survive on a very tight budget

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Re: survive on a very tight budget

Post: # 247893Post pelmetman »

Make friends with as many people as you can - that way you may get invited out for some free meals :oops:

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Re: survive on a very tight budget

Post: # 247896Post Aesculus »

Potter's Farm wrote:If you're cooking with minced meat, add porridge oats. It soaks up all the juice and bulks the meat out to make it go twice as far. I've done this lots with beef mince and no-one in my family has ever noticed!!
thats a clever idea :salute: :flower:

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Re: survive on a very tight budget

Post: # 247898Post Susie »

Lots of dhal and freeze some (if you've got access to a freezer - if not, less dhal and eat it all), tarka dhal for a variation,
Try to find a health food shop/ co-op/ indian grocer which has big packets of spices for cheaper that the supermarket and stock up on a few, then you can make varied veggie curries with cheap veg,
Boiled eggs, scrambled eggs, omelettes (shop around for eggs - I can get freerange for cheaper than Sainsbury's if I go to the market or the butcher down the road, again that might not apply to you but worth just checking).
You perhaps can't get these in Winchester but, faggots - 45p each from our butcher and hugely filling (I daren't think what's in them but I'm sure it's no worse than a sausage).
T***o fish counter (sure Sainsbury's would be the same) has whole fish (one person size) for £2 - I know that's your daily budget, but again very filling and would do dinner and lunch the next day if you stretched it out,
Houmous - very filling and also cheap apart from the tahini and olive oil, but they both last a long time.

Wishing you luck, earlystart :hugish: .
that's it ;-)

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Re: survive on a very tight budget

Post: # 247900Post earlystart »

What on earth is dhal?, sounds like some thing that came out of the back of a yak!! :pukeright: :lol:

think i've cracked it this week, £3 for a big lump of beef skirt and £3 on a load of spuds and carrots and a couple of leeks, should make enough stew to last the week and i've got enough left for bread ect for lunches! :iconbiggrin:

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Re: survive on a very tight budget

Post: # 247916Post battybird »

Dont know what they cost in your area but a big sack of spuds here is £3.95 and make a really varied base for lots of meals! grated, mashed, baked, sauteed, souped,curried, as a bulker in any meat dish, should go a long way! :thumbright:
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Re: survive on a very tight budget

Post: # 247924Post MidnightFarm »

one of my favourite meals at this time of year that can be quite cheap is a vegetable stew (cooked on the hob) with dumplings - just cook whatever veg you have at the bottom of the fridge, in some stock, add a bit of tomato puree if you like, add dumplings, simmer for 20 minutes! Eat from a bowl tucked up on the sofa with a granny blanket over your knees (last bit optional, but saves on heating costs!)

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Re: survive on a very tight budget

Post: # 247934Post The Riff-Raff Element »

Reminds me of "Workhouse Soup." This was very easy. Basicall, you use the same saucepan for cooking everything for a few days, then fill it with water, add a little tomato ketchup, bring to the boil and serve with any stale bread that happens to be lying around. A great student standby!

Actually, I think other peoples' suggestions may be better.

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Re: survive on a very tight budget

Post: # 247947Post boboff »

£15, thats 3 packs of larger, and a large box of crunchy nut cornflakes!
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Re: survive on a very tight budget

Post: # 247948Post Crickleymal »

I'd second the idea of buying a big bag of spuds from a farmer/farm shop. £5 for 25kg or thereabouts, should last for ages too and give you a reasonable base for some variety. It's also worth looking out for those shops that sell stuff in large bins and you scoop out what you need. You can get soya chunks from them which would be a good base for some meals.

The other thing which may be worth trying (not had any experience of this myself) is looking in supermarket skips. Apparently they do chuck out loads of bread that's just past its sell by date and other such stuff. People do salvage it to give to soup kitchens and the like or so I am told. Technically it's theft though I doubt if you would get done for it.

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Re: survive on a very tight budget

Post: # 247950Post dustydave »

1 & 1/2 cups of rice*
3 cups of water
in a pan, with lid
bring to the boil turn off the heat, cover the pan with tea towels news papers etc and leave for 15 minutes. Don't take the lid off for at least 15 minutes!!!

*To the rice add anything you like vegtables, a bit of olive oil, nettle leaves, fish, meat, crack and egg in there - try any variation.

