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HELP FOOD CHEAP WHILE HUBBY UNEMPLOYED!

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HELP FOOD CHEAP WHILE HUBBY UNEMPLOYED!

Postby chubbywife79 » Mon Dec 31, 2007 7:23 pm

As you know my husband just lost his job today and we now back on the pension and mostly be living on his because my money is been deducted for rent and bills.

I'm just wondering if anyone can give me advice on where I can get good healthy food cheaply so I don't have to go off the diet. Usually when hubby lose weight I go off the diet and weight just goes back on. I desperately want to stay on the diet but don't know what good foods to buy. I do buy my fruit and veges but they starting to get expensive to buy as well and meats are not cheap either. I don't want to much packaged meals.
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Postby shelbel » Mon Dec 31, 2007 7:35 pm

Maybe you could make a big batch of vegie soup! I did this just today and i got 9 serves of soup for about $7! You can pick up the soup packs at the supermarket for about 5 bucks. And you can just chuck in whatever spices and bits you already have at home. And freeze it no probs as well. Let me know if you want a recipe. :D
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Postby electrongirl » Mon Dec 31, 2007 7:51 pm

I've discovered with my mum living with me how cheap Tofu is!!

We buy a huge tub of it from the Oriental Supermarket for $3 and it lasts for ages!!
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Postby sassi » Mon Dec 31, 2007 8:26 pm

if you can, shop at markets - they're usually so much cheaper than the supermarket. and also, if you have a big freezer, buy more & make healthy meals and then freeze them.

there are usually places around where you can buy meat at wholesale prices & they're normally cheap as.
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Postby Fiona25 » Mon Dec 31, 2007 11:10 pm

Buy anything home brand that you can. Soap, toilet paper, detergent, disenfectant, canned tomatoes etc.

Allow yourself extra time in the supermarket to find the cheapest prices. Eg, english muffins for example range from the most expensive of $4 or so to the cheapest of $1.50, a big difference!

Look through your junk mail for supermarket specials and stock up on specials.

Fish is a relatively cheap meat and good for you, so eat lots of it.

Stir fries are cheap, quick and easy. All you need is a sauce, a small amount of lean meat and some chopped up veggies such as brocoli, capsicum, snow peas, carrot, zuchini etc.

Pasta bakes are another easy and cheap meal, just use a small amount of pasta and get a low GI, low carb kind. You just boil the pasta, brown some meat and veggies, then throw it all together in an oven proof dish, mix it through with some sauce, sprinkle some low fat cheese on it and pop it in the oven for 20 mins!

As was mentioned soup is a great meal that is cheap and can be very healthy.
Saying goodbye to calorie counting AND scales for a while.

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Postby zeedeveelgirl » Tue Jan 01, 2008 3:08 pm

Things like baked beans are great, and cheap. Massive cans of tuna. Buy fruit & veg that are on special, and yeah like people said, if you have a market near you go to that. Home brands of things like breads, cereals. Sometimes you can pick up loaves of bread for like $1 at those little bakeries that are around. Stock up on pasta, canned crushed tomatoes.. if I think of any more I'll let you know!
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Postby hushpuppy » Tue Jan 01, 2008 4:15 pm

Mexican Beef & Bean Casserole

What you'll need:

A large casserole dish with a lid
500g beef mince
1-2 tins of red kidney beans (drained)
1 cup uncooked rice (medium grain rice works well in this recipe)
1 x 800g tin (or 2 x 400g tins) diced tomatoes
2 tbspns tomato paste
1 bunch fresh coriander - roughly chopped
grated cheese
sour cream to serve

How to do it:

Preheat oven to 160 deg.

Brown the mince in a large pan, or in the casserole dish if yours can be used on the stove top.

Meanwhile, cook the rice using the absorption method. Place 1 cup of rice & 1 1/2 cups of water in a saucepan & bring to the boil. Boil for approx 1 minute, then turn off the hotplate, leaving the saucepan on it. Cover & leave for approx 10 mins, or until all liquid is absorbed. (Note: Medium grain rice cooked using this method & this amount of water will still be a little firm, but this is what you want, as the rice will absorb more liquid during the final stage of cooking.)

Once the mince is browned, add the tomatoes & tomato paste. Cook for another minute or two before adding the red kidney beans. Cook for another minute (constantly stirring) then add the rice. Stir in the chopped coriander.

Once this is all nicely combined, spoon it into your casserole dish & top with grated cheese. Cover & place in the oven for approx 20 mins, or until the cheese is golden brown.

Serve in bowls topped with sour cream
Serves 6-8 (great for big serves or left overs)
Costs approx $1.50 per serve (depending on the grade of mince used. Budget mince is fine for this recipe as the fat gives it a nice rich flavour, although if you are wanting a very healthy dish, premium mince is good too)

Mac & Cheesy beans
Cook up some macaroni,

throw in a can or 2 of baked beans (depending on how much mac)

throw in and mix a cup and a half of grated cheese per can of baked beans...


serves as little or as many as you like, reallllly easy, realllly fast, realllly cheap and reallly yummy!

cos is prob about $5 for a full meal (using a whole bag mac, 2 cans baked beans and 3 cups cheese) and that would serve heappppps of people

Potato Noodles
1 packet of pasta
1 onion chopped
1 handful of diced bacon
2-3 potatos

Cook pasta as normal and drain.

Chicken, noodle & vegetable stir fry

Ingredients:

400g diced chicken thigh fillets
4tblspns crunchy peanut butter
2tblspns soy sauce
2tblspns oyster sauce
1/3 cup water
2-3 cups of diced brocolli, cauliflower, red capsicum (and any other vegies you like)
Cook 2 packets of chicken noodles, as per directions. Set aside.

