Dinner for £1 a head

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Dinner for £1 a head

Postby Meganthemog » January 17th, 2018, 11:26 am

Yet another book on how to feed a family of 4 for £1 a head.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/food/ ... -plan.html

I'm sure we could write a book! How difficult is it to feed a family on £1 a head per meal? Not difficult at all if you're not counting all the herbs, spices, oils etc. The recipes cited here aren't original or inventive. I question how she got a publishing deal for something like this, but I notice that it is now down to 4.99 from 14.99.

So what do you reckon to a Wildies Cookbook?
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Re: Dinner for £1 a head

Postby suffolk » January 17th, 2018, 12:05 pm

Are those seriously main meals? If I served OH a mug of sweetcorn soup as a main meal he'd keel over and die!!!

One tin of tuna between four, including two adults .... OH can eat one on his own ........ and he only weighs nine and a half stone!!!

And there's nothing like the amount of vegetables that we eat as part of a main meal ... and quite a lot of carbs :rolleyes:
“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.”
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Re: Dinner for £1 a head

Postby Meganthemog » January 17th, 2018, 12:36 pm

My thoughts exactly - I suspect she has a link with Penguin to be able to get this tosh published!
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Re: Dinner for £1 a head

Postby suffolk » January 17th, 2018, 12:54 pm

We've just had cheese omelettes for lunch ... we sometimes have them for a light main meal supper with a large bowl of salad or a generous serving of spinach .... but between the two of us that's five eggs and a generous chunk of mature cheddar and some chopped spring onions.

If our foster carers had fed growing children like that we in Children's Services would've been a bit concerned ...
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Re: Dinner for £1 a head

Postby Ratatouille » January 17th, 2018, 1:20 pm

They are not main meals at all, just main courses -As Suffs says, not enough veg and absolutely nothing afterwards, so no fruit or dairy, so not balanced in nutrients
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Re: Dinner for £1 a head

Postby StokeySue » January 17th, 2018, 2:41 pm

1 TBS mixed dried herbs in fishcakes for 4? That takes me back to student days, not in a good way
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Re: Dinner for £1 a head

Postby suffolk » January 17th, 2018, 2:43 pm

StokeySue wrote:1 TBS mixed dried herbs in fishcakes for 4? That takes me back to student days, not in a good way

:sprout:
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Re: Dinner for £1 a head

Postby earthmaiden » January 17th, 2018, 3:01 pm

We've been here before haven't we! Since last time £1 probably buys even less. Whilst I might tweak her recipes and they are not what a family needs for its total nutritional intake a day I don't think they're that bad. Of course, if you are on a very tight budget you have to factor in the cost of the fuel for cooking etc as well. I think these kind of recipes can help people who just need to learn to budget a bit - but not those who live desperately close to the breadline.

Yes, we Wildies could probably write quite a good book ... it would need guidelines for savvy shopping and hidden expenses included too :).
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Re: Dinner for £1 a head

Postby scullion » January 17th, 2018, 3:07 pm

i'm not impressed. where are the green vegetables - or veg other than tinned sweetcorn and a few small additions?
the article says she has young children. mine would never have survived on such a small amount for one meal let alone a day.
she has a dig at other food bloggers/ budget cooks but is equally dishonest (unless that is the mail's - spit - spin on it) about the amount the weeks food bill costs. it doesn't cover breakfast and dinner (i would consider those as lunch sized portions for active youngsters).
they may be all that's needed for a main meal by an sedentary/bedbound older person but i think she would find her kids raiding the larder or having midnight feasts after a day or so.
i'm sure there is a way of doing it, especially if the meat and fish are swapped for pulses and i'm not sure people on a really tight budget would think of getting gorgonzola or goats cheese, jars of passata and ready made puff pastry.
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Re: Dinner for £1 a head

Postby Busybee » January 17th, 2018, 3:14 pm

I was more concerned about the lack of milk for the children. 2 pints of milk for a week for the four of them, that means they aren’t eating cereal for breakfast so what are they eating?

Maybe enough to survive on short term but certainly not a healthy balanced diet.

