Monday, 9 February 2015

Eat well for less Programme 2

This family spent even more than the last! £18,000 a year on food. By the end, it was estimated they would spend £12,000 a year if they made some of the suggested changes.

£12,000 - good grief!!! On a good day and with the wind in the right direction, we use less than £1550 for us two (including toiletries). Times that by 3 (for her family of 6) and using it for food purchases only, would bring that to £4650 for her family for a year. What is the rest spent on, drinks? for their occasional weekend guests.

Yet again, no menu plan in sight, putting things at random in their trolley, going for top end brands mainly etc. It wasn't as if their children were fussy eaters either. Most of the time they all ate the same thing. Very little cooking going on in a lovely large kitchen, what a waste all round!

The nutritionist lady came up trumps again, showing the amount of sugar in ready made spaghetti sauces (and they were only the tomato and basil ones).

Premium brand (looked like Loyd Grossman judging by the shape) - about 4.5 teaspoonfuls of sugar
Most bought (looked like Dolmio) - 7.5 teaspoonfuls of sugar
Supermarket own brand - 1 teaspoonful of sugar

Blimey, no wonder people are addicted to sugar. They said the supermarket own brand didn't taste as good as the other two but not due to the lack of sugar, more the lack of depth. Well, that can be corrected by a good squidge of tomato purée and a few extra herbs. They could have said that but didn't, leaving me to ponder if they were trying to aim us elsewhere.

The nutritionist then went onto make a rather nice sauce herself using top quality ingredients, see, they really are not aiming it at the rest of us. We make a perfectly lovely (in our humble opinion), tomato sauce using cheapest tinned tomatoes, s & p, herbs, squidge of purée and a bit of garlic. Not a hint of sugar used not even in the can or the tube of tomato purée. Only in summer when we have our own tomatoes would we use fresh ones.

Well, I've said my twopence worth, you might not agree but really, even though we know they are after making a sensationalist programme, I'm sure there are more hard up people around, shopping like this who really needed the help as well as showing how to cook more frugal meals.

Shame on you programme makers (this includes all the daytime and evening slots filled to capacity with chefs, cooks using expensive ingredients), you could/can do so much more:(

Our weekly menu tab has been updated for meals in the 2nd and final week of the food challenge. We amazed ourselves by using just 50p on meat for us both, for the week!

27 comments:

  1. I thought the children were really open minded about trying new things which is a great start. It seemed to me that mum just lacked confidence in cooking and shopping skills and not very organised. She was in a tizz over making carrot sticks! Perhaps her mum didn't cook either. It just takes practice and the more you make yourself, the cheaper and healthier it is.

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    1. Very true. They didn't show us either how much food was being binned, quite a lot I suspect. For the most part, I taught myself to cook and made loads of mistakes but usually nothing so bad it needed binning:)

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  2. I thought she was on a winner with those children too! The "experts" could have helped her to save so much more. I shall watch the next one because I can't resist, but I do find I'm shouting at the TV (I knew I would)

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  3. Completely agree. Portion sizes were too generous, I thought. The heap of chilli and rice that was served to a two year old was outrageous!

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    1. Yes I finally made myself watch it......actually I was pretty unimpressed by the dad. He seemed to be making all the right noises at the beginning of the programme but I'm not convinced he was keen on the suggestions at all. But what about the couple the previous week......going shopping with £1000 of groceries already at home???! I had to go shopping this morning so I have enough in for this week. Purchases: bananas, value wholemeal bread, value orange squash: TOTAL£1.54.

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    2. I bet the bananas were the most expensive bit?

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    3. Yes...the bananas were the most expensive but hubby has them on his breakfast bran flakes. Also I like them chopped up on wholemeal bread for a quick lunch. As regards the programmes, I can only assume that the programme's makers/presenters were trying to make the families changes palatable. Maybe they thought that if the changes were "too drastic"?! the families wouldn't go for it. It seemed to me that with all the building renovation etc. that the 2nd couple probably needed to make more changes as they were suggesting at the start of the programme. I just cannot believe what both families spend on food. Is it real???!!!

