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>> No. 10523 Anonymous
18th March 2014
Tuesday 4:34 am
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When I was a younglad, I once said to my mum that I was worried about the quality of the microwave meals, chips and sausages that I was being raised on, and then I asked if we could start eating healthier. Her response was to tell me that healthy food is too expensive and I will eat what she gives me or else. Is this actually true? What are some ways one could eat healthily without breaking the bank?
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>> No. 10524 Anonymous
18th March 2014
Tuesday 4:58 am
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Eating healthily is cheap as fuck, it's just that healthy shit isn't in plastic containers you can put in the microwave. It's sad how it's come to be like this, I just enjoy cooking.
>> No. 10525 Anonymous
18th March 2014
Tuesday 6:40 am
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>Is this actually true?

No, as >>10524 says it's about convenience rather than cost. You can eat very well on very little money if you cook from scratch and you're a reasonably canny shopper. Unfortunately a lot of people don't have the knowledge or confidence to cook, and schools don't teach it. It's an intergenerational thing - if you didn't grow up in a house where cooking was the norm, even the most basic recipe can seem daunting. TV chefs like to complicate things, but simple home cooking is quick and easy once you've got the hang of it.

IMO the best starting point is Jack Monroe. She has written extensively on how to eat on a very tight budget. The article below sets out a week's worth of recipes that allow you to eat two meals a day for less than a tenner all in.


If you're lazy and/or pushed for time, then one of the best tricks is to cook ahead of time in batches. You can spend Sunday afternoon cooking up big pans of things like soup, stew and pasta sauce and pour individual portions into freezer bags, so you'll have a freezer full of home-made ready meals for the rest of the month.
>> No. 10526 Anonymous
18th March 2014
Tuesday 4:41 pm
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I'm sorry to hear your mum had that attitude, you should be proud of being health-conscious.

As other lads have said, healthy food is cheap, you just have to make it yourself.
>> No. 10528 Anonymous
18th March 2014
Tuesday 4:43 pm
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I'd hesitate to call it an attitude. Seems like more of a belief. Eating healthily can easily seem expensive if you don't cook. If you don't know what you're getting from what you buy it's hard to look at it as good value.
>> No. 10530 Anonymous
18th March 2014
Tuesday 5:06 pm
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I find it confusing how the attitude/belief has continued despite Master Chef and such crap being popular as hell.
>> No. 10531 Anonymous
18th March 2014
Tuesday 5:52 pm
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That's because it presents cooking as a professional art. Even Come Dine With Me makes it look an effort. Cooking is easy as fuck. You just heat shit up until it changes and becomes hot. Everything else is details, which you refine with practice. You don't need recipes, that's for fancy food, which is nice for a change, but there's nothing wrong with just boiling, roasting or frying whatever you fancy and bunging it on a plate.
>> No. 10532 Anonymous
18th March 2014
Tuesday 6:26 pm
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I think that cookery programmes are part of the problem, by presenting cooking as something complicated and difficult. Cookery programmes used to be about the kind of cooking that ordinary people did at home, rather than cooking as a professional discipline or as a middle-class status symbol.

I miss Get Stuffed - it was nice to see a gang of pissed student twats knock together cheap recipes in slightly grubby kitchens, rather than the unattainable lifestyle porn you get these days.
>> No. 10533 Anonymous
18th March 2014
Tuesday 7:45 pm
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The Hairy Bikers probably do it best, I think, in a modern context.

Everyone else seems to think we have dry white vermouth in the "pantry", what ever a pantry is.
>> No. 10535 Anonymous
19th March 2014
Wednesday 8:23 am
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The amount of people who live this way is fucking depressing. It really doesn't take very much effort at all to throw a bit of meat in a pan, and then throw some greens, mushrooms, peppers and a bit of butter in another pan. It takes literally five minutes to prepare, costs about £2 per plate and takes about ten minutes to cook. That 'meat and two veg' format alone can be varied endlessly, giving you a lot more variation than even the most exotic microwave meal ranges. And that's not even scratching the surface.

I just can't wrap my head around people who think it's hard or expensive. Recipes are fucking easy, it's step by step instructions with exact quantities, where is the difficulty? And it only takes the ability to read to notice that vegetables are cheaper than cup-a-soups.

