Sunday Dinner on a budget

A few people have reached out to me to ask how I manage to make my roast dinners for so little money. So, I am going to base prices for the recipe on today’s prices at Tesco (that is where I shop). The biggest cost with those who want to save money is when they turn around and say, “I shop in M&S” or “I shop in Waitrose”. That’s why it is costing you so much! Yes, I could probably get cheaper in Lidl or Aldi but as previously mentioned, I find their fruit and veg go off very quickly. The price in Tesco is comparable and I find the fresh food lats much longer. E.g., One bag of potatoes will last us a month.

Usually, I buy potatoes in bulk from the greengrocer which makes them cheaper. My Sunday dinner meat is dictated to me by what is on offer or what I have previously managed to buy reduced and put in the freezer for a later date. For example, tomorrow is toad in the hole because I managed to get sausages on a Clubcard price for Doug and the kids (I eat veggie ones). I will base the recipe today on the whole roast chicken I made last week since that is what spiked the questions. I also only cook for 4 and we have leftover chicken for lunches during the week, but I will give ingredients, cost and recipe for 6 people based on today’s prices in Tesco as I am aware not everyone has the ability to shop at a greengrocer/in bulk.

Roast Chicken for 6

Ingredients & prices

Whole chicken- £3.50 (There are some at £2.66 and others at £8.25. This just depends on what you can afford)

3 Carrots – 12p (40p per kg bag)

6 Potatoes – 30p (91p per 2.5kg)

½ a large Broccoli – 23p (If you are happy with frozen veg then this can be even lower at around 13p)

Gravy – 10p

140g Plain Flour – 5p (1p for me because I have a huge stock of flour bought on sale)

4 Eggs – 29p (Mines were free from the neighbours’ chickens)

Peas – 1p (frozen peas are perfectly good and cheap. Mines were left over from a Gousto dish so free)

½ bag of Kale – 36p (Again mine was left over from a Gousto dish so was free)

200 ml Milk – 16p

2 brown onions – 20p

Garlic clove – 1p

Optional

Whatever seasonings you want for your chicken.

Polenta

Yorkshire puddings (makes 24 so I freeze the rest)

  1. Heat oven to 210c
  2. Drizzle some oil into the bottom of each hole in a 12-hole muffin tin and pop in the oven for around 5 minutes until it is hot
  3. Mix the flour and eggs together until there are no lumps
  4. Slowly add the milk and keep mixing until smooth.
  5. Once the oil in the tins is hot, pour a small amount of the mixture into each hole of the tin and bake for about 20 minutes. Try not to open the oven before 20 minutes is up or they’ll collapse.
  6. Once they are ready, I put the second lot In the oven.
  7. I then just heat them up for 3-4 minutes once everything is finished cooking.

Chicken

  1. Lower the oven by 20c
  2. Chop the onions into quarters
  3. Season your chicken with whatever herbs and spices you want, drizzle some oil and pop in a roasting tin on top of the onions.
  4. Roast in the oven for about 1 hour 20 but check the weight on the packet and timings on there.
  5. I use the onions to add to the gravy. If you’ve someone that doesn’t like onions, then blitz them down.

Potatoes

  1. Chop each potato into small bite sized chunks, par boil for 5-10 minutes to soften the outside a little.
  2. Drain the water, give them a little shake, (sprinkle in polenta), Drizzle a little oil or butter over them depending on what you fancy.
  3. Roast for around 35 minutes.

Vegetables

  1. I put the peas and broccoli in water in a microwavable dish and cook for 5 minutes
  2. The carrots are diced and cooked in boiling water for around 20 minutes
  3. The kale is popped in a frying pan with a tiny bit of butter and a crushed garlic clove for around 3 minutes.

The gravy is Bisto granules because its quick and easy and I add the blitzed onions so there’s no waste.

£5.33 for 6. However, 38p of that is Yorkshire pudding ingredients for another day. Making it only £4.95 in total and 82p per person. If you want to cut costs then, you don’t have to use the onions, mix the veg up a bit or use cheaper chicken etc. It is certainly possible to make a whole Sunday dinner for less than £1 per person and actually feel full. If you want to cut down on your food costs, then think about where you are buying your groceries.

It’s the summer holidays here and I know my food bill will go up, but it won’t be unmanageable because I shop smart, I use leftovers wisely and we cook from scratch almost exclusively.

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