/ You either eat cheap food...or you eat healthy food?

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The Lemming - on 09 May 2013
Quite a few on here are healthy types and would never dream of living off Farmfoods or Iceland's produce where you bang stuff in the oven or micro.

In Farmfoods you can have 32 burgers, from unknown meat, a few big bags of chips and three large pizzas for roughly £13. That's at least 20 meals well below a pound per serving.

You can eat cheap and you can eat healthy home cooked meals but can you do both?

balmybaldwin - on 09 May 2013
In reply to The Lemming:

Yes... see Jamie Oliver's food for schools recipes etc. The difference is you have to put a bit of effort in (incidentally that's also healthy for you)

As an example a decent sized lasgne for 6 people and salad could quite easily done for less than £6 (Ok, so not the healthiest thing in the world - but far healthier than a shop bought one)
Alan Taylor - on 09 May 2013
In reply to The Lemming: Aldi and Lidl do a selection of cheap fruit and veg.
Jon Stewart - on 09 May 2013
In reply to The Lemming:

I don't consider myself at all extravagant, and I cook everything from scratch, basically everything healthy, most bought at Asda. I eat big portions, loads of fresh veg, rice, pasta, meat only a couple of times a week, nothing processed really.

I spend a f^cking fortune on food. I think eating shite would be much much cheaper.
Tall Clare - on 09 May 2013
In reply to balmybaldwin:

This came up a while back - someone was arguing that a decent lasagne for a family of four could be made for a fiver, i.e. cheaper than a Tesco ready-prepared one, and I disagreed, having just made a pretty bog-standard one for a family of four.
The Lemming - on 09 May 2013
In reply to Tall Clare:

I'm a bit confused by your reply, sorry.

Do you mean that you were unable to make a lasagne for under £5, or you were able to make it for under a fiver?

I also like making large batches of lasagne and freezing them in preparation for work, but I cheat with dolmeo sauces.
Tall Clare - on 09 May 2013
In reply to The Lemming:

Unable to make it for under a fiver. That's with 'normal' mince from the supermarket, an onion, chopped tomatoes, dried lasagne, cheese sauce made with cheese, milk and flour, a bit of garlic, and a sprinkling of herbs.
MattJP - on 09 May 2013
In reply to The Lemming:
> (In reply to Tall Clare)
>
but I cheat with dolmeo sauces.

<points at door!>

Go on! Out! Get out! You cannot make a lasgne with that rubbish!!


;)

Dave Garnett - on 09 May 2013
In reply to The Lemming:

A 10 kg sack of potatoes costs £2-£5 depending on size and variety. If you are really economising a 25kg sack works out even cheaper. Parsnips, swedes and cabbages cost very little, and that's without going entirely hippy and eating lentils and chickpeas (which are delicious). Loads of cheap recipes and the added benefit that it's better for you too.

I appreciate that this isn't necessarily what many kids demand but it's only a question of what they are used to. Baked potato is a staple in our house. Make up a big chillie and freeze it in meal-sized portions. Even with a bit of grated cheese it probably costs less than £1 per meal.
Carolyn - on 09 May 2013
In reply to The Lemming:

It's certainly a whole load more effort to eat healthily cheaply, and neither is it easy to cook from scratch when you have tiny children who want to be picked up all the time. Not too bad if you've got all day at home to do it, but a nightmare if you're trying to do it in half an hour after work.

Also, there's not always easy access to fresh fruit and veg - was told a story earlier in the week of someone living in village in Lakes. Could buy tinned stuff in village, but fresh veg only by getting bus to town - which cost £8.
Jus - on 09 May 2013
The Lemming - on 09 May 2013
In reply to Jus:


That's a nice experiment for 5 days, but to eat on a pound a day for months on end, and still eat healthily?

I'm sure it can be done, possibly for the dedicated, but once you add in the factor that all this takes time to do on top of a full working life or running after children or other dependants you are fighting an uphill battle.

That micro and oven is looking mighty appealing with its convenience. :-(

balmybaldwin - on 09 May 2013
In reply to Tall Clare:
> (In reply to The Lemming)
>
> Unable to make it for under a fiver. That's with 'normal' mince from the supermarket, an onion, chopped tomatoes, dried lasagne, cheese sauce made with cheese, milk and flour, a bit of garlic, and a sprinkling of herbs.

Ah, too much meat in your lasgne then... bulk it out with veg (makes it healthier too and still tastes great), add Corgette, Aubergine, and Carrot - probably makes meat go a third further.

