Week 1 eating on a budget

I have to admit, the last week has been exhausting. Sourcing all the budget produce, cooking it up, making sure there’s no waste and then writing about it. E-X-H-A-U-S-T-ING!

But now we’re in the swing of things it’s getting easier.

£10 veg and fruit box from The Garden Market at EynshamLast week I trialled a beautiful £10 veggie box from The Market Garden at Eynsham, which I then based all my family meals around.

I sourced a free range chicken from Cowley Road butchers Alders which I turned into 3 family meals including roast chicken, chicken and chickpea curry as well as boiling the bones for the tastiest Butternut squash soup I’ve ever made.

We used up leftover Christmas cheese and made our own kale pesto.

Frugal organic peanut butter hummusI discovered the art of soaking and boiling pulses when I made my own frugal peanut butter hummus. I then kicked myself for not doing this sooner and saving a tonne of money!

My husband took leftovers to work every day, and we made buttery flapjacks instead of buying the usual after school snacks.

Lastly I bulk cooked a few meals to be stored in the freezer for the weeks ahead.

Vietnamese rice wraps and asian coleslaw 2The highlights so far were Friday night’s home made prawn and rice spring rolls with Asian coleslaw (recipe to follow), and having friends over for Brunch on Saturday morning where we cooked up a bubble and squeak storm and tried out those delicious Headington Market Farm eggs.

Yes, I can’t believe we actually managed to entertain when on a tight budget. But hang on a minute, let’s see how the purse strings are doing….



Here’s a list of everything bought and how much it cost:

1 x Veggie box = £10
Spaghetti squash = £1
1 red pepper = 20p
Cabbage = £1
Farm eggs = £1.20
Chicken = £4
Butter = £1
Natural yoghurt = 50p
2 tins tuna = £1
Bulk organic Oats = £5
Lemon & lime = 50p
1 large tin of spinach – £1.29
Dried chickpeas = £1.99
Dried split peas = £1.99
Oranges & bananas = £2
Pasta, rice, olive oil & sugar from the larder = £2
Rice spring roll wraps  = £1.99 (for 40)
Tinned tomatoes x 2 = 64p
Salad & cherry tomatoes = £2
Creamed coconut = £1
Prawns = £1
Peanuts = £4

Total = £44

frugal bubble and squeak brunch recipeConsidering we’ve got enough oats, chickpeas and yellow split peas to last us a month, I’ve made 3 jars of peanut butter, there’s enough Dahl and spinach in the freezer for another family meal, I’ve definitely got enough veggies and wraps for more spring rolls next week, we’re not doing too badly. Plus I’m sure I’ll get more efficient as the weeks go on.

If you’ve been reading and following, thank you. I’d love some feedback or any frugal recipe ideas. Please drop me a line or leave me comments below.

4 thoughts on “Week 1 eating on a budget

  1. Anne Stone

    Hello, just wanted to say how much I am enjoying your blog,it’s a real inspiration to not only save money but to eat healthily too. I can’t wait to try the peanut butter recipe. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences and knowledge xx


    1. carolinementzer Post author

      Thanks Anne for reading and taking the time to comment. I can’t believe I haven’t tried making my own peanut butter before now, it definitely tastes better and it’s really quite awesome to see the nuts slowly turn into butter in the blender.


    1. carolinementzer Post author

      Hi Pippa, I get mine from a variety of places – Uhuru on Cowley Road do Bulk Organic oats. Also Sesi foods in the Methodist Church Jeune Street, Cowley, have a great shop where you can bring your own container and they’ll fill it up for you to the weight you want. This saves on packaging and means you get the discount for bulk even if you only buy a small quantity. I also sometimes order online from healthysupplies.co.uk or wholefoods.co.uk when they’ve got bulk discounts on.



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