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Re: Dinner for £1 a head

Postby scullion » January 17th, 2018, 3:25 pm

that was the first thing that i thought, too, but i couldn't believe that she would malnourish her young in that way (and admit that she had said young rather than keeping them locked in a cellar away from the world) and that one hopes it would have been picked up by now if that was the case.
i think the whole thing is unrealistic in the way it's been presented.
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Re: Dinner for £1 a head

Postby liketocook » January 17th, 2018, 4:11 pm

While I admire the principle behind keeping costs down and giving folk ideas these are not "meals"and to be honest if you are on a tight budget these ingedients bought at Aldi or not are not what a family would be buying to fill bellies and give a balanced diet. I'm sure like most Wildies I could make better for the same or not less. Much more helpful I think would be ideas on fully using a whole chicken to get several meals, stretching mince dishes with veg/lentils etc.
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Re: Dinner for £1 a head

Postby suffolk » January 17th, 2018, 4:16 pm

liketocook wrote:Much more helpful I think would be ideas on fully using a whole chicken to get several meals, stretching mince dishes with veg/lentils etc.


Absolutely LTC :tu:
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Re: Dinner for £1 a head

Postby Meganthemog » January 17th, 2018, 4:22 pm

As I read it this is her shopping list for the one meal a day that costs just £1 per head. Presumably she is buying more milk to cover breakfast tea coffee etc. The article doesn't say that this is all that her family eats each day.
My original point was that this is yet another book that isn't particularly well written and researched - and that we as a group could do a lot better!
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Re: Dinner for £1 a head

Postby scullion » January 17th, 2018, 4:24 pm

maybe we should go through our shopping bills and work out (preferably main) meals that we normally do that would cost less than a pound a head and have a dedicated thread to that.
'one pound meals' - or something like that.
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Re: Dinner for £1 a head

Postby hickybank » January 20th, 2018, 8:50 am

One of our favourite meals is from the hairy dieters cookbook & would qualify for this
Pan Haggarty
1 Onion thinly sliced, 2 rashers smokey Bacon sliced, sliced Potato. sliced Carrots, Chicken stock, small portion grated Cheddar
Fry Onion & Bacon till Onion is soft & Bacon starting to brown
Place a thin layer of this in a casserole add a layer of Potato a little more Onion mix, a layer of Carrots, a little more Onion, finish with a layer of Carrots & Potato
Cover with the stock & bake till tender, about 20 mins,remove from oven sprinkle over the cheese & brown under grill
Thats it, really very tasty
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Re: Dinner for £1 a head

Postby suffolk » January 20th, 2018, 9:12 am

Think our Cockaleekie with parsley dumplings ... made from the remains of a small roast chicken (already two meals for two adults had).... will feed a family of four twice ... and it includes lots of veg and costs next to nothing
Cockaleekie and parsley dumplings.jpg
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Re: Dinner for £1 a head

Postby Ratatouille » January 20th, 2018, 10:04 am

Except Hicky that isn't strictly speaking Pan Haggerty . If one is speaking traditionally. It was a Monday washing day dish with potato and onion layers with whatever cold meat was left from Sunday and served with the rest of the gravy. Still good though.
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Re: Dinner for £1 a head

Postby suffolk » January 20th, 2018, 10:22 am

Pan Haggerty is planned for this coming Monday here ... with the remains of Sunday's potroasted silverside. :D
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Re: Dinner for £1 a head

Postby earthmaiden » January 20th, 2018, 10:55 am

Of course, if you need to put the oven on you need to work out how you are going to utilise it - to just light it for Pan Haggerty would have been a sin when I was growing up ;)

(Surely by its name, original Pan Haggerty was done in a pan?? :? )
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Re: Dinner for £1 a head

Postby suffolk » January 20th, 2018, 11:13 am

Ah, but the Rayburn range was alight 24/7 when I was a child ... and we had a similar (but more modern) stove when we had a smallholding ... my one weakness in the kitchen is putting on the oven to cook just one thing from time to time ...... :oops:
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Re: Dinner for £1 a head

Postby uschi » January 20th, 2018, 11:25 am

scullion wrote:maybe we should go through our shopping bills and work out (preferably main) meals that we normally do that would cost less than a pound a head and have a dedicated thread to that.
'one pound meals' - or something like that.


A few years ago two German chaps did something like that, trying to work out how to survive on their meagre benefits. They collected recipes, checked the prices at Aldi's, Lidl's and so on and then published a book with exact prices, measurements and nutrional values.
It was mostly traditional fare, but experts were amazed how good they were. Cheap, but good value and well-balanced.
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Re: Dinner for £1 a head

Postby Suelle » January 20th, 2018, 12:56 pm

I think it's perhaps too easy for good cooks, people who like eating, and (perhaps more importantly) people who could afford to spend more, to devise cheap meals. Sure, we can soak the lentils and chickpeas, chop the root vegetables and add just a little smoked bacon for flavour, but we know we can spend £4 on a couple of duck legs, or even more on lamb chops, tomorrow, if we want. It's different if you need to eat cheap meals all the time, and can't cook (or don't have much time for it). It's different if what you can afford doesn't naturally provide a balanced diet and you are worrying that you can't afford enough protein for your children, let alone fresh fruit.

