I don’t tend to think of the meals I cook in terms of how much they cost per portion because I often use food that I get reduced or things that I already have in the house but an article I read a while ago shared a few recipes that cost under 50p a portion.
Lots of people were commenting how great it was that you could cook meals so cheaply but I must admit that I did look at some of the ideas and the tiny portion sizes and think that I could do better.
But could I do better – is it really possible to feed a family of 4 on a £2 meal budget and still make sure that what you’re serving is healthy and enjoyable?
Let’s look at some of the regular meals on our meal plan….
For a family meal of this I would use 250g Arborio rice and around 500-600g of mixed veg along with three pints of hot vegetable stock. The above recipe uses slightly less quantities as it’s made to serve 2-3 people (Mr Frugal isn’t a huge fan of the veggies in it). Assuming i pay full price for everything and buy supermarket own brands then the cost for 250g Arborio rice would be around 60p, the mixed veg ( I buy Tesco value because it’s a good mix and everything is already in small pieces so perfect for thinks like this) would be around the same at 60p and the stock cubes (own brand value are just as good as any) would be around 10p. That comes to £1.30 which works out to around 32p a portion.
I generally use around 300g Macaroni for this which would cost around 30p if I’m using value pasta. Then there’s the 800ml of milk which I work out to be around 35p and the 200g cheese (you can use more if you like it cheesier) which would be around £1 if you buy something like Tesco value grated at £2.50 for 500g. The butter and the flour are things I would have in anyway but for the interests of costing the meal out fully I would guess at around 10p for the flour and 25p for the butter. That brings it in at £2 for the four of us which is a great price per serving of 50p. You could even add a bit more cheese for that price 😉
This one is a challenge for me personally to get this recipe to under 50p a portion as I don’t like buying cheap meat. I do completely understand that you buy what you can afford and what your family likes to eat so it’s up to you what sausages you use to make your toad in the hole. 😉 If you were to use Tesco value frozen sausages then your cost for sausages would be considerably less than if you used more expensive sausages. I’m going in the middle here and costing it based on 6 middle of the road sausages which, if you buy frozen, will work out to around 80p. Add around 15p for the flour, 20p for the milk and 40p for the eggs (cheaper if you don’t want free range) and this makes 12 mini toad in the holes for £1.55. I would add a handful of frozen veg each which would being the price up to about £1.80. You could serve it as it is but personally I’d splash out and buy a bag of potatoes to make mash with although that would bring the rice up from 45p a serving to around 70p a serving.
So there’s three meals you can serve your family that cost 50p and under per serving. I’ll share some more next week but in the meantime, what’s your favourite budget meal for the family?
(I can’t for the life of me find this article now but actually, even if I could, I probably wouldn’t link to it because I don’t want it to look like I’m diminishing anyone’s efforts to cook on a budget.)
Don’t miss out on future posts like this – receive updates directly to your inbox by email by adding your email address to the box on the top right of this page and hitting subscribe. You can also follow me on BlogLovin or Networked Blogs and I’d love to see you over on my Facebook page and on Instagram.