How to live off £10 a week: The food and recipes you need!
Eat and shop for just £10 a week
Here’s our how to guide to eating for just £10 a week, the ultimate budget food and recipe guide for students.
We’ve put together a shopping list that totals less than a tenner that can produce some 28 meals.
And no, they’re not all beans on toast.
One tin of baked beans – 24p
Four tins of chopped tomatoes – £1.24
One tin of kidney beans – 23p
One tin of garden peas – 21p
One tin cream of chicken – 39p
Loaf of bread – 36p
Pasta – 29p
15 eggs – £1.00
500g Mince – £1.79
Onions (1kg, packed) – 55p
Carrots (500g, packed) – 25p
Peppers (three, packed) – 95p
Banana (one, loose) – 12p
Mushrooms (button, packed) – 79p
Cheese – £1.55
Total = £9.96
Prices from Aldi as of July 2015
What’s not included
There are some ingredients we’ve not included in the list, cupboard basics like oil, spices, seasoning, butter, sauces and stock. We’ve done this simply because the quantities needed for one week cannot be brought individually (eg. a sprinkle of chilli powder or a teaspoon of oil).
Top buying tips
When it comes to buying on the cheap here are our top tips:
Use budget supermarkets: Based on MySupermarket, the contents of our £10 shopping at Aldi would have cost up to twice as much at other shops.
Compare loose v packaged: Pricing of fruit and veg can be complicated. Sometimes it’s cheaper to buy loose (e.g. onions), other times it’s cheaper to buy packaged (e.g. peppers). Compare the price per unit, get out your calculator app on your pone if you have to.
Use counters: For things like Cheese, Bread and Meat, buying via the respective counters (if available) can lead to savings on cost. Not only are options sometimes cheaper you can buy JUST the amount you need so you won’t be paying more than you have to.
Look out for deals: When researching this post, Asda had their budget chopped tomatoes priced at 31p a tin however premium chopped tomatoes, while more expensive individually, were 4 for £1.
The £10 a week budget recipes
In all we have a total of 18 recipes here which make up a total of 26 servings/meals, that’s five more you than actually need, WIN!
For breakfast we’ve got eleven possible things to try from our ingredients. This is obviously more than you need so you may wish to incorporate the ingredients you don’t use into another recipe for a bigger serving.
Plain toast and butter (or other spread you have available) (1 slice of bread)
Boiled egg and soldiers (2 eggs, 1 slice of bread)
Scrambled egg on toast (2 eggs, 1 slice of bread)
Baked beans on toast (Beans, 1 slice of toast, grated cheese)
Poached or fried egg on toast (1 egg, 1 slice of bread)
Cheese omelette (2 eggs, grated cheese)
Lunch & Dinner
For main meals we’ve racked up some 18 meals from 10 unique dishes. A number provide two servings which you can split across two meals (e.g. dinner then lunch the next day).
Veggie omelette (2 eggs, half green pepper, mushrooms, grated cheese) – Enough ingredients to make two of these
Baked beans on toast (Beans, 1 slice of bread, grated cheese) – you can make this a lot less boring with onions and spices – see how to make beans on toast more interesting.
Chilli Con Carne (1/4 mince, chopped tomatoes, kidney beans, 1 onion, pasta/bread) – Makes 2 servings. Can eat on its own or with pasta or toast.
Veggie Pasta sauce (chopped tomatoes, mushrooms, 1 onion, 1 yellow pepper, pasta/bread) – Makes 2 servings. Could eat with either the pasta or toast (or just on its own)
Spaghetti bolognese… with pasta (1/4 mince, chopped tomatoes, mushrooms, 1 onion, 1/2 red pepper, pasta) – Makes 2 servings
Pasta with cheese (Pasta, grated cheese) – Stir in a knob of butter to make it nicer!
Veggie Fajita pasta (Pasta, 1/2 onion, 1/2 red pepper, grated cheese)
Mince curry (1/4 mince, tomatoes, 1/2 tinned veg, onion, carrots) – Makes 2 servings
Cream of chicken pasta bake (pasta, cheese, cream of chicken soup) – Makes 2 servings
Mince & veg (1/4 mince, 1/2 tinned veg, 1/2 onion) – Makes 2 servings
If you plan well enough in advance, you can quite easily eat off around £10 a week without resorting to microwave pots of noodles.
Veggies are ridiculously cheap and can be used to make dishes fuller with ease, while using ingredients that make lots of different recipes – such as eggs, mince and chopped tomatoes – can give a varied menu from a tiny budget.