Also if we are taking this too extremes, make your own pasta... It'll probably still be touch and go, but assuming you are buying the ingredients ina reasonable amount of bulk (4 packs of chopped tomatoes, large bag of onions) it certianly shouldn't be far off
Sir Chasm - on 09 May 2013
In reply to The Lemming:
> That micro and oven is looking mighty appealing with its convenience. :-(

Especially if you're lazy, have no taste and can't be arsed.
The Lemming - on 09 May 2013
In reply to Sir Chasm:
> (In reply to The Lemming)
> [...]
>
> Especially if you're lazy, have no taste and can't be arsed.

That as well.

All this seems to create a perfect storm for the health of the nation as a whole.


Sir Chasm - on 09 May 2013
In reply to The Lemming: Don't worry, as life expectancy reduces so will the pension bill.
Tall Clare - on 09 May 2013
In reply to balmybaldwin:

We're talking about a proper standard meat lasagne, right? Veggie lasagne, and homemade pasta, are obviously a lot cheaper. The kids get cross when I sneak aubergine into things. Alas.
balmybaldwin - on 09 May 2013
In reply to Tall Clare:

Have you tried blending it so they can't see the chunks of veg?
Tall Clare - on 09 May 2013
In reply to balmybaldwin:

Blending aubergine? It goes mushy enough if it's cooked in a lasagne! The point is more that it is genuinely a challenge to make that staple for under £5. I suspect the people who say it's easy haven't tried it recently - the cost of cheese alone is startling.
deepsoup - on 09 May 2013
In reply to The Lemming:
> You can eat cheap and you can eat healthy home cooked meals but can you do both?

Yes. You can choose any two out of: Cheap. Healthy. Convenient. ;o)
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dissonance - on 09 May 2013
In reply to The Lemming:

> That's a nice experiment for 5 days, but to eat on a pound a day for months on end, and still eat healthily?

the comment from the dietician at the end is rather telling I think.

Also seems to be cheating on the pricing eg giving the portion cost rather than how much it would cost to buy eg 4p for some lettuce as opposed to the 89p it would cost to buy one.
Quite easy to come up with a varied diet if you take that approach, more expensive though.
Hat Dude on 09 May 2013
In reply to Tall Clare:
> (In reply to The Lemming)
>
> Unable to make it for under a fiver. That's with 'normal' mince from the supermarket, an onion, chopped tomatoes, dried lasagne, cheese sauce made with cheese, milk and flour, a bit of garlic, and a sprinkling of herbs.

Blimey what size portions are you giving them ;-)
Jimbo W on 09 May 2013
In reply to The Lemming:

Here you go..
...mate of mine, Prof Mike Lean, has just made these healthy pizza range:
http://gizmodo.com/5923097/scientist-creates-pizza-healthy-enough-to-eat-3-times-a-day-every-day
http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/uk-world-news/worlds-first-healthy-pizza-invented-1165917
http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/07/02/health-diet-nutritionally-balanced-pizza-food-_n_1643429....

Of course you could eat cheaper cooking yourself, but these ain't bad and truly are nutritious!!
Irk the Purist - on 09 May 2013
In reply to Tall Clare:

I bulk mince out with green lentils for shepherds pie and lasagnes. Not chilis though, that would be wrong. Or spag bol. That would be double wronger.
tlm - on 09 May 2013
In reply to The Lemming:

I'm always surprised that people say this, cos unprocessed food is cheaper and healthier than processed food on the whole? I just don't get it. Veg is cheap, carbs are cheap, pulses are cheap and you aren't supposed to eat too much protein, so that is cheap too?
tlm - on 09 May 2013
In reply to Tall Clare:

Just cut slices of aubergine, grill them and chomp them up, looking delighted and tell the kids that NO! They can't have ANY! It is all YOURS!

We bulk out any meat dish with veg - I see the meat more as a flavouring than as something to create bulk? Small quantities of good quality...
Tall Clare - on 09 May 2013
In reply to Hat Dude:

It's easy to underestimate how much Mr TC eats :-)
Tall Clare - on 09 May 2013
In reply to tlm:

Dear christ... we eat plenty of vegetables and have lots of meals blending meat and veg, but a classic lasagne, which was what I referenced in the original comparison with the Tesco ready made equivalent, does not feature aubergine, etc! Am I missing something here?
andy - on 09 May 2013
In reply to Tall Clare: I'm with you - I'd struggle to make a "family lasagne" for under a fiver. Just checked - the "super lean" mince we get is £4 for 500g. Dried lasagne is a quid a packet (I use abput half of one per lasagne). A pint of milk's 50p - say 30p's worth. 200g cheese is about £1.30. 500g pasata - 75p. Onions, peppers, mushrooms etc - call it another 50p. Chuck a salad with it and you're looking at more like £8. Not much more than a fiver in cash terms, but 60% more in proportion.

