree that eating healthy costs more :( Not much of an insentive to lots i'm sure!!

I tend to try & make things & have some for lunch the next day - or do "cheap style" lunches, like eggs & home made soups.

I also think though & was only saying to hubby the other day, that although we're paying more - I don't mind as such as I know its healthy & I am feeling 1000% better than I did before I started to shift my weight, so I don't mind so much.
 

*angie*

loves food and cooking
#11
:eek:I do hope that you don't mind, but I posted a long answer to a very similar question only recently, and it may be of use to you if I post it again here.

The short answer is that you may have to change either:
1. what you are eating (to take advantage of seasonal offers and reduced items, and rely more on cheaper ingredients) or
2. where you are buying from (markets and discount supermarkets rather than the big chain supermarkets)

As for stuff left in cupboards, sit down and work out the syn values - write them on the packages - then either feed it to your family, or fit it into your syn allowance.

so here's the longer answer:

Firstly, take a good look in your cupboards / freezer. Sometimes if we are really stretched, I can get a week from what we have here, just adding milk from the shops. The food might be a bit strange, but we try to have fun with it!

Second, bulk out meals with more of the cheap stuff, less of the costly stuff. For EE, that would indicate more potatoes / pasta / rice / lentils than meat / fish etc. If you normally get 3 portions of sauce out of 500g mince, add lots of veg (celery, mushrooms, carrots, onions) so that you get 6 portions - then, either eat the same meal twice, or vary it - eg spag bol first day, save half the sauce, add chilli and a can of kidney beans, you have chilli con carne the next day.

Find out what veg are cheap / on offer in your supermarket / market and use them as the basis for your meals - they will still be free on the plan, increasing your superfree foods and saving the pennies too

If you like spicy food, look at making dahl, serving it with rice and a maybe a veg curry or side dish. gotta be the cheapest, tastiest meal around.

Try to keep thinking about the superfree element of our meals - it is the easiest thing to forget about when budgeting. Yes, Jacket and beans is very cheap, but where will you get your superfree - will it have to be from an expensive bag of salad? Instead of the beans, you could make a coleslaw (cabbage and carrot etc etc, yog etc) for your jacket potato!


...I have continued to think about this thread, and one thing that occurred to me is that Green is probably the cheapest plan to follow successfully since (expensive) meat is automatically limited, and there is no requirement for the superfree food (yes, eating lots would be a good idea, but you don't have to, and if you buy veg exclusively from a supermarket, it can add up quickly).

So, some specific ideas that rely on bulk from cheaper ingredients:

lentil dahl
veg curry
felafel (made with chick peas)
risotto (use cheap short grain rice designed for puddings rather than risotto rice, works just as well)
pasta and tomato/veg sauce
fishcakes (mash with a bit of tuna/salmon sweetcorn etc)
cottage pie
chips, eggs and ham (or beans)
chille con carne, rice
homemade soup as a meal
special 'fried' rice (ie with egg and lots of little bits of veg)
chinese noodle soup

Oh, and have you ever heard of 'rubber chicken?' lol - it refers to how one chicken can keep coming back to feed you again and again ... it is fairly straightforward to get at least 3 meals for a whole family from one bird - a roast, something where the leftover meat is chopped up, and finally using the carcass and bones for stock as the basis for a soup. google 'rubber chicken moneysaving' for lots on the subject
 

MrsBabyCakes

Naughty Fridge Picker
#13
Its weird, because although I found it initially more expensive, because I was having an outlay of buying more herbs and spices. I haven't actually found it more expensive. I feed a family of 5 on £110 a week and this week half my trolley was fruit and vegetables, and I always buy lean meats for everything. The kids have their own fruit bowl and we have our own fruit bowl in our bedroom, full of bananas and apples and clementines. I always buy value red apples because they are 70p a bag and they taste lovely, and tesco value pears are also yummy although sometimes they need to ripen a little, and I also buy value bananas. This week we had 3 pks apples 2 pks bananas and 2 pks clementines, and we also picked up some tropical fruit reduced and did a massive fruit salad. We also buy as much value veg as we can because its so much cheaper, and recently we found that things like the value potatoes were nicer than the more pricey ones! I mean who can complain at 1 kg carrots for 87p?? My potatoes were 99p and they were huge and the branded tescos ones i bought last week were teensy and twice the price!

My shopping bill has never gone up. Also I am saving money because we used to have takeaway at least once a week which used to cost us about £20-£25, and were not buying quickie sandwiches from the tescos express shop which were £2-£4 if we bought a cake and a bottle of coke.

My main meals this week are

Mon-SW Beef stroganoff with baked potatoes and a salad with whole beetroots and tesco spicy cous cous
Tues-Chicken breasts roasted with roasted vegetables (frylite and a splash of balsamic vinegar) and sw roast potatoes
wed-Gammon and spicy sw wedges with 1/3rd plate superfree vegetables, with a frylite fried egg served on top of the gammon
Thurs-Britmums SW ultimate burgers and homemade oven chips with salad
Fri- Quorn bolognese and spaghetti - got our neice visiting and she is vegetarian
Sat-vegeterian baconish and sausageish pasta bake (doing my pasta deluxe recipe but with vegetarian alternatives)
Sun-SW beef chilli served with basmati rice

Most lunches will consist of lean bacon and mushroom omelettes with baked beans or eggs fried in frylite with bacon tomatoes and mushrooms and baked beans, or poached eggs on toast. Or a tuna salad.

I usually have weetabix or shredded wheat for brekkie

Our shop for 5 came to 99.99 this week, which included all the usual toiletries and sundries as well.

One thing I do though is get bargains at places like the 99p store or home bargains. I have saved a fortune on loo roll doing this, as home bargains do one which is just like andrex for 2.29 per 12 rolls, sounds funny but I swear the kids eat loo roll, we seems to use loads lol, and they do cheapo lunch box treats for the kids, and I buy washing powder in bulk. I also do the pet food in bulk from pet supply stores as well, non branded and its not full of E numbers and cereal crap either, our animals have benefited from this tons!

I dont buy branded stuff if I can get value or equivalent, I don't see the point in buying branded chopped tomatoes for eg, or kidney beans when i can get two tins of value kidney beans to one tin of branded. Same goes for cereals as well, always buy supermarket own brands. I use fresh herbs where I can and grow some as well on my windowsill, and also buy some herbs and spices online as their are some i use a lot of and can get very cheaply online. I shop around as well, Aldi and Lidl are great for some stuff and also I found shopping online made me way more frugal because I could always look for the cheaper alternative. I cook everything from scratch, no jars or packets, and its cheaper and tastes so nice, and I have found a renewed passion for cooking now too! I thought it would take ages to cook some of the meals but tbh it doesnt take hardly anytime. Best investment I ever made, was my food processor and hand blender!

Hope that helps...
 

dehli

Silver Member
#14
I find green days much cheaper and I eat a lot of eggs. Look in the thread 'where the bargains are' and shop around for good deals on things like yogurts etc. Sainsbury's are doing apples, potatoes and oranges in packs for 30p at the moment.
 

snuggle69

Silver Member
#15
I agree its all gone up, and it does cost more to eat healthily, everyones ideas for shopping around and cooking from scratch are brilliant but in the real world many of us dont have the time to do this, I work full time from 7.30am to 6.00pm monday to friday and as Im on my own with 4 children I dont have the time to visit lots of shops at the weekend. But its an expense that I have accepted as I want to be slimmer, and I want the kids to be healthier so although I still just shop at one place, which is probably pricier at least I know we are eating healthily.
 
#16
Thanks for all the replies! I'm going to have to start hunting around and see if there's a market in my local town (I'm in a village in nowhere with a local spar/garage shop in the next village down!)
 
#17
I'm not on a budget but I do the following things anyway:

Buy a 25kg sack of spuds from a local farm shop for £5. They last for ages and you can always have jacket spud and beans or SW chips!

Buy frozen fruits - Tesco discount brands range is £1.25 a bag. No waste and cheaper than fresh.

Buy frozen veg - again no waste.

Buy seasonal veg - check labels, if the item has come from the other side of the world then it's not in season and not worth buying!! Save recipes with courgettes and aubergines in until the summer (as an example!)

I try not to have meat every night either, green days are fab!
 

MrsBabyCakes

Naughty Fridge Picker
#18
I agree its all gone up, and it does cost more to eat healthily, everyones ideas for shopping around and cooking from scratch are brilliant but in the real world many of us dont have the time to do this, I work full time from 7.30am to 6.00pm monday to friday and as Im on my own with 4 children I dont have the time to visit lots of shops at the weekend. But its an expense that I have accepted as I want to be slimmer, and I want the kids to be healthier so although I still just shop at one place, which is probably pricier at least I know we are eating healthily.
One of the things I do is shop online. I can do each shop in about ten minutes now as there is a lot of stuff in my favourites, and this means I can take advantage of each supermarkets offers without even moving from my chair. Plus the advantage for you would be they will deliver at a tome suited to you which could quite likely free up some time, to do 'you' things. :)

Jay, I buy all my veg fresh but as value Products, costs me about th same as frozen and none of it ever gets wasted, but I do store everything in the fridge except potatoes and onions. I fond it keeps better this way, and I just feel fresh tastes better but it is a personal reference.

The big bags of spuds is a good idea but they need t be kept in a dark cupboard that's cool really as they tend t spoil quite quick otherwise.
 
#19
Buy frozen fruits - Tesco discount brands range is £1.25 a bag. No waste and cheaper than fresh.
I'm a bit put off with frozen fruit. Doesn't it taste soggy when it's defrosted? How do you have it (if that makes sense?)

I've been thinking about this a bit more and I'm still not sure what's best to do. I did like Tesco online as it meant I didn't have to try to shop with a toddler in the trolley. It's a bit of a pain having to go to 2 or 3 different places for stuff, but I guess if needs must...

I need to plan my meals for a week or so and then work from what my shopping list will be.

Thanks again for your ideas!
 
#20
One of the things I do is shop online. I can do each shop in about ten minutes now as there is a lot of stuff in my favourites, and this means I can take advantage of each supermarkets offers without even moving from my chair.
Which supermarket do you use for your online shop?
 


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