Getting Prepared: £5k Saving Challenge

One of the main things I waste money on is buying food at work. To say I can spend £40 per week is no exaggeration. With this in mind, I wanted to get myself prepared and pre-make a few lunches up to freeze.

In winter I’m all about the soup, I made up a batch of Leek and Potato and Minestrone. I also baked some potatoes. I managed to get 6 portions of each, giving me 18 ready-made lunches to grab as I want them.

Mix it up

It would get a bit boring to stick to just 3 things over a whole month so I will be bulking these 18 meals up with left over dinners, pasta salads and sandwiches. The aim is to average under a pound per lunch over the month, which would save me an absolute fortune. The 18 meals I have pre-made came to a grand total of £7.89. I know. I couldn’t believe it either! The jacket potatoes worked out at roughly £0.70 each with a tuna, onion and mayonnaise filling. Leek and potato soup cost £1.47 in total or roughly 25p per portion. Minestrone soup cost a total of £2.22 or roughly 37p per portion.*

If I stick to the plan and keep to my average daily lunch cost of £1 over the month, I will have skimmed anything up to £130 alone.

All recipes can be found in the Cheap Recipe Spot. My recipes are a guideline, you may well want to alter the ingredients to suit your taste, but from the costings you get the gist of what is possible if you put your mind to it, stick to a budget and put in a little more effort in terms of preparation.

Full breakdown:

Minestrone Soup

  • 400g Carrots £0.12
  • 200g Red Cabbage £0.12
  • 1 Green Pepper ££0.30
  • 1 Onion £0.21
  • 200g Spaghetti £0.08
  • 1 Leek £0.30
  • 200g Celery (4 sticks) £0.29
  • 1 Tin of Tomatoes £0.35
  • 2 Chicken Stock Pots £0.45

TOTAL £2.22**

Leek and Potato Soup

  • 2 Leeks £0.59p
  • 1 Onion £0.21
  • 600g Potatoes £0.09
  • 1 Chicken Stock Pot £0.22
  • 200ml Single Cream £0.36

TOTAL £1.47**

Jacket Potatoes with Tuna Mayonnaise

  • Jacket Potato £0.32
  • ½ Tin of Tuna £0.27
  • ½ Onion £0.11

TOTAL £0.70**


*All prices correct as of 20/12/2015 at Aldi Stores

** Costings have been rounded up to 2 decimal places


You can also find blogs from David-Jack Taylor at iCount Money and ClearDebt

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David Naylor is the editor of the Thinking Thrifty blog. After a striking realisation about the direction his life was heading he set himself a 15 year plan to achieve total financial freedom. Join the journey!

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