1. Get the Diabetes Forum App for your phone - available on iOS and Android.
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Guest, we'd love to know what you think about the forum! Take the Diabetes Forum Survey 2021 »
    Dismiss Notice
  3. Diabetes Forum should not be used in an emergency and does not replace your healthcare professional relationship. Posts can be seen by the public.
    Dismiss Notice
  4. Guest, stay home, stay safe, save the NHS. Stay up to date with information about keeping yourself and people around you safe here and GOV.UK: Coronavirus (COVID-19). Think you have symptoms? NHS 111 service is available here.
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Find support, ask questions and share your experiences. Join the community »

Low Carb on a tight budget

Discussion in 'Low-carb Diet Forum' started by ladybird64, Apr 3, 2016.

  1. ladybird64

    ladybird64 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,731
    Likes Received:
    1,904
    Trophy Points:
    178
    I was thinking...I remember struggling terribly to try and follow a low carb lifestyle when we found ourselves on benefits. We know how to cook with fresh ingredients but it is still tough when literally every penny counts. An extra 20/30p per item may not seem much, but if we are talking about ten or more items that's a significant amount.
    We have a great recipe thread but maybe we can pool our wisdom for things like meat, cheese, fish, veg, berries, yogurt and make suggestions? Cheapest low carb sausages etc? What do others think?
     
    • Like Like x 11
    • Winner Winner x 2
  2. lovinglife

    lovinglife Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,913
    Likes Received:
    2,505
    Trophy Points:
    198
    Great idea - I am very very lucky that I haven't been in that position for over 30 years but will keep my eye out and put my thinking cap on - there is some good blogs if you google it as I remember dong it some time back for a poster who asked the question.

    Buying in bulk is an obvious answer but sometimes that can take a chunk out of a weekly budget - sometimes it's better to shop in local butchers and grocers because then you can buy exactly what you need e.g) 1 pork chop 2 sausages. I think Morrisons do small packs of meat too.
     
    • Informative Informative x 2
    • Like Like x 1
    • Winner Winner x 1
  3. ladybird64

    ladybird64 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,731
    Likes Received:
    1,904
    Trophy Points:
    178
    Definitely x. Now, a sensitive subject, but one that's relevant for some that live in large cities where it is primarily a multi-cultural area - only halal butchers. I used to use halal butchers, doesn't bother me in the slightest, but some prefer not to, for differing reasons. Supermarkets may be the only choice in these circumstances, so that's another thing to keep in mind. It would be so much easier if supermarkets would do individual portions, but they don't. Grr
     
  4. ally1

    ally1 Type 2 · Expert

    Messages:
    5,377
    Likes Received:
    21,765
    Trophy Points:
    198
    That's a great idea. I,m on benefits and after bills, only have 23 Pounds a week to buy food and cleaning stuff etc
     
    • Hug Hug x 3
  5. Lindy1706

    Lindy1706 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    282
    Likes Received:
    1,356
    Trophy Points:
    158
    Cultivate your local butcher. I often go into mine and get stuff half price as we are regular customers. I got 10 huge meaty chicken legs last week for five pounds as he had just completed a large order for chicken breasts.

    He also does individual portions so you can buy just want you want.

    I always ask anything you want to be rid of when I go in :)
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Informative Informative x 1
    • Useful Useful x 1
  6. CarbsRok

    CarbsRok Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,696
    Likes Received:
    5,290
    Trophy Points:
    178
    Having a freezer works wonders for single people as well as families so if there's an offer on, make sure it is an offer first though by checking other items in the store.
    I find it cheaper to buy a joint of meat and portion it up after cooking and even before depending on what you want it for then freezing the rest of it for a future date. I find this is a fantastic fall back when money is tight after extra unwanted/expected bills come in. I do the same with fish as it's normally half price if the use by date is that day. Home it goes and into the freezer.
    Morrison's do an offer of 3 for £10 for different meats so you can have a whole chicken or 3 or mix and match with other meats in the offer.
     
    • Like Like x 6
  7. Scimama

    Scimama Type 2 (in remission!) · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    935
    Likes Received:
    1,915
    Trophy Points:
    178
    Do it yourself where possible, so grow your own veggies if you can or make friends with those who have a glut of courgettes :) (we have the garden but I have a OH who manages to kill plants just by looking at them).
    buy flax seeds, desiccated coconut etc and blitz in food processor yourself to make flours.

    Frozen veg is usually cheaper than fresh and you get better portion control, frozen cauliflower makes great mash, frozen avocados make yummy chocolate mousse.

    I buy some items from lidl (don't have an ldi near us but would assume its the same)
    yogurt (full fat no dded sugar),
    protein rolls,
    ground almonds and coconut (grind further to make flour),
    vegetable of the week


    Shop around for low carb items such as eggs, cheese (buy big blocks then cut down into smaller portions and freeze), shop later in evening when items are reduced, make low carb soups etc from veg and freeze.