Yes you can "bulk it out" with other stuff, or use cheaper meat, but for a "standard" meat lasagne you'd be hard pressed to get it under five quid.
ActionSte on 09 May 2013
Surely you cant be classing lasagne as a healthy staple? Yes, if you add extra veggies & such it balances it out slightly, but if you look at the basic setup for the meal, its meat, pasta, bechamel sauce & cheese? All of which are generally not so good for you
Tall Clare - on 09 May 2013
In reply to ActionSte:

If that's pointed at me, no, I don't consider it particularly 'healthy' - I was using it as an example of ready meal vs homemade and what they cost.
Tall Clare - on 09 May 2013
In reply to andy:

Thank you! Hallelujah! :-)
Jimbo W on 09 May 2013
Richard Baynes - on 09 May 2013
In reply to andy: I've always prefered vegetable lasagne, which is healthier and cheaper. I think I could come in under the £5 budget for that.

R
Hat Dude on 09 May 2013
In reply to The Lemming:

A tip for those wanting to make cheap lasagne.

The Carneddau are littered with dead ponies after the last spell of bad snow; get yourselves up there before it warms up too much
Jimbo W on 09 May 2013
In reply to Richard Baynes:

We bother with the faff of making a lasagne..? We roast off some veggies, make our own passata with tinned tomatoes and then have these with pasta, and other flavours like olives, or with bulgar wheat, and sometimes with a side of grilled halloumi!
Tom Last - on 09 May 2013
In reply to The Lemming:

Roast dinner without the meat, just spuds, parsnips, carrots, etc, greens, yorkshire puddings and gravy, costs naff all; the spoonful of mustard is probably more expensive.
Tom Last - on 09 May 2013
In reply to Southern Man:

Well that's my idea of healthy anyway! ;)
Tall Clare - on 09 May 2013
In reply to Southern Man:

But then you have to factor in the cost of cooking it - having the oven on for half an hour is something many of us don't even think about, but if you're broke then you have to factor it into your expenditure as much as the food you use it to cook.
tlm - on 09 May 2013
In reply to Tall Clare:

I dunno! I'm not familiar with either any 'classic' meals (my mum's cooking wasn't like that) or Tesco's ready made meals so I am not qualified to comment! *runs and hides under the bed*

Liver is pretty cheap....
Tall Clare - on 09 May 2013
In reply to tlm:

Sorry, I didn't mean to snap at you - I know there are lots of ways to make lasagne, but everyone seemed to be ignoring the fact that I used it as a comparative example and for those you have to do like-for-like!

Liver is vile vile vile vile vile - that and rice pudding are the only two things that my twin bro and I point blank refused to eat as children.
deepsoup - on 09 May 2013
In reply to tlm:
> Liver is pretty cheap....
A nice chianti is relatively expensive though.
andy - on 09 May 2013
In reply to everybody: Please note: Clare's point was not to debate ways of making lasagne cheaper. It was to make the point that all the pious "Oh, it's so much cheaper and healthier to make your own from scratch darling" (whilst wafting round the Aga in your Boden dungarees) stuff is not necessarily true - she simply used an example of a ready bought Tesco Lasagne not necessarily being significantly more expensive than making one from scratch when you factor in all the ingredients.

Of course there's cheaper ways of making lasagne. You could kill a cat and make it out of that. Alternatively you could go to tesco and nick one. Or do a runner from an Italian restaurant. But that wasn't the point.

Sigh...
tlm - on 09 May 2013
In reply to Tall Clare:

I went off liver for a while after I cooked some and it turned into thick liver soup!!!!! That meal got 3 out of 10 and that was a generous mark...

We were fed on liver, cheese and onion pie, heart, lentil casserole, home made pizza, rabbit shaped blancmange, artichokes and pomegranates as kids. It was a different sort of diet from most people of the time...
Tom Last - on 09 May 2013
In reply to Tall Clare:
> (In reply to Southern Man)
>
> But then you have to factor in the cost of cooking it - having the oven on for half an hour is something many of us don't even think about, but if you're broke then you have to factor it into your expenditure as much as the food you use it to cook.