I spend £25 a week on food and eat like a king. If anything I'm still spending too much. If I had a bigger freezer, and thus could buy fresh meat less frequently, and store larger quantities of stocks, stews etc, I could probably pare that down to £15 a week, and I'd still be eating three good meals a day, and completely varied ones at that.

I realise I'm ranting and not really helping, but jesus it's not hard. I feel like this happens to a lot of people - "my parents told me good food was expensive so it must be" do some of your own research, you'll not regret it.
>> No. 10536 Anonymous
19th March 2014
Wednesday 8:36 am
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It seems most cooking shows these days are made for the audience that already cooks, which is depressing as it spells out exactly what we're touching on here - in this country, cooking is a specialist interest. You're either 'into' cooking or you're not. Which is mind boggling, that so many people can have no working knowledge of something they have to do daily to keep them alive.

All these shows assume you have dry white vermouth in the pantry, because if you're watching a show about making food you probably do. They assume you already know how to cook a piece of beef because you probably do it at least twice a week. They assume you've already got star anise from the last time you made a weird stir fry. These shows aren't supposed to be teaching you how to cook, they're supposed to be informing people who can already cook. I might as well be complaining that match of the day never explains the offside rule - it's something that it's assumed the audience is already well versed in.

I've never watched a show that was literally "how to learn to cook" and I doubt it exists because it wouldn't make good TV. But there's plenty of people on youtube who do just that. Oh and actually that live cookalong thing that Ramsey did was actually pretty good for that, I remember he actually bothered to point out you have to use a sharp knife.
>> No. 10537 Anonymous
19th March 2014
Wednesday 9:11 am
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Youtube is an excellent resource for cookery. I don't understand this, in this day and age, you can still find people "struggling" to make an attempt at cooking.

It boils down to (sorry), laziness and generally apathy. Which in turn makes them depressed that they can't cook, so they whack some chips in the oven and 20 minutes later, they couldn't care less anymore.

I live with this lad, nice enough - utterly apathetic to cooking. Every day, he would either, chuck some chips onto a tin foil covered pan and place them in the oven - or buy some ready meal filth found in the bargain bucket. He doesn't own any pots/pans - yet I've offered mine.

I caught him peeling a potato the other with a butter knife the other day. Fuck me.
>> No. 10538 Anonymous
19th March 2014
Wednesday 9:34 am
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When I hear people say "oh, I'm no good at cooking", what I hear is "I am incapable of following simple, numbered tasks". It amazes me that anyone would openly admit this.
>> No. 10539 Anonymous
19th March 2014
Wednesday 10:46 am
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Surely it's more often "not interested in" or "too lazy to" rather than "incapable".
>> No. 10540 Anonymous
19th March 2014
Wednesday 3:44 pm
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'Not interested in' is almost invariably a synonym for 'never bothered'.
>> No. 10541 Anonymous
19th March 2014
Wednesday 4:01 pm
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I am testament to this.

Watching a few videos on Youtube, or where ever (other streaming sites are available), got me pretty confident that I was going to knock the Christmas Turkey out the park.

I watched the Jamie Oliver video where he puts butter under the skin and uses clementines in the cavity to keep it moist and give flavour. It was the best bit of turkey I've had outside a restaurant, and I made it myself.

Thanks Internet!
>> No. 10543 Anonymous
19th March 2014
Wednesday 9:44 pm
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I feel like I must have missed something because I always found it easy to eat cheaply for myself. Bag of potatoes is 50% of dinners sorted for the week and costs a quid or two at most.

Some people seem to put a lot of stock in having a varied diet but I've always been happy making a massive thing of stew/shepherds pie/curry and eating that for a few days until I have to make another pot of stuff. Saves cooking every night too.
>> No. 10544 Anonymous
19th March 2014
Wednesday 10:13 pm
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>I've always been happy making a massive thing of stew/shepherds pie/curry and eating that for a few days until I have to make another pot of stuff. Saves cooking every night too.

My exact strategy as well.