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Re: survive on a very tight budget

Post: # 247952Post Potter's Farm »

boboff wrote:£15, thats 3 packs of larger, and a large box of crunchy nut cornflakes!
Ha ha ha, that's a proper student diet.

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Re: survive on a very tight budget

Post: # 247957Post Durgan »

Cook dried beans yourself, and for that matter all the dried pulses. They give you the protein. A baked potato goes a long way. Vitamins and minerals, blend all the produce that you can find. All it takes is a change in mindset.

I live alone and it costs me almost nothing to live with respect to food. Eating is often habit with no good reason to have something, as tradition or habit dictates.

Breakfast. Rolled oats,skim milk and a bowl of previously cooked soy beans. This will keep you going most of the day.

Later in the day, a variation of raw juice, nuts, potato, previously cooked beans, quinoa, pea soup or anything going. No added sugar, no coffee, no tea, seldom cheese or meat, no bread, little salt, no eggs. Butter, soy sauce, molasses for condiments.

Most of this can be prepared in advance. 5 June 2011 Juice 29 October 2011 Pressure Cooking Dried Beans 25 October 2011 Cooking Soy Beans

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Re: survive on a very tight budget

Post: # 247961Post kit-e-kate »

Think laterally! Get a job waiting, kitchen portering, bartending or something like that. Not only will you get some extra cash, but you'll also get a meal each shift....Yum!
Or, even better, see if you can get a job on one of those market stalls and charm your boss (and all the other stall holders nearby) and they probably give you free stuff at the end of the day. Modern foraging.....?

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Re: survive on a very tight budget

Post: # 248087Post yvette »

Yep, I'd agree - I found that when my partner was made redundant, once people knew I was looking for extra income I picked up all sorts of extra little jobs here and there, and a few pounds a week would make a big difference to your food budget. I am also a great believer in soup and bread as a warm, cheap and sustaining meal:
Cook an onion gently in butter/oil until soft, add chopped veg of your choice (whatever is cheap) and a cup full of red lentils (don't need soaking), add 2 pints of stock made with cheapest stock cube, perhaps a bit of tomato paste or a few squashy tomatoes not suitable for salad simmer very gently until cooked. To make it more filling you can chuck in a handful of pasta or rice. As with your stew, you can make a huge pan full and it will last for ages.

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Re: survive on a very tight budget

Post: # 248102Post redglass »

Did anyone answer the question about dhal? It's lentils cooked with spices.
The suggestions about soup are good ones and you can make soup from practically anything - gently fry some onions (or leeks or garlic, basically something oniony) for the base, add water and your other veg plus some Marigold stock powder (it goes with meat and veg and fish and everything and is itself full of veggies). Beans and lentils are good in soups and it's now known that they do provide sufficient protein. You don't need any complicated system of food combining! Lentils will cook from hard and dry to mushy in just over 20 minutes if they aren't too ancient. For some reason cookbooks often say you need to boil all beans fiercely for 10 minutes to destroy toxins. This is rubbish - only kidney beans need this.

I make fish soup by putting in onion, carrot, leek (whatever) and sliced potatoes, then laying on top a piece of cheap white fish and cooking until the fish and spuds are cooked. Add milk or cream. Herbs help, but salt & pepper will do, and you can also grate a bit of cheddar over the top. If you are generous with the spuds you get a lot of belly-filling soup. And if the supermarket has any shrimps or prawns marked down - luxury!

Even if you like your meat, beans will bulk it out nicely. A bit of chorizo sausage with beans in savoury sauce - yum.

Two really good sites for scrimping: Martin Lewis's moneysavingexpert site has got forums on how to live cheaply (try the forums marked 'old style', you'll be amazed how ingenious people are). Another cracker is and no, you don't have to be in a family to use the recipes. The site gives two complete costed eating plans, one with animal food and one without, but you don't have to do the entire plan. You can just pick and choose ideas from the recipes available.

2 words of warning: 1) make sure you get your fruits and your greens - your body needs them 2) 'bulk cooking and then freezing' rules when you are hard up, but if you bulk-cook rice, don't leave it lying around in the pan. Get it covered and when it's cool put it straight in the freezer as it is susceptible to contamination and can cause nasty stomach upsets.

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