True dat.
tlm - on 09 May 2013
In reply to Tall Clare:
> (In reply to tlm)
>
> Sorry, I didn't mean to snap at you - I know there are lots of ways to make lasagne, but everyone seemed to be ignoring the fact that I used it as a comparative example and for those you have to do like-for-like!

and I bet yours was way better than the tescos mank one...
Mike Stretford - on 09 May 2013
In reply to andy:
> (In reply to everybody) Please note: Clare's point was not to debate ways of making lasagne cheaper. It was to make the point that all the pious "Oh, it's so much cheaper and healthier to make your own from scratch darling" (whilst wafting round the Aga in your Boden dungarees) stuff is not necessarily true - she simply used an example of a ready bought Tesco Lasagne not necessarily being significantly more expensive than making one from scratch when you factor in all the ingredients.
>

Yes but I can see why people have given contrary replies.... given the title of the thread. The veg lasagne is still healthier and cheaper than the Tesco beef one.

The other point is anytime I've eaten a pre-prepared meal it's tasted shit and the quantities have been small.

andic - on 09 May 2013
In reply to The Lemming:

I am sitting eating my delayed lunch: rice, egg+tomato and soya beans+chicken

ingredients (pp): ~75g(UC) rice, 1 sp onion, 2 large tomatoes, 1.5 eggs, 50 g soya beans, half a small ckn breast, quater of a red pepper, bit of spicy bean paste sesame oil, sunflower oil, salt garlic. Probably costs about 80-90p, all cooked by my fair hands last night from fresh ingredients bought at sheffield market and I know that by dearly beloved is at her desk eating exactly the same thing for her lunch!

Yesterday I had kung-po Chicken with rice and spinach which is more like 150p per portion, but still cheaper than a miserable tesco meal deal
Tall Clare - on 09 May 2013
In reply to tlm:

Now there's a thing - this might reveal a rather significant bias, but I've had the odd ready meal now and again in the last couple of years and they tend to be pretty good - though the ones I've had have been M&S ones. I'm a reasonably competent cook so the things I make do tend to taste nice, but I can't imagine a Tesco family lasagne tastes particularly horrendous.
Hat Dude on 09 May 2013
In reply to andy:

You're prices are a tad high IMO

British Steak mince from Lidl/Aldi or Morrisons usually £2.99 for 500g
Milk is a lot less than 50p a pint if bought in 4 pint containers
Passata less than 50p for 500ml
We buy 5kg bags of onions in lidl for £1.99

Still struggle to bring it in under £5.00 though even though I don't tend to use mushrooms in lasagne (peppers definitely have no place in lasagne keep em for the salad)

Tall Clare - on 09 May 2013
In reply to Hat Dude:

What about the cheese?
andy - on 09 May 2013
In reply to Hat Dude:
> (In reply to andy)
>
> You're prices are a tad high IMO
>
> British Steak mince from Lidl/Aldi or Morrisons usually £2.99 for 500g
> Milk is a lot less than 50p a pint if bought in 4 pint containers
> Passata less than 50p for 500ml
> We buy 5kg bags of onions in lidl for £1.99
>
> Still struggle to bring it in under £5.00 though even though I don't tend to use mushrooms in lasagne (peppers definitely have no place in lasagne keep em for the salad)

That's what we pay - Ocado, y'see.
Dave Garnett - on 09 May 2013
In reply to Tall Clare:
> (In reply to tlm)

> Liver is vile vile vile vile vile - that and rice pudding are the only two things that my twin bro and I point blank refused to eat as children.

Probably a bit too Heston Blumental as a combination for kids.

But lamb's liver lightly fried with garlic and shallots and perhaps a touch of chilli is the food of the gods.

And rice pudding should never have jam in it.
tlm - on 09 May 2013
In reply to Tall Clare:

I must admit when I look at pre prepared food, it tends to:

1. Seem far too small
2. Not appear to have much fresh veg in it
4. Seem expensive per 100g compared to fresh
5. Seem to have long chemical names in the list of ingredients

So I end up never buying it - I only really just realised this, thinking about it now...

I also assume (maybe wrongly) that it will taste a bit monosodium glutamatey. But maybe I am remembering, wrongly, pre-prepared foods of yesteryear? Or pub food?

I'd probably wolf it down if it was put in front of me and never notice any problem....
Mike Stretford - on 09 May 2013
In reply to andy:
> (In reply to Tall Clare) I'm with you - I'd struggle to make a "family lasagne" for under a fiver. Just checked - the "super lean" mince we get is £4 for 500g.