I get people asking me if I get bored of the same thing, 5-days in a row, and honestly, no. If I put in a good bit of effort into it, make it taste as best I can, then that, combined with hunger, makes it a joy to have every lunch.
>> No. 10545 Anonymous
19th March 2014
Wednesday 10:41 pm
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Most of my meals involve frying up meat, adding veg/spices etc and then a jar of some kind of sauce and boiling up rice/noodles/pasta as appropriate. Most of the cheflads will probably scoff at using jars of sauce but at least it's a step above microwave meals or pizza right? Sometimes I make curries from paste or powder, they're always a bit nicer but more time and effort.
>> No. 10559 Anonymous
4th April 2014
Friday 4:58 am
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It's becoming more and more obvious that the poor are not going to be able to buy food that is cheap, healthy and multifarious in scope for much longer, if indeed at all. When looking for solutions to the future, it's often good to look to the past. With this in mind, it makes the most sense for the person on a tight budget to become habituated to eating a single staple food with only a small amount of others to top up things you wouldn't otherwise get.

I'm thinking good things about eating majority potatoes+milk with some leafy greens and fish, as these things are all nutritious and cheap and easy to prepare. As all of these things are abundant in Britain, I'd also think that such a diet would be better for the environment as they're not being shipped across the world, and good for the local economy if you can find a local source - this contributes to less cost. Also I read that locally vegetables (especially tomatoes) tend to be nicer because they're not bred to be able to endure week-long shipping times.

Oh also I have a question which is unrelated to the above but still relevant to the thread, what do you think about biltong as a snacking food?
>> No. 10560 Anonymous
4th April 2014
Friday 10:17 am
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>With this in mind, it makes the most sense for the person on a tight budget to become habituated to eating a single staple food with only a small amount of others to top up things you wouldn't otherwise get.With this in mind, it makes the most sense for the person on a tight budget to become habituated to eating a single staple food with only a small amount of others to top up things you wouldn't otherwise get.
That makes sense. It'll weed them out of the population when their staple collapses à la potato famine.
>> No. 10564 Anonymous
4th April 2014
Friday 4:52 pm
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>what do you think about biltong as a snacking food?

As long as you're sourcing it from within the UK, it meets your parameters for locally produced goods. It's very lean, obviously high in protein but it's also very high in salt, so I wouldn't recommend it for anyone who has reason to avoid high salt content in foods. I'd also recommend you don't go crazy on it because of that salt content - keep the portions small, and keep it only as an occasional snack if only for how costly it is (that amount of meat is always going to be pricey).
>> No. 10566 Anonymous
4th April 2014
Friday 7:05 pm
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On the note of cooking being presented as a middle class hobby, Masterchef is coming back on. Watch out for the ad on the BBC, it has racy thriller music set to images of food and flustered cooks. The judges comments, the fear and manufactured drama of these shows make it seem like they were designed to make people intimidated by the sight of a lit hob.

Someone funnier than me could probably draw up a similar show for something equally as mundane, but I think Big Brother has probably extracted all entertainment value there is from the most minimalistic concept there is: people existing in a place.
>> No. 10567 Anonymous
4th April 2014
Friday 7:15 pm
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I hate The Hairy Bikers. They talk in the same irritating sing-song colloquialisms as a tabloid newspaper, talking about 'grub' and putting it in their 'bellies'. They can fuck off, there are no children watching their show.
>> No. 10568 Anonymous
4th April 2014
Friday 7:34 pm
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We're all children now.
>> No. 10569 Anonymous
5th April 2014
Saturday 12:42 am
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I've been eating a 5 vegetable stew every day for the past 2 weeks. My last shop I paid around £3.45 for a decent amount of veg at this nice grocer I found; 7 carrots, 5 parsnips, a decent sized bag of cauliflower (35p) and a massive leek (I forget the weights which is the important part). I expect I'd have paid around £5 if I'd shopped at Tesco.

Avoid processed foods because the more processes it takes to make a product the more the producer is allowed to charge for it.

While shops like Iceland appear to be cheap to shop at, the quality of the food is terrible and not worth the saving when you can buy veg for less and more nutritional value.

