In the UK the price of food has increased by 32% since 2007, and it doesn't look set to stop any time soon. I was shocked by the price of meat when I bought some for the pasty party last week! Even us vegetarians are feeling the pinch; cheese isn't cheap and fresh vegetables can be very expensive when they're not in season.
Challenge 5 of Money Saving March is to eat for £1.
Today's challenge is to come up with evening meals that cost £1 or less per person. (Yes, it is possible to live on £1 a day, but it wasn't particularly pleasant!) Dinner is usually the most expensive meal of my day, so if I can cut costs here I should be able to cut down our shopping bill this month! :)
Here's my cheap menu plan for the next week, with per-person costs:
- Stew - potato (7p), carrot (9p), swede (18p), flour (4p), butter (5p). Total cost: 43p.
- Fajitas - wraps (30p), sweet peppers (30p), onion (16p), red kidney beans (9p), cheese (17p), salsa (22p). Total per person cost: £1.24
- Stir fry - half a carrot (5p), sweet peppers (30p), beansprouts (15p), stir-fry sauce (50p), noodles (26p). Total cost: £1.26
- Vegetable and lentil pilaf - creamed coconut (10p), stock (1p), rice (2p), lentils (10p), half a carrot (5p), peas (8p), red kidney beans (9p). Total cost: 45p.
- Pizza and salad - pizza (67p), salad greens (30p), tomato (16p). Total cost: £1.13
- Lentil soup - 14p per portion of soup plus 12p for bread. Total cost: 26p.
- Cheese and onion quiche - flour (2p), margarine (4p), onion (16p), egg (24p), milk (4p), cheese (17p). Total cost = 67p.
Other cheap meals include delicious lentil burgers, vegetable ragout and lentil salad.
Cooking for one can mean the per-person cost of food increases, but by batch cooking (more on this next week!) you can save money by making extra and freezing the rest. This won't work for things like stir fry, but soups, stew, pasta bake, shepherd's pie etc. can be frozen and saved for later, whilst many other things can be kept in the fridge for a few days (quiche, pizza, cooked meats etc.).
Don't forget to cook extra if possible for an easy lunch the next day!
Any suggestions for cheap meals for the rest of the month?