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    4. I assume so but it just goes to show what lives some people lead.

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    5. Morgan - I thought that about the 2 year olds portion of chilli! It looked like the amount a 10 year old would have. Most of it was wasted though.

      It is a ridiculous programme and a wasted opportunity.

      Donna

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  4. I wish we could see these programmes over here in Canada.

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    1. Are you not able to get the BBC on the internet?

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    2. oh is that what station it's on I had no idea.

      Gill

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    3. BBC1 if you can get it, 3 programmes, we have had 2 so far, quite an eye opener!

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  5. Your menu tab with photos is really helping me, thankyou for all your effort. I wish we had that show here maybe I can Google it. In winter I can feed the family with cheap casseroles etc but now we are in summer I have trouble with finding cheap bbq meat apart from rissoles .

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    1. Thank you, glad they are of use. It is always going to be difficult if you need to use meat in every meal. We eat almost the same whether it is summer or winter.

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    2. Forgot to say, when it is too hot to cook indoors, we have a portable one ring camping stove that can be used to cook quick meals outside. Is this possible for you?

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  6. Yes portions seem to be huge nowadays - influence from across the pond I presume? My Mum didn't teach me to cook, but she set an excellent example cooking from scratch and turning her nose up at shope bought 'rubbish'! I am now a confident cook, built on many years of trial and error. I wrote to the BBC suggesting they use frugal bloggers as a good influence and support for families who needs guidance. Waiting to see if I get a reply!

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    1. Well done, yes it will be interesting to see if you get a reply. I am also lucky to have family that eat what is put in front of them.

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  7. I love these type of programmes, if only to see how unrealistic they are for the majority of us, a bit like the Jamie Oliver ones, but what I find scary is how she seemed like she was a well educated lady had so little knowledge of cooking/budgeting. I mean how many times did she go to the supermarket 17 times in one week! I especially enjoyed the sauce demonstration I always buy the supermarket brand and love the taste I suppose you get used to less sugar. Being a diabetic I certainly know if there is too much sugar in something the taste is nasty.

    Oh and I loved how the kitchen was all mod cons but obviously just for show!

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  8. Wasted kitchens sometimes show up on restoration programmes as well, what is the point!

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  9. It's astounding how much these people spend isn't it? Must admit I didn't actually even start to watch the programme because I thought I'd find it irritating as usual, which it sounds like I would have. We are just two of us and I'm lucky if I spend £1200 a year on food and groceries...if I were to spend over £100 per month I'd think I was going over the top!

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    1. I record it just in case I find myself shouting at the tv!

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  10. I watched the first one and it just ended winding me up. Are people that stupid! After reading your post I'm gobsmacked on how much they spend each year! We couldn't afford to live if that was the case! We spend on average around £60 a week on food for the four of us (although the two little ones don't eat much it's surprising what they're starting to get through). That's with using the butcher for our meat but we do grow a lot ourselves. I haven't brought a ready made sauce in years (probably about 7) I just never like the taste that much and it only takes a minute to chop up some onions and add some tinned tomatoes and seasoning. Curries I do the same. I think that as soon as you buy anything ready made the cost goes up and so does the amount of rubbish in the food.
    Thankfully we've got these blogs and know that we're not the only ones with some sense out there!
    Excellent post btw.

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    1. I just want to shake them and say, people are starving to death somewhere, stop it! We used more food when DS lived with us but not much more. He and his fiancee use a little less than us now!

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  11. I also saw this. Why are they using jars at all? Chilli from a jar? I would worry what I was putting into my family.

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  12. I'm assuming that they don't know how or haven't the time?

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  13. I watched the first one - the thing that annoyed me was Greg Wallace started telling the man how to cook the meatballs but then that was it! I want to see ideas for nutritional and inexpensive meals - not burgers and sausages week in week out. What a waste of an opportunity! I would like to see a Girl named Jack doing a programme like this! Rant over.....

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