Some supermarkets give you a voucher for money off your next shop if you've paid more for products compared to other supermarkets. The vouchers are printed with your receipt so many of them are thrown away. If you're happy to pick up discarded receipts you could potentially save a lot of money with these vouchers as you can use more than one per transaction.
>> No. 10570 Anonymous
5th April 2014
Saturday 12:46 am
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>As long as it's local, it's local
>> No. 10571 Anonymous
5th April 2014
Saturday 1:02 am
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Reminds me of the idea I had for a BBC3 cookery show come drama/comedy. The show would revolve around a friendly young chav filming a cookery show in his bedsit kitchen, while being constantly interrupted by customers from his sideline in soft drug dealing. It'd basically be like that one with johnny Vegas but with cooking as comedy/drama relief.
>> No. 10572 Anonymous
5th April 2014
Saturday 1:05 am
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You just reminded me of cookalong with Johnny Vegas
>> No. 10573 Anonymous
5th April 2014
Saturday 2:25 am
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>Most of the cheflads will probably scoff at using jars of sauce

Absolutely not. We'd spit in your face if you tried to serve Dolmio to a paying customer, but when it comes to feeding yourself, a jar of sauce is pretty high up on the scale, sadly.

It's hard to tell if I'm being a cunt by looking at it from the perspective of someone who cooks professionally, but a jar of sauce to me just reads "can of tomatoes + dried herbs + three minutes of your time = better Dolmio for 30p". It's second nature to me but I'm confident anyone with a couple of brain cells knocking about can break stuff down like that.

And you may ask me exactly how to make superdolmio out of those ingredients but the truth with stuff like this, it's like you changing the ringtone on your mum's phone. All she had to do was poke about in the menus until she found what she needed, but she assumed she'd break something. All anyone needs to do is throw some ingredients in a pan and see if they like the taste.
>> No. 10574 Anonymous
5th April 2014
Saturday 2:32 am
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I agree with this lad, if you want to try an easy sauce:
-add olive oil to a pan
-add some onions to a pan, wait till they go a bit soft
-add chopped garlic and let it cook for a minuite
-add some chopped tinned tomatos
-add lemon juice, salt, pepper, basil and a pinch of sugar

There you have a £1.80 jar of Dolmio's for a fourth of the price.
>> No. 10575 Anonymous
5th April 2014
Saturday 2:38 am
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He's right you know. And the loveliest bit of all is that it won't really take you any longer to make that than it does to stand about waiting for your water to boil and your pasta to cook. Far less once you get some practice in.
>> No. 10577 Anonymous
6th April 2014
Sunday 5:16 pm
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You can forgo the lemon juice and sugar, even. Could also substitute in that garlic paste that comes in a tube and doesn't ever seem to go off.

Or if you want to do it properly, buy some nice toms, put them in a pyrex bowl and pour some boiling water on them, then remove the skins (I also core them at this point), then continue as above. Takes a bit longer waiting for the tomatoes to break down, but makes a nicer sauce.
>> No. 10578 Anonymous
6th April 2014
Sunday 5:44 pm
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Whenever I try to cook tomato sauce in such a manner it comes out way too watery.
>> No. 10580 Anonymous
6th April 2014
Sunday 6:12 pm
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Just simmer it for longer.
>> No. 10581 Anonymous
6th April 2014
Sunday 6:25 pm
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Some people have a different accent to your RP middle class one. SHOCKER.
>> No. 10582 Anonymous
6th April 2014
Sunday 6:38 pm
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That's fine. Just keep them off the BBC.
>> No. 10583 Anonymous
6th April 2014
Sunday 7:00 pm
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Or maybe you could stick to watching your nail-biting, dramatic, professional cook shows, and leave us commoners alone.
>> No. 10584 Anonymous
6th April 2014
Sunday 7:22 pm
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Don't watch it.
>> No. 10585 Anonymous
6th April 2014
Sunday 11:32 pm
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I also find adding a few spoonfuls of purée and a sprinkle of cornflour half thicken it it a bit too,
>> No. 10586 Anonymous
7th April 2014
Monday 12:39 am
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Just remember to dissolve your cornflour in cold water first or it'll form lumps Or so my mummy told me
>> No. 10587 Anonymous
7th April 2014
Monday 3:18 am
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The potato famine was what, a hundred years ago? Even if the potato yield was all destroyed in the UK next week, we are not Irish peasants. We could import them from elsewhere.

Also the Irish could have survived if the Parliament had stopped all exports of food for the duration.
>> No. 10588 Anonymous
10th April 2014
Thursday 12:50 pm
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You're throwing the boiling water away afterwards, right?

I've never had a tomato sauce come out too watery so I'm clutching at straws here.

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