500g of your posh mince would make 2kg of the Tesco finest recipe.

http://www.tesco.com/groceries/Product/Details/?id=264745296
tlm - on 09 May 2013
In reply to Papillon:
> (In reply to andy)
> [...]
>
> 500g of your posh mince would make 2kg of the Tesco finest recipe.
>
> http://www.tesco.com/groceries/Product/Details/?id=264745296

2kg of Tesco finest would cost £11.25

Hat Dude on 09 May 2013
In reply to Tall Clare:
> (In reply to Hat Dude)
>
> What about the cheese?

Didn't quibble about that price

Probably should've said "Some of your prices"
Hat Dude on 09 May 2013
In reply to andy:
> (In reply to Hat Dude)
> [...]
>
> That's what we pay - Ocado, y'see.

And you're on a "cheap food" thread - gedouttahere ;-)
tlm - on 09 May 2013
In reply to The Lemming:

I'm feeling hungry now....

I have noodles, frozen veg and mackerel for my tea at work before choir tonight....

36p for the noodles
12p for some mixed frozen veg
90p for the mackerel

£1.48 for the meal. Bigger than a ready meal and only takes me 5 mins to cook in the microwave here....
Antigua - on 09 May 2013
In reply to The Lemming:

A quote from a recent BBC blog about living on benefits

"With careful planning, an adult could spend as little as £12 per week on a healthy, balanced diet, says Tom Sanders, a professor of nutrition at Kings College London."
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The Lemming - on 09 May 2013
In reply to tlm:
> (In reply to Tall Clare)
>
> I must admit when I look at pre prepared food, it tends to:
>
> 1. Seem far too small

That's the thing, does it look too small, or is that an accurate portion for an adult's meal?

Either the ready-meal is wrongly calculated for an adult portion or we have become greedy fekers eating massive portions?

I would not know what an accurate size adult food meal/portion would be. I gauge a meal on how much it fills a plate or not. Not very scientific and probably one reason so many of us are 'large boned' rather than admitting to being fat.
tlm - on 09 May 2013
In reply to The Lemming:
> (In reply to tlm)
> [...]
>
> That's the thing, does it look too small, or is that an accurate portion for an adult's meal?

Maybe it is right, but my meals are bigger than that (about twice the size). However, they are mainly vegetables. and I cycle most days. If I eat no snacks, I tend to lose weight. So I don't think my meals are too big.
Hat Dude on 09 May 2013
In reply to Antigua:

Trouble is a lot of the people who have to survive on a very low food budget are not professors of nutrition.
Jimbo W on 09 May 2013
In reply to Dave Garnett:

> But lamb's liver lightly fried with garlic and shallots and perhaps a touch of chilli is the food of the gods.

Better still, calves liver, thinly sliced and dusted in seasoned flour, and in a hot pan with butter until slightly browned, but still pink in the middle.
The Lemming - on 09 May 2013
In reply to Hat Dude:
> (In reply to Antigua)
>
> Trouble is a lot of the people who have to survive on a very low food budget are not professors of nutrition.


And not especially after Home economics was cut from the school's syllabus in the 80's.
alooker - on 09 May 2013
In reply to The Lemming: lots of market veg, some fruit, tinned fish in spring water, buckwheat noodles, brown rice etc... There are loads of cheap ingredients out there and you can control what you eat so much more easily.

Must admit I don't cook for anyone else and I shop without specific meals in mind, more on what looks good on the market but I do have regulars like oatmeal. I find that this way I can judge what I'm eating much more easily than fast food from the supermarkets.

32 burgers, chips and pizzas is just poor quality carbohydrate, saturated fat and fatty protein sources. If you bought a loaf of white bread, the cheapest cheese you can find and some heinous pepperami knock off you could make pizza on toast for all your meals forever more!
Antigua - on 09 May 2013
In reply to Hat Dude:

Very true but I think the point being made is that its one of education i.e knowing how to cook.
Antigua - on 09 May 2013
In reply to The Lemming:

Can anyone honestly say that they learnt to cook via their school Home Ec lessons? A confidence boast yes but anything more?
tlm - on 09 May 2013
In reply to Antigua:
> (In reply to The Lemming)
>
> Can anyone honestly say that they learnt to cook via their school Home Ec lessons? A confidence boast yes but anything more?