Brown the chicken. Mix the peanut butter, soy sauce, oyster sauce & water together. Add the vegies and the sauces and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the noodles, stir fry for further 3-4 mins. Voila! Pretty simple, and really yummy

Pork & Pineapple Stir-fry

What you'll need:

300-500g diced lean pork
1 tin of diced pineapple in juice, drained - juice reserved
1 cup cornflour
1 tbspn chinese five spice
1 bunch baby bok choy
1 cup oil (such as vegetable, canola or peanut oil)
soy sauce
chilli (optional)
jasmine rice

How to do it:

Mix the chinese five spice & cornflour in a bowl or a plastic bag. Lightly coat the pork by tossing it in the bowl or shaking it in the bag.

Heat the oil in a wok until very hot. Brown the pork & drain on
paper towels. Drain the remaining oil.

Return the pork to the wok and add the drained pineapple, stirring so that it does not stick too much. If using chilli (dried or fresh), add it now.

Add the baby bok choy leaves & pour the pineapple juice & soy sauce over the top. Give it all a good stir, then place a lid on the wok for a few minutes until the bok choy has softened.

Serve over steamed jasmine rice.

How good is its value for money?

Serves 2-4
Costs approx $2-3 per serve
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Costs about $10.00 to make, and serves 4

Dice potatos and put in microwave for about 2-3mins to soften.

Fry onion, bacon and potatoes in a frying pan until starting to brown. Then throw in pasta and continue to fry for about 5 mins.

This sounds so boring but it is so tasty and my kids eat it everytime I serve it. For something different I soemtimes substitute cabbage for potatoes.

This meal would only cost $5 at the most and is very filling as it is full of carbs.


Chop casserole thingo
1-1.5kgs of bbq chops.....the big, less expensive ones

1 onion sliced into half rings

2 tins of whole tomatoes

1 tin cream of mushroom soup (any soup would do)

Grated cheese


Lay chops in a casserole dish and season with salt and pepper. Top with onion, tomatoes and soup. Sprinle with a generous amount of cheese and bake in a slow oven 150-160 for at least 2 hours.....the meat should fall off the bone.

Serve with either rice or mashed potato and a vegetable of the green variety.

Ckicken, vegetabel, pasta caserole.

1 chicken breast (bought with skin on for 5.99/kg - meant the breast vost $1)
1 carrot (next time I am going to grate) but chopped is fine
1/2 Sweet potato chopped
1 onion chopped
2 cloves of garlic
1 fresh sweet corn (kernels cut off the cob)
1 tbl spoon of Fiji Curry powder (mild) or masalah curry powder mild
1tsp coriander
1 - 2 cups of pasta depending how many you are feeding
water to cover
The whole thing costs about $3.00 if you can the vegies cheap
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Postby EvilWombatQueen » Tue Jan 01, 2008 5:42 pm

My advice would be to stick to veggies and fruit that are in season. Rather than getting recipes then going shopping (unless you know what's in season before you go), buy what's cheap and then find some recipes online.

I tend to rely on brown rice rather than potatoes for carbs as it's much cheaper at the moment.

Look at different fruit and veggie shops. There are some places that are far cheaper than the supermarkets. Sometimes the quality isn't as good, especially for the bargain bin vegetables, but you can always make them into soup or stews.

Red lentils are great too. You can add them to curries, stews, soups or make dahl from them. They're cheap and very nutritious and don't take long to cook.

I find packets of dried beans from Asian or Indian grocers are a lot cheaper than buying tinned beans as well. You just have to remember to soak them overnight.

Good luck!
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Postby milkyway » Tue Jan 01, 2008 6:06 pm

I often shop late at night or on a sunday evening and you can get meat close to its useby date for around half price.
Just keep moving! And don't be lazy...
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Postby EvilWombatQueen » Tue Jan 01, 2008 7:28 pm

Do you have an Aldi or NQR store near you? I try to shop at Aldi before going to any other supermarket to try and get what's available cheaper. Their packets of frozen veg are considerably cheaper than the ones at Coles or Safeway and I use them all the time. Ditto for sauces and bathroom and laundry products. As I'm vegetarian I'm not sure about the meat prices there, but I always see people go through the check-outs with a lot of meat so I'm assuming it's cheaper than at the larger supermarkets.
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Postby milkyway » Tue Jan 01, 2008 11:34 pm

Check out these recipes in the 'budget collection' on the http://www.taste.com.au website:

http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/collections/budget
Just keep moving! And don't be lazy...
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CW: 71.1kg - 3/5/09
GW 62kg
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Postby chubbywife79 » Wed Jan 02, 2008 12:14 am

Thanks for the input guys :) . I just really need to know that I can stick to the diet while he unemployed.
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Postby Fiona25 » Wed Jan 02, 2008 8:19 am

You can stick to it Rochelle! You CAN and you WILL do this. It will just be a bit harder, but with some of the cheap recipes you've been given as well as bargain hunting you'll be fine :D
Saying goodbye to calorie counting AND scales for a while.

Just enjoying the new and improved healthy me and embracing my new lifestyle!
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Postby Fireball » Thu Jan 03, 2008 2:22 am

Stores a have a set time they usually mark shelf stock down. Work out with your store when it is, with mine its Thursday night. A lot of stores use green tags so it is easy to spot. Some people avoid these as they think the stocks are close to expiry but often they are just the end of a run of that product and they need to change how to use shelf space. You can save a small fortune by buying this stock up.

Try to be flexible with your menu for the week and buy up products that are cheaper rather than going with set meals in mind.

Keep meals simple. Dont go in for using a lot of different spices etc which add to the cost but not the nutrition.
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Postby Fireball » Thu Jan 03, 2008 3:15 am

BTW Good luck for your husband's job hunting. It can be quite devastating to find yourself in that situation.
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