I think it's a type of food snobbery (or Angela Hartnett's patronisation) to tell struggling people on low incomes how they could manage if they tried a bit harder!

I also doubt that what many of us perhaps think of as cheap meals come in at less than £1 a head these days - I'd like to see costings, not just recipes!
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Re: Dinner for £1 a head

Postby uschi » January 20th, 2018, 1:13 pm

The "Aldi Kochbuch" was a great hit with people. After all, the authors had to manage on these meagre handouts for a long time.
The explanations were simple, but instructive and people were genuinely grateful for a bit of guidance and common sense ideas.
Above all, the exact price list and sums under the recipes really helped.
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Re: Dinner for £1 a head

Postby Suelle » January 20th, 2018, 1:40 pm

uschi wrote:The "Aldi Kochbuch" was a great hit with people. After all, the authors had to manage on these meagre handouts for a long time.
The explanations were simple, but instructive and people were genuinely grateful for a bit of guidance and common sense ideas.
Above all, the exact price list and sums under the recipes really helped.


That sounds an excellent piece of work, Uschi, and my comments weren't aimed at your post. However, as you said, it was a few years ago, so the costings used in the book probably aren't accurate for today's prices
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Re: Dinner for £1 a head

Postby StokeySue » January 20th, 2018, 2:04 pm

To be fair that sounds nuch like Jack Munroe's Cooking on a Bootstrap and her earluer books and blog
She seems to be moving to vegan but wasn't always
https://cookingonabootstrap.com/category/blog/
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Re: Dinner for £1 a head

Postby StokeySue » January 20th, 2018, 2:20 pm

PS on the subject of ovens
I think people get a little over cautious with ovens
Obviously if you are really in a situation where you need to spend no more on a meal than £1 per head it's a big consideration.
But at current prices it costs on average around 36p to run a moderate oven for an hour.
Personally I take the view that having paid £600 for a mini range and perhaps £5 or more for ingredients it would be crazy not to spend less than a quid to get the most out of them both occasionally
And as I live alone what am I supposed to do with all this extra food I might fill up the oven with? Don't say freeze it (which also requires an expensive appliance and electricity), I can't freeze 80% of my food for practical reasons, let alone prefering to eat things fresh from the oven
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Re: Dinner for £1 a head

Postby Pepper Pig » January 20th, 2018, 5:15 pm

Suelle wrote:I think it's a type of food snobbery (or Angela Hartnett's patronisation) to tell struggling people on low incomes how they could manage if they tried a bit harder!


I heard what Angela said totally differently Sue. She said that it was very patronising of chefs to insist that everyone used organic chickens etc. and that she refused to tell people to do so. She also, if I heard correctly, blamed a lot of bad food management on the fact that some people are not being taught to cook at home and that schools have pushed food education off the curriculum. That's not patronising, it's common sense.
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Re: Dinner for £1 a head

Postby suffolk » January 20th, 2018, 6:39 pm

Pepper ... that was my understanding of what AH said ... I must say I agreed with her.
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Re: Dinner for £1 a head

Postby miss mouse » January 20th, 2018, 7:21 pm

suffolk wrote:Pepper ... that was my understanding of what AH said ... I must say I agreed with her.


Me too.

StokeySue wrote:But at current prices it costs on average around 36p to run a moderate oven for an hour.


That is interesting. I also justify it as warming up the kitchen, I had no idea it was so cheap.
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Re: Dinner for £1 a head

Postby Suelle » January 20th, 2018, 8:06 pm

Pepper Pig wrote:
Suelle wrote:I think it's a type of food snobbery (or Angela Hartnett's patronisation) to tell struggling people on low incomes how they could manage if they tried a bit harder!


I heard what Angela said totally differently Sue. She said that it was very patronising of chefs to insist that everyone used organic chickens etc. and that she refused to tell people to do so. She also, if I heard correctly, blamed a lot of bad food management on the fact that some people are not being taught to cook at home and that schools have pushed food education off the curriculum. That's not patronising, it's common sense.


