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Feed your family for £5 a day

Thrifty mum of three Danielle Ross from Colchester has clocked up up over 22,000 followers online for her family-friendly money-saving tips after sharing her secrets to feeding the whole family (including the dog) for just £38 a week.

Not being one to shy away from a bit of a competition, we sent Phil Vickery on a secret mission to the supermarket to beat the self-proclaimed budget queen’s weekly shop. Never one to disappoint he’s bought it in under budget and he’s here with two delicious thrifty recipes.

Phil's seven-day meal plan


Breakfast: Porridge or toast with butter (2 slices)

Lunch: Ham and potato rosti / cheese sandwiches & Apple

Dinner: Turkey Stir fry


Breakfast: Porridge or toast with butter (2 slices)

Lunch: Cheese and tomato sandwiches & Apple

Dinner: Vegetable Egg fried rice


Breakfast: Porridge or toast with butter (2 slices)

Lunch: Pasta, tomato & Egg salad

Dinner: Pork Mince, potatoes and onions


Breakfast: Porridge or toast with butter (2 slices)

Lunch: Pea, butternut & potato soup

Dinner: Sausage Casserole


Breakfast: Porridge or toast with butter (2 slices)

Lunch: Tortilla

Dinner: Baked white fish with Mac n Cheese Pasta.


Breakfast: Scrambled egg on toast

Lunch: Tomato soup / slice bread & butter

Dinner: Veggie 3 bean Chilli & Rice


Breakfast: Grilled tomatoes on toast

Lunch: Beans on toast

Dinner: Roast Gammon, roast potatoes savoy cabbage & carrots

Phil's shopping list

  • 1 medium white loaf bread 42p x 2 Aldi

  • 1kg Porridge oats 50g per person 75p Aldi

  • Semi skimmed milk 2 litres 99p Aldi

  • Eggs x 30 £1.25 x 2 Aldi

  • Irish Cumberland Sausages x 8 85p Aldi

  • Woodfarm onions 1kg 55p Aldi

  • Butternut Squash 82p Lidl

  • Frozen Garden Peas 900g 95p Aldi

  • Large gammon joint 1kg £4.25 1.3kg Aldi

  • Golden Delicious Apples x 7 £2.70 (£1.35 x 2) Aldi

  • Mayonnaise 475g 75p Aldi

  • Glen Lochy Extra Mature or Medium Cheddar 350g £1.49 Aldi

  • Salted butter 250g 95p Aldi

  • Tomatoes x 6 Super 6 offer (usually 55p pack) 35p x 2 Lidl

  • Birchwood Farm Turkey breast steaks 375g £2.59 Lidl

  • Asia specialities medium Chinese egg noodles 250g 55p x 2 packs Aldi

  • Red pepper 47p Aldi

  • Speciality Scottish Pork Mince 5% fat 500g £1.89 Aldi

  • Sweet harvest butter beans Tinned 33p Aldi

  • Everyday essentials baked beans 23p x 3 cans Aldi

  • Soupreme Cream tomato soup 35p x 3 cans Aldi

  • Iceberg lettuce 48p Aldi

  • Microwaveable rice 59p x 2 packs Tesco

  • Everyday value Penne Pasta 500g 30p Tesco

  • White Potatoes 2.5kg £1.29 Tesco

  • Redmere Farm Mushrooms 380g 86p Tesco

  • Savoy cabbage 69p Tesco

  • Redmere farm Carrots 1kg 45p Tesco

  • Everyday Value Tinned tomatoes 31p x 2 Tesco

  • 1 head garlic (loose) 30p Tesco

  • East End Chickpeas 39p Tesco

  • Kidney Beans Tinned 30p Tesco

  • Frozen Basa Fish Fillets 500g £3 Tesco

  • Everyday value long grain rice 1 kg 45p Tesco

TOTAL COST £37.52A DAY £5.36

Store cupboard ingredients such as oil, salt and pepper and stock cubes have not been included

Dinner recipes

Turkey stir-fry

Serves: 5


375g turkey breast steaks500g noodles2 tbsp oil½ butternut squash (approx. 400g), peeled and very finely chopped2 cloves garlic, finely chopped2-3 onions, finely sliced1 red pepper, finely sliced500g carrots, peeled and cut into very fine strips300g frozen peas


Slice the turkey into thin strips

Cook or soak the noodles according to packet instructions.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan or wok, add the squash and garlic and cook until softened.

Add the onions, pepper, carrot and turkey strips and cook over a high heat until the turkey turns opaque and is cooked.

Add the cooked and drained noodles and peas, season with salt and pepper and 100 mls water and toss together and serve.

Vegetable egg-fried rice

Serves: 5 Preparation time: 10 minutesCooking time: 8-10 minutes


2 tbsp olive oil380g mushrooms2 cloves garlic, finely chopped4 medium eggs2 packets microwave rice4 tbsp soy sauce200g frozen peaspinch of pepper


Heat the oil in a wok and sauté the mushrooms with the garlic. Remove from the pan and set aside until later.

Place the pan back on the heat and add the beaten eggs and cook over a high heat until the egg is very dry.

Add the rice and break up with the egg.

Add the peas, mushrooms and soy sauce and toss together.

Season with a little pepper and serve.

Pork mince, potatoes and onions

Serves: 5


750g Potatoes500g Pork mince2 Onions, peeled and chopped into large chunks1 stock cube (chicken or vegetable)salt and pepper to season


Wash the potatoes and chop into large chunks – leave the skin on.

Place into a deep saucepan and add the pork mince.

Peel and roughly chop the onion and add to the pan with the stock cube. Pour over the water so it just covers everything. Crumble in the stock and bring to the boil and simmer until the potatoes are just cooked. It should take about 20-25 minutes cooking gently over a medium heat.

If you want to thicken the liquid slightly, mix a little corn flour or plain flour with water to make a paste and stir through 10 minutes before the end of cooking time.

Tomato and sausage casserole

Serves: 5 personsPreparation time: 10 minutesCooking time: 20 minutes


8 sausages cut onto 5 pieces making 32 pieces2 onions, very finely chopped1 x 400g can chickpeas2 cans chopped tomatoes200mls water1 x 10g chicken or pork stock cubepinch sugar2 tbsp vinegar200g frozen peassalt and pepper


Heat a thick-bottomed shallow saucepan.

Add the sausages and gently saute for 2-3 minutes to take a bit of colour.

Add the onions, chickpeas, tomatoes, water, stock cube, sugar and vinegar.

Bring to simmer and cook for 15 minutes, until reduced slightly.

Add the peas and warm through for 5 minutes.

Finally season with a little salt and pepper and serve.

Baked white fish fillets with mac and cheese pasta

Serves: 5


5 frozen white fish fillets, defrosted fully4 crusts bread, blitzed into breadcrumbs2 tbsp oilsalt and freshly ground black pepper500g cooked penne pasta (a 500g pack of dried pasta will give you 750g cooked)2 pints semi skