Saturday, April 4, 2009

Feeding a Family of Five for Fifty Pounds

Can it be done? I wasn't sure. Considering my usual weekly food bill was well in excess of £100, particularly since the rising cost of food, I was doubtful. But I was also resourceful: I looked for bargains and found ways to use up leftover ingredients. I always checked the price per gramme or per item against other brands to get the best deal. I took some chances on cheaper ingredients and tried out some dishes that I might not usually have cooked. I think I learned quite a few things;
  • I learned that cooking in bulk with fresh ingredients is a lot cheaper than cooking small dishes every day and a lot of food tastes better with age so cooking large quantities doesn't just save money.
  • I've found out that a medium sized free range chicken can last two meals, if not more.
  • I'm delighted to have realised that all leftover food can be made into at least one of 3 dishes: a soup, a pie or a casserole.
  • I saw that some items need to be purchased at the higher cost to ensure quality but equally, some non-brand, cheaper items are just as good, if not better.
Some weeks, I found myself way below the fifty pounds; this was due to bulk preparation on meals that take to a freezer really well, e.g. lasagna, curry, stews. Other weeks, I was a little above but used what I had saved from previous weeks shop. All in all, I stayed within the fifty pounds. I'm still a novice however and will continue to find new and innovative ways to save money on family food bills.


Karen & Gerard Zemek said...

I suppose I could save money too IF I cooked, but that's not going to happen. Food is one area where I don't skimp. We even got rid of our stove because we never used it. Here is the link to my post about it:

Congrats on your SITS day!

Kim said...

I am anxiously awaiting to see what you have to dish up! Happy SITS day.

Kristin @ Meanbean said...

wonderful lesssons!! i would love to challenge myself to something like this...but first i need to learn to cook :)

w said...

what a great idea - and then to turn it into a blog... genius.

simplysandi said...

What a great idea. I am not sure I can do it, but it's worth thinking about - that's for sure.