So how much can you get for £80 these days? Can I feed my family of 9 for 3 days over a Bank holiday - including treats?
Along with a bunch of other Britmums Bloggers, very kindly gave me vouchers to go and buy our food for the Bank Holiday weekend and test if their produce is just as good now that they've lowered everyday prices. How could I refuse?
It turns out it can be done, and easily. I bought enough food for 2 egg muffin breakfasts, 3 rounds of sandwiches/cheese on toast, 4 main meals with dessert and snacks for the evening for 9 people.
Clutching my £80 in vouchers and my cashcard, I left my recovering partner at home and dashed off to a very small Morrisons in Bolton so I could run a couple of errands at the same time, but be back quickly. It's my Bank holiday weekend too, plus I was going to be busy with Blog On - so my intention was to buy things that make my life easier.
I certainly managed a good trolley full - my bill was £97. I was very pleased with that.
For the purposes of this experiment and in general when I'm shopping or cooking I need 1 portion each for everyone, except the 2 small boys who have a portion/serving between them on average. So most meals need 8 servings if everyone's home.
Lazy Saturday breakfast. Egg and mushroom muffins, and cheese muffins for the little ones. The muffins are gorgeous and incredibly fresh. The free-range eggs are only £1 for 6 which is incredibly cheap. Cost per serving of 2 egg muffins 68p
Saturday lunch (and Monday tea). Cheese salad and fresh tiger bread sandwiches/cheese on toast. We all love this bread and easily use a loaf and a half for lunch for all of us. Total cost per meal £5.00. Cost per serving 63p
Saturday tea - Pizza! Morrisons pizzas are great. Unfortunately this smaller store doesn't have a fresh pizza counter, but the pre-packed chilled pizzas were now reduced and looked full of toppings. I was out at the Blog On CBiasUK meal, my eldest was at work, so we only needed 6 servings with maybe a few potato wedges. Total cost £9.60. Cost per serving £1.60
Sunday lunch I was out, they made sandwiches. Sunday teatime I got home around 6pm and so a real cheat of a meal, but one that really pleases everyone in my house. Ready made filled fresh pasta, sauce and garlic bread. Morrisons Mushroom Tortellini is gorgeous. Serves 8 - Total cost £10. Cost per serving £1.25
Monday we had a cooked lunch because I was going to be out driving my daughter at teatime. I decided to make a family favourite one-pot meal. Pasta and sauce (it's 2 pasta dishes in a row, I know, and if I'd been thinking I'd have got rice instead). My little tiny Morrisons didn't have any vegetarian mince, but the bigger stores do, so I added a £3 bag from the freezer for protein.
We eat this around once a week and I vary the amounts of veg and beans, chilli powder etc to have it either herby, or spicy, depending on my mood and the weather.
It really is as simple as chopping an onion (and maybe a clove or 2 of garlic) and frying them in a little oil. Then add the other veg and some seasonings of your choice and fry for a minute or two longer. Add your mince and fry for another couple of minutes before adding the beans and passata. Then leave on a low heat or in a medium oven for around an hour to let all the flavours soak into one another. You can even cook this dish in a slow cooker if you wish - and you can pre-prepare it and heat it up when you need it.
I served mine with grated cheese and a big bowl of salad.
|Oxo tongs, handy as a handy thing|
Total cost per meal £9.60. Cost per serving 96p - we had 2 portions leftover.
The salad was used throughout the weekend and cost £3.50 all together. Cost per serving 15p
|This was the very best of the 18 photo's I took......|
|The ketchup wouldn't stand up!|
This was a Bank Holiday weekend and so it wouldn't be right without treats!
|The world's simplest desserts.|
|I had a little something for the grown ups to have with that Coke in the cupboard already.|
|Clearly I had no idea which colour Right Guard I was meant to buy|
Ordinarily over a holiday we would have gone to more effort to have a special meal at some point and bought a joint of meat for the carnivores, but there were so many of us busy last weekend we didn't think we'd be able to get everyone together at once!
Even though I was given £80 in vouchers and could push the boat out, I decided to remain pretty true-to-form. I knew I was careful with my shopping, I don't have a lot of choice over that, but I'm really impressed at the low cost of the meals. I DID spend less than I would usually. Except for the pizza, the meals are below the 'feed 4 for £5' which is seen as being frugal, even with dessert. I was also impressed with the range of products available, and the quality was every bit as good as I'd expect from Morrisons. The salad was lovely and fresh and kept well - it certainly wasn't frost-bitten like in some stores, and the pizzas had masses of toppings all over them - not just a sprinkle except for one corner.
If you would like to see what some of other bloggers thought of Morrisons, you can find their posts here…
Eileen from ET Speaks from Home with a fish dish and banana cake
Tina from The Soup Dragon Says rhubarb meringue
Angela from The Life of Spicers family barbecue.
Tami from Mummy Of Two's rump steak and fresh fruit flan
This post is an entry for the #MorrisonsMum (or #MorrisonsDad) Summer Recipe eBook Challenge sponsored by Morrisons, which has recently cut prices on over a thousand every day products. Find out more here with the price checker tool. I'm entering my Pasta meal into the Light Summer Family Meals category.
I was sent my vouchers from Britmums and Morrisons and could buy whatever I chose to compare the new lower Morrisons prices with my usual shop. Cheers for that!