    Ask your friends!!
    I get very large (1kg tubs) of Merdian peanut butter from a friend who is part of a food club where they order in bulk from a wholesaler, its a fraction of the price compared to stores (I have kids who love peanut butter so can go through 2kg a month very easily!). I also get flours, herbs, spices etc at fraction of cost. maybe we need to form our own food club in each region :)
     
    • Like Like x 5
  8. noblehead

    noblehead Type 1 · Guru
    Retired Moderator

    Messages:
    23,618
    Likes Received:
    19,618
    Trophy Points:
    278
    Both Aldi & Lidl do a high meat content sausage that is very cheap, I'm sure they are around £1.49 for 6.
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Useful Useful x 2
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
  9. ally1

    ally1 Type 2 · Expert

    Messages:
    5,377
    Likes Received:
    21,765
    Trophy Points:
    198
    that sounds like a good offer but the nearest lid to me is 2 bus rides away so that adds to my bill
     
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
  10. AndBreathe

    AndBreathe I reversed my Type 2 · Expert
    Retired Moderator

    Messages:
    9,734
    Likes Received:
    15,785
    Trophy Points:
    178
    I'm very fortunate not to be on too much of a constrained budget, although, of course, we all have our limits.

    One thing I can find frustrating when one of us is a way (and that can be for weeks on end, in this household), I can end up with lots of leftovers, or "the pork chop", or chicken portion from a pack of two. I'd prefer not to be eating exactly the same thing several days in a row.

    One thing that helps enormously in that situation is a decent spice and seasoning range. I appreciate one could spend a whole shopping budget, just buying spices or condiments, and clearly that doesn't make sense, but picking up something each week, or couple of weeks can make a real difference.

    Suddenly, I can have a grilled pork chop, followed next night or the night after, by a pork shop in, say Adobo seasoning (garlic and lemon deliciousness), which completely changes the meal, even if I have "the other half of the cauli", or cabbage, or salad, or whatever.

    You'd be surprised (or not!) how long a pot of Creole, Adobo, Lemon Pepper, Garam Masala seasoning can last used in this way.

    Last night, neither of us felt like heavy duty cooking, so had a tray back of decently diced and sweated gammon steak, butternut squash, red onion, red pepper and courgette, with a little coriander sprinkled over the top, before it was thrown into the oven for 45 minutes. The veggies could have been almost anything hanging around in the fridge. The meat could have been left over chicken (a whole chicken can provide several meals), sausages, or even a totally veggie option.

    Some of my most delicious meals have been fridge clearances, so it's important not to throw any food out. :)
     
    • Like Like x 6
  11. apple123

    apple123 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    174
    Likes Received:
    247
    Trophy Points:
    103
    When I've been short on cash I've found eggs really handy, and also those mini cans of sardines (which I've mashed with vinegar). Also, using frozen vegetables can save - and they can be used to make soups as well as put in casseroles with cheaper cuts of meat and stock.

    If you can tolerate them, pulses can also work out quite economical if you buy them dried - and also can be a good 'filler' if you're cutting down on meat generally.

    Generally I also found that when I had generous portions of green vegetables with meals, I was more satisfied and guessed it was the vitamin/mineral content. Large bags of kale can go quite a way - and can be put in omelettes, smoothies, stews & stir-fries.
     
    • Like Like x 6
    • Agree Agree x 1
  12. lovinglife

    lovinglife Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,913
    Likes Received:
    2,505
    Trophy Points:
    198
    Don't forget the asda misshapen veg box they are doing. Like with all offers with supermarkets like @ally1 says the travel cost to different supermarkets to get the bargains can be counter productive
     
    • Like Like x 4
  13. lovinglife

    lovinglife Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,913
    Likes Received:
    2,505
    Trophy Points:
    198
    Well because I was bored, curious and just a little sad I have done a shop on Tesco delivery setting my budget at £25 for one week for one person - not sure of the quality of some things and I didn't buy herbs spices etc as I made the assumption that I would have built up my store cupboard over a few weeks - I got frozen veg and packs of meat which will certainly stretch to more than one week. What I got listed below - even managed some choc!

