Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Day 11 of Extremely Frugal February - Roast Beef

Day 11 of 28 - Bullying the Beef!

Leave me to sleep!
The de-clutter continues here in Frugaldom with each box being painstakingly emptied, each leaf of paper skim read and then binned or burned in a final effort to get rid of all the rubbish I have accrued over the years. The cat loves it, as she adopts each and every box I empty! Today must have been a cold one because she slept in this box for most of the afternoon. Naturally, it had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that it was sitting by the log burner!

Yesterday, I mentioned the 600g of roast beef that was defrosting, so I want to continue with that, to help prove that good eating isn't impossible when on a tiny budget of £1 per person per day for meals. With the beef joint costing £6 and an average portion size being 100g, this easily takes up all of my budget... or does it?

Beef - £6.00
1kg potatoes - 50p
1 medium swede - 40p
Half a large cabbage - 16.5p (3 for 99p from Approved Food*)
1 large onion - 10p
Sprouts - NIL
Nut roast - 16.5p (3 x Granose double packs for 99p clearance)

Total - £7.33

I diced the onion, sprinkled it over the base of the slow cooker, placed the beef on top of it, rubbed salt into the beef then sprinkled mixed herbs over it. Added a mug of water to the crock pot and left that slow cooking for about 4 hours, adding another mug of water along the way. By the time it was done, the meat was literally coming apart, so I split it all up, leaving it stewing in the juices while I baked the nut roast and steamed all the vegetables. 

As I already know that porridge costs us 6p per serving, soup and homemade bread costs about 9p per person and we get through around 18p per person in incidentals like sugar, milk, tea and coffee, it means that main meals need to come in at around the 67p mark. 

The list of ingredients above needs to stretch really, really far. In fact, it would need to be sufficient for 11 meals in order for it to come within the frugal budget! We've already had 2, so I'll do my best with what's left. 

Eating roast beef isn't really something that can be done very often on such a tight budget unless you can offset the price against free produce from your own garden or barter for goods. But this is how tonight's meal looked with just a ladle of the meat stew backed up with a slice of nut roast for the extra protein. There's also a serving of homemade piccalilli in there, the first of the lot I made in September. (I blogged the recipe for my frugalilli.) Everything tasted delicious, but we probably blew the budget by having a bowl of butterscotch whip afterwards, albeit a 6p pack made with powdered milk.

Mini fridge
Living room work is progressing - the second coat of gloss is dry and I can start moving books onto shelves tomorrow. H managed to find the mini fridge, so it has been cleaned and is now sitting on the frugal bar. This will do as an ice bucket - I can simply pop the cubes into a cut-down milk carton and store the whole lot in the mini fridge when we are entertaining guests. I got this tiny cooler free some years ago courtesy of a well known office supplies company. It has both mains and car-lighter plug attachments and can be used for either keeping things cold or for keeping them warm! I have never used it in all the years I have had it, so I hope it still works.

That wraps it up for today - no actual cash spent on anything and I'm now off to check out the new £1 or less section of Approved Foods.*  I see they have the ice cream mix back in stock and we love it!

NYK, Frugaldom

* My friend referral links.


  1. I dropped off some things at the pet store to donate to the shelter today, getting rid of another 25 things from the house this week

    1. Got my box sitting that gets bits and pieces added. Once it's full, I'll pass it to neighbour who helps out in our nearest charity shop. Hope things are progressing with your house sale/impending move. :)

  2. The nut roast is now out of production, I wish I could find a stash somewhere we liked it and it was good when camping. I now make my own and take it with us but it akes up more room.

    1. Chris, I can't find cheap nut roast mix anywhere now, it just seems t have disappeared. I briefly spotted an affordable one from Sainsbury's but it seems to have gone now, too. Seems to me like anything affordable that can be bulk bought and stored is vanishing, just like the cheap washing up liquid. I wish I'd bought 100 litres of that when it was 14p.


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