Oh I learnt a lot from mine! We looked at all sorts of pastry (and the properties of flour), nutrition, how flour, cornflour, arrowroot can be used for thickening (white sauce, blancmange etc) and the differences between them. We also looked at different types of cleaning, which sounds naff, but was really interesting and useful (let things soak, don't scour things unnecessarily, how to take a cooker apart etc). It was a really good basis for everything else - a foundation!

Jim C - on 09 May 2013
In reply to The Lemming: I agree with others who say Aldi's & Lidl have good fresh foods and lots of other bargins, cheaper than the Tesco and Asda etc.

for quick and easy and filling Just do macaroni cheese followed by macaroni custard . It saves any hassle. Just cook the macaroni, and add cheese to some of it for the main course, and custard to the rest for the sweet course( It's what my father used to cook for my sister and myself when we were kids. )
owlart - on 09 May 2013
In reply to Antigua: When these sort of articles give pricing for things, I wonder if that's all from the same supermarket, or if it requires you to visit four different supermarkets to get the best price for four ingredients? I know I could save money if I shopped in Asda, Tesco, Morrisons and Waitrose each week, but who has the time to do that? Plus it's extra cost in travel.
ebygomm - on 09 May 2013
In reply to andy:

I could do lasagne for 4 for under a fiver but I'm lucky enough to be able to buy mince from the farm shop for £3 quid a kilo (can say hello to the cows on the way in :-) ) and I don't put cheese in Béchamel sauce
Tall Clare - on 09 May 2013
In reply to ebygomm:

What about on top?
ebygomm - on 09 May 2013
In reply to Tall Clare:

Béchamel sauce on top, no cheese
Tall Clare - on 09 May 2013
In reply to ebygomm:

Beginning to think I might be obsessed by cheese...
Carolyn - on 09 May 2013
In reply to Tall Clare:

> But then you have to factor in the cost of cooking it - having the oven on for half an hour is something many of us don't even think about, but if you're broke then you have to factor it into your expenditure as much as the food you use it to cook.

And have an oven in the first place, which not everyone will.

(PS - I agree you'd be pushed to make a decent lasagne for a fiver. But I wouldn't assume the ready meal version isn't bulked out with stuff, either....)
Carolyn - on 09 May 2013
In reply to Antigua:

We were taught to cook a full cooked breakfast, and then all kinds of cakes. Not really the basis of a healthy diet!
Neil Williams - on 09 May 2013
In reply to andy:

Ocado is rather a premium service. If you're on a budget you'll be using Aldi, Lidl or perhaps Asda, no?

Neil
The Lemming - on 09 May 2013
In reply to deepsoup:
> (In reply to The Lemming)
> [...]
>
> Yes. You can choose any two out of: Cheap. Healthy. Convenient. ;o)

Bit like buying a two-man tent. You can buy it light and expensive or heavy and cheap but not light and cheap. :-)

I've just had a fab meal with squash, risotto rice few spices, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, feta cheese, garlic and ginger. All of this home cooked for the first time ever as an experiment and I'm guessing it cost me about a fiver.

Not all the ingredients were used and could be reused later on something else but still quite expensive. And I had to be around for an hour or so preping and cooking the lot.

Or a busy working parent could bung a few burgers and frozen chips in the oven after a hard day's work and be eating inside of 20 minutes. And all for a few pence of the weekly food budget.

Justin T - on 09 May 2013
In reply to deepsoup:
> (In reply to tlm)
> [...]
> A nice chianti is relatively expensive though.

Fava beans to bulk it out, too.
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Ava Adore - on 09 May 2013
In reply to tlm:
> (In reply to The Lemming)
> [...]
>
> Maybe it is right, but my meals are bigger than that (about twice the size).


Mine too. (So glad you said that!)
birdie num num - on 09 May 2013
In reply to The Lemming:
You can make a really good family stew out of of three tins: Ye Olde Oak, Hot Dogs New Potatoes and Vegetable Medley. Simmer for fifteen minutes to let the flavours combine.
balmybaldwin - on 09 May 2013
In reply to The Lemming:
> (In reply to deepsoup)
> [...]
>
> Bit like buying a two-man tent. You can buy it light and expensive or heavy and cheap but not light and cheap. :-)
>


One light and cheap tent: http://www.sportsdirect.com/campri-pop-up-tent-2013-783071?colcode=78307112

It wouldn't be the best thing for a good nights sleep in a gale though
JCurrie - on 09 May 2013
In reply to The Lemming:
We cook for the next night once the kids are asleep. Has many advantages.
ice.solo - on 09 May 2013
In reply to The Lemming:

ive never got this argument.

to eat healthy i buy fresh vegetables, whatever meat is on special and bulk buy all the bits to make it taste good (olive oil, herbs, nuts, berries etc). i do the occasional trip to costco for the bulk stuff, but the rest comes from a mid-range supermarket (and i admit theres a small amount from friends who have little farms).
excluding eating out (where we still go as healthy as the situation allows, but we are not monks) its about $12 a day for 2 adults and a baby.

it could be less if we got strict about it, yet to get the same amount of nutrients id need to eat twice as much crap. even if it is cheaper, its not 50% cheaper.
its like saying well i could live off tap water and jelly beans and thats cheaper. well yes it is, but it doesnt actually feed you.

depends what the equation is: fuelling a human body to do stuff, or putting shit in your mouth, chewing and swallowing.
to do the former effectively is the cheaper option. the latter is not the same thing.
to make the equation function it needs a 3rd factor; 'what for?'
to sit at a computer all day and expend 1500kcals, yes, crap will work. but to be active and maintain health wont happen realistically on that.
Neil Williams - on 09 May 2013
In reply to The Lemming:

As to the original question - Yes, but probably only if you eat vegetarian. Decent meat is expensive, and I have no desire to eat abattoir floor sweepings.

Neil
Mike Stretford - on 10 May 2013
In reply to Tall Clare:
> (In reply to Southern Man)
>
> But then you have to factor in the cost of cooking it - having the oven on for half an hour is something many of us don't even think about, but if you're broke then you have to factor it into your expenditure as much as the food you use it to cook.

The ready meal has to go in the oven too.
Carolyn - on 10 May 2013
In reply to Papillon:

> The ready meal has to go in the oven too.

Nah, whilst it needs heating, it'll almost certainly be partially pre-cooked, and will heat through with a few minutes in the microwave.
andy - on 10 May 2013
In reply to Neil Williams:
> (In reply to andy)
>
> Ocado is rather a premium service. If you're on a budget you'll be using Aldi, Lidl or perhaps Asda, no?
>
> Neil

All of which require a 25 mile round trip from here!
IainRUK - on 10 May 2013
In reply to ice.solo: Yeah I think its pretty cheap..

I have a slow cooker.. just buy a few carrots, leeks, onion, some cheap meat, potatos, cut up throw it in with some cumin, paprika, tumeric, tin of tomatoes, few cloves of garlic.

Pretty cheap and will feed me for 3-4 meals.

It probably works out about 2 quid per meal.
The Lemming - on 10 May 2013
In reply to IainRUK:

I too love my slow-cooker which I mainly use in the winter where I batch cook and bung extra portions in the freezer. I know what goes in the pot which means no preservatives or additives which means it is health and ready to eat when I wake up, or come home from work.

But sadly such healthy meals don't compete on price when you bulk buy from Farmfoods where a crappy dinner can set you back around 70 pence a meal.

A whole chicken coats me roughly £4 a pop and I can get six portions after slicing and dicing the bird but that costs 67 pence per meal, and I have not even added extras such as rice or vegetables and sauces.

Making a vegie curry in a slow-cooker could break the one pound barrier, provided you don't go organic. Its healthy but its not cheap as chips.
Mike Stretford - on 10 May 2013
In reply to Carolyn:
> (In reply to Papillon)
>
> [...]
>
> Nah, whilst it needs heating, it'll almost certainly be partially pre-cooked, and will heat through with a few minutes in the microwave.

Yup, this is our benchmark 5 quid lasagne and it goes in the oven for 40mins (no microwaving).

http://www.tesco.com/groceries/Product/Details/?id=264745296

If I had to microwave something it would be really costly as I don't own one.
andic - on 10 May 2013
In reply to ice.solo:
> (In reply to The Lemming)
> its like saying well i could live off tap water and jelly beans and thats cheaper. well yes it is, but it doesnt actually feed you.
>

PAH!! If it can't be done on melted snow and Kendal mint cake it's not worth doing.
The Lemming - on 10 May 2013
In reply to The Lemming:

I can make a healthy six person lasagne for £1-16 a portion. :-)

http://www.tesco.com/groceries/Product/Details/?id=267458660
http://www.tesco.com/groceries/Product/Details/?id=250227879
http://www.tesco.com/groceries/Product/Details/?id=259229051
http://www.tesco.com/groceries/Product/Details/?id=254198218
http://www.tesco.com/groceries/Product/Details/?id=253557034

The cheese would cost too much. But if I used a couple of tins of chopped toms and made the sauce from milk and butter then I may, just may, be able to buy some cheese.
EeeByGum - on 10 May 2013
In reply to The Lemming:

> A whole chicken coats me roughly £4 a pop and I can get six portions after slicing and dicing the bird but that costs 67 pence per meal, and I have not even added extras such as rice or vegetables and sauces.

I think you are missing the point a little. There isn't much meat in your Farmfoods discounted burgers. It will be rusk, fat and other filler ingredients. You need to do the same with your chicken and bulk it out with cheaper ingredients like cheap pasta and veg. I did a massive pot of minestrone soup for about £3 the other day which had at least 8 portions in it and was delish!
andic - on 10 May 2013
In reply to The Lemming:

This is slightly OT but a worthwhile point I hope.

You are quoting, for the most part, supermarket prices. Even Aldi/Lidl are more expensive than the market. I have started going to the market a couple of times a week having planned a weeks meals (considering nutrition) I go on a sat morning and after my pre-work gym sesh in the week. Two of us have gone from spending about £80 pw to less than £50, (£3.50 a day each). We eat well and have meat once or twice a day, lots of veg and fish.

Difficult if you don't live near a market or have screaming kids to deal with but it's there to be used by many of us.
Neil Williams - on 10 May 2013
In reply to EeeByGum:

You can bulk a lot of pre-prepared jar sauce things cheaply. For example, to bulk chilli con carne, chuck in a tin of value beans.

Neil
The Lemming - on 10 May 2013
In reply to EeeByGum:
> (In reply to The Lemming)
>
> [...]
>
> I think you are missing the point a little. There isn't much meat in your Farmfoods discounted burgers. It will be rusk, fat and other filler ingredients. You need to do the same with your chicken and bulk it out with cheaper ingredients like cheap pasta and veg. I did a massive pot of minestrone soup for about £3 the other day which had at least 8 portions in it and was delish!


This is the whole point, sorry.

You can eat cheaply or you can eat healthily but sadly you can't do both, unless you are happy with minestrone soup day after day.

We all have jobs that allow us little luxuries such as the internet and the ability to buy good ingredients. Sadly people who are, excuse the pun, on the bread line buy what they can with what ever is in their pocket and with hungry mouths to feed, those burgers do look a bargain.

However 20-30 years down the line then the NHS picks up the story with strokes, heart attacks, diabetes and obesity.

:-(
The Lemming - on 10 May 2013
In reply to Neil Williams:
> (In reply to EeeByGum)
>
> You can bulk a lot of pre-prepared jar sauce things cheaply.

Yep they are cheap, and they have chemicals, salts and additives. My kitchen cupboard is full of them.
Scarab9 - on 10 May 2013
In reply to deepsoup:
> (In reply to The Lemming)
> [...]
>
> Yes. You can choose any two out of: Cheap. Healthy. Convenient. ;o)

This is the perfect answer to this debate and should have ended the thread.

Take into account that Farmfoods burgers (as the example given) are not the same standard of product as nicely made home ones. It's not just healthiness that's involved there, it's the fact that you'd be using good beef rather than the crap that goes in supermarket, lowcost burgers. If you were challenging yourself to make healthy but fairly tasteless food at home it would be a more fair example, and would be much easier.
ads.ukclimbing.com
tlm - on 10 May 2013
In reply to The Lemming:
> Sadly people who are, excuse the pun, on the bread line buy what they can with what ever is in their pocket and with hungry mouths to feed, those burgers do look a bargain.

I lived for years 'on the bread line' and couldn't afford burgers! But I ate healthily - I got fruit and veg from the market, ate very little meat and prepared everything from scratch. I couldn't afford shoes, or a tv, or a phone (a house phone - mobile ones were not invented!) or new clothes (I scrounged second hand ones that other people no longer wanted, or central heating or a car, or many of the other things that people take for granted.
Neil Williams - on 10 May 2013
In reply to The Lemming:

They aren't, however, outrageously unhealthy compared with cheapo horseburgers and chips.

Neil
Dave Perry - on 10 May 2013
In reply to The Lemming:
I remember some single mother interviewed a while ago on TV about this. She said she could only afford chips from the fish 'n chip shop for her kids.

Well our local chippy charges around a pound per portion. She could have bought several pounds of potatoes for that and had several meals if she'd been assed to bother with the frying.

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