Sorry - I wasn't being clear enough. I agree with Angela, and meant that it was perhaps just as patronising to tell people that they could eat better on limited budgets if they planned more carefully or spent more time cooking.
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Re: Dinner for £1 a head

Postby hickybank » January 20th, 2018, 10:20 pm

earthmaiden wrote:Of course, if you need to put the oven on you need to work out how you are going to utilise it - to just light it for Pan Haggerty would have been a sin when I was growing up ;)

(Surely by its name, original Pan Haggerty was done in a pan?? :? )

And you are absolutely correct, dont know why I put casserole (put it down to the stress of moving)
The recipe states a deep frying pan. cooked on the hob & browned under the grill
Thanks for pointing out the error
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Re: Dinner for £1 a head

Postby karadekoolaid » January 20th, 2018, 11:29 pm

The sweetcorn soup for dinner.....well I'd expect a real, live, full English the following morning :terrified:
The Chicken/cheese pastries, well, ok - but I don't see more than 500 gms of protein there ( chicken plus cheese) /4 = 150 gms per person.
That's the amount of chicken I serve for a fine-dining dinner - with rice, veg, lentils, and roti!
Thai noodle soup looks ok.
But hey - the girl's made a huge effort to organise her weekly menu on a shoestring. At least it's a reasonable guide.
Personally, I'd go for more veggies, but then I haven't seen the rest of the cookbook.
If the only thing she manages is to get people to use ALL the stuff in their fridge, then she's probably achieved her objective.
Perhaps her husband goes to the Argentinian Grill restaurant twice a week for a faceful of T-bone and BBQ ribs. 8-) 8-)
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Re: Dinner for £1 a head

Postby karadekoolaid » January 20th, 2018, 11:33 pm

Just to clarify the Argentinian thing.
There are loads of Argentinian Grills in Mexico ( and what they call "Meat Restaurants" in Caracas) where you'll sit down to a 400gm or 800 gm tenderloin, 750 gms of barbecued ribs, or a mixed grill - which might include a steak, ribs, chorizos, black pudding and a chop or three. :terrified: :terrified:
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Re: Dinner for £1 a head

Postby Suelle » January 21st, 2018, 8:00 am

karadekoolaid wrote:The Chicken/cheese pastries, well, ok - but I don't see more than 500 gms of protein there ( chicken plus cheese) /4 = 150 gms per person.
That's the amount of chicken I serve for a fine-dining dinner - with rice, veg, lentils, and roti!


I think that's around the recommended daily amount for adults.
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Re: Dinner for £1 a head

Postby StokeySue » January 21st, 2018, 11:53 am

150g of boneless raw meat is a normal adult portion IMO, remember two of her diners are children who will eat less

The dietary recommendation is usually that a piece of cooked boneless meat for an adult should be the size if a deck of cards or the palm of your hand. Supersizing is one of the causes of obesity
.
I reckon there's a reason that a quarter pounder (125 g) is the standard burger size, the patty cooks well and for most (non super sizing) people a quarter pounder in a bun with fixings is a nice size. And yes I might go up to 150 g to make them look generous for a BBQ
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Re: Dinner for £1 a head

Postby hickybank » January 21st, 2018, 4:29 pm

A Steak house I used to visit had the Streak challenge, beat the record eat for free
The record stood at 1800 g, :o :o needless to say I never tried to beat it, how could anyone eat that amount.
I think the protein alone would make it poisonous
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Re: Dinner for £1 a head

Postby earthmaiden » January 21st, 2018, 7:39 pm

hickybank wrote:A Steak house I used to visit had the Streak challenge,

The mind boggles :lol: :lol:
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Re: Dinner for £1 a head

Postby Grasshopper » January 21st, 2018, 7:41 pm

OMG Hicky that sounds like a LOT of meat!
We ate quite cheaply as kids because we had little money in those days and a very tight budget. Lots of stews, an allotment where we grew veg, those meat rolls, we had on Sundays, etc.
But we were NEVER cold, hungry or unclothed.
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Re: Dinner for £1 a head

Postby uschi » January 22nd, 2018, 1:29 am

Suelle wrote:
uschi wrote:The "Aldi Kochbuch" was a great hit with people. After all, the authors had to manage on these meagre handouts for a long time.
The explanations were simple, but instructive and people were genuinely grateful for a bit of guidance and common sense ideas.
Above all, the exact price list and sums under the recipes really helped.


That sounds an excellent piece of work, Uschi, and my comments weren't aimed at your post. However, as you said, it was a few years ago, so the costings used in the book probably aren't accurate for today's prices


That may be true, but you can still see which foods were the cheapest.
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