Thursday, 24 October 2013

Cheap Meat

When a source of a particularly though provoking piece of information comes along I really must record its source to give my writing credence.  But darn! My methodology isn't always reliable so today you're going have to take my word.  I'm sure that, within the last few weeks, I heard someone bemoan the fact that many people only had a three £3 per day food budget. The reporter made it sound absolutely terrible.

Now correct me if I'm wrong but that seems, to a home cook, a reasonable amount of money with which to work. Okay, you may not get haute-cuisine but with that level of expenditure there's plenty of scope for a varied and interesting diet.

My personal secret is cheap meat.  Not nasty burgers made out of cow's ears and the like but good stuff, reared to acceptable standards that's nearly always to be had at the bargain basement end of the supermarket chill cabinets.

Here's an example of what can be done with these price busting finds.  Shepherd's pie of course seeing that I had bargain lamb mince in the freezer although I make more exotic spicy sheekh kebabs as part of a yummy feast with the other pack that I'd picked up at the same time. You must know how to concoct this easy-peasy staple of British cuisine.  Just brown the mince. Fry up onion, garlic and carrot in the meat fat and then mix all together with a can of crunched up plum tomatoes, herbs and seasoning. Top with mashed potato and grated mature cheddar in an ovenproof dish and freezer container for later on. Pop in the oven at Gas Mark 6 200 degrees Celsius until crispy and lush.

The freshly cooked dish did for supper and there was enough over for Louis' tea the next day.  Each of the tupperware tubs contain enough for hearty meals for two on a day when I can't be bothered to cook from scratch.   There may be a bit over then depending on how hungry we are on the day.  Now I didn't price this up but it easily comes in at under £1 a portion.  With frugal porridge for breakfast that leaves plenty of scope for a good balanced packed lunch.  Living on £3 a day doesn't seem half bad at all!


  1. When we were on a really low budget for food a few years ago my main fear was cooking something that didn't work out as we didn't have room for failure with anything we bought. But I never really feared we wouldn't have enough to eat.

    We gave up eating meat when we took our car off the road to save money and couldn't get to the supermarket with all the amazing reductions. But when we did have access to it we ate really well for not much cash. Luckily we had a freezer to stash it all in.

  2. I agree with you but there is a big BUT --- I help out at the local food bank and the major problem apart from poverty is lack of education and the basic skills to actually cook from scratch. Believe it or not we have had people who haven't taken the provided rice or pasta as they don't know how to cook it. Until we educate our children and provide them with the skills to enable them to cook delicious budget meals from scratch £3 will not be enough for people to feed themselves as convenience foods are so expensive.

  3. Well said Helen! Will write more on this soon. x