    is a list of all the products which you have ordered.
    Quantity Product Price Total
    1 Tesco Everyday Value Crunchy Peanut Butter 340G £0.62 £0.62
    1 Tesco Everyday Value Chopped Tomatoes 400G £0.31 £0.31
    1 Tesco Iceberg Lettuce Each £0.43 £0.43
    1 Tesco Cucumber Portion £0.24 £0.24
    1 Tesco Greek Style Yoghurt 500G £1.00 £1.00
    1 Tesco Button Brussels Sprouts 1Kg £1.00 £1.00
    1 Tesco Fresh British Double Cream 300Ml £0.90 £0.90
    1 Tesco Diced Onions 500G £1.00 £1.00
    1 Tesco Sliced Mixed Peppers 500G £1.00 £1.00
    1 Tesco Free Range Mixed Weight Eggs Box Of 15 £2.00 £2.00
    1 Tesco 85% Cocoa Plain Chocolate Bar 100G £1.00 £1.00
    1 Pilgrims Choice Mature Cheddar 350G £2.00 £2.00
    1 Tesco Closed Cup Mushrooms 300G £0.90 £0.90
    1 Tesco Cauliflower Florets 900G £1.00 £1.00
    1 Tesco Sliced Green Beans 850G £0.85 £0.85
    1 Tesco British Salted Block Butter 250G £0.85 £0.85
    1 Nightingale Farms Round Tomato 500G £0.69 £0.69
    1 Nightingale Farms Celery 450G £0.49 £0.49
    1 Rosedene Farms Strawberries 227G £1.19 £1.19
    1 Willow Farms Chicken Thighs 750G £1.49 £1.49
    1 Woodside Farms Pork Chops 700G £2.03 £2.03
    1 Woodside Farms Unsmoked Gammon Joint 750G £2.79 £2.79
    1 Woodside Farms Middle Bacon 500G £1.94 £1.94

    I know it's not the best quality in the world but it can be done - and I just did it for interest not saying this is what anyone has to buy on a budget
     
    • Winner Winner x 5
    • Like Like x 4
    • Hug Hug x 1
  14. timerich

    timerich Family member · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    113
    Likes Received:
    206
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Some great ideas, never thought about frozen cauli, I do buy frozen berries though and then weigh them into small portions 85g makes a great quick dessert with double cream.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  15. Pollylocks

    Pollylocks Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    525
    Likes Received:
    1,125
    Trophy Points:
    158
    I'm on a budget as I've been off sick for a few months so I tend to look at prices/offers online and then go to whichever supermarket seems best for me. Also, Sainsburys, who are often more expensive, will match branded prices with Asda.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  16. Rosbif

    Rosbif Prediabetes · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    183
    Likes Received:
    503
    Trophy Points:
    113
    When I'm skint I like to plan meals in advance so that everything is accounted for. Work out the amount of protein you require daily, what that protein will be depending on what you like and what's good value, and then build up from there by including in-season vegetables, fats, etc.

    Be alert to good deals on protein sources (in particular), short-dated meat for the freezer, etc. Frozen meat can be useful for stir-fries as it's dead easy to slice thinly when partially defrosted. I love certain types of short-dated cheese, such as camembert, as that's when they're at their best!
    Also, bacon that you slice yourself will probably be cheaper (it is here in France, and it's a lot nicer).

    As another poster said, spices change everything and it's worth slowly building a collection. If you're near Indian/Chinese stores etc then you can get bags of lovely spices for little cost.
     
    • Like Like x 5
  17. apple123

    apple123 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    174
    Likes Received:
    247
    Trophy Points:
    103
    It might have been mentioned but frozen berries, rather than fresh, are also cheaper and you can just take out a portion at a time to add to yogurt or smoothies etc.

    Also, if you're on a tight budget it might be worth saving up for a slow cooker (or getting one secondhand) - especially in winter - cheaper to use than a conventional oven and it means you can prepare several meals at once.
     
    • Like Like x 4
  18. chja1963

    chja1963 Type 2 · Member

    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    13
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Thanks for all the ideas folks, am doing some of these things, and generally weekly shop is Aldi, with a trip either to the local green grocer or Salisbury's for individual fruit or veg, as whilst 49p for a bag of carrots at Aldi is a good buy, it's not when they go off before you can consume. I use herbs and spices a lot as a consequence I've never made an identical casserole regardless of the meat type. I'm on an occupational pension, and by the time I've paid all the bills etc for the month, it don't leave a lot, in some ways it's been quite an education, and am proper excited when I get a real bargain.
     
  19. Chook

    Chook Type 2 · Expert

    Messages:
    5,095
    Likes Received:
    7,887
    Trophy Points:
    198
    Something I like to do is go to street markets or sometimes car boots towards the end of trading for the day and the veg and fish sellers virtually give away their produce. Okay, getting whole boxes of tomatoes (or whatever) sounds a bit daunting but can usually be blanched or crooked and frozen.

    How as about combining food and exercise by taking on an allotment. In fact my local allotments association have a shop every Saturday morning where you can buy some gorgeous in season veg and sometimes (if you're there early enough) ultra fresh eggs for pennies.

    I live in rural Yorkshire and there are several auction places locally that auction off farmer's wives excess garden produce and eggs. They do also sell chickens, pigs, lambs and rabbits but they are usually still breathing - so not advisable for the inexperienced or faint hearted.
     
  • Meet the Community

    Find support, connect with others, ask questions and share your experiences with people with diabetes, their carers and family.

    Did you know: 7 out of 10 people improve their understanding of diabetes within 6 months of being a Diabetes Forum member. Get the Diabetes Forum App and stay connected on iOS and Android

    Grab the app!
  • Tweet with us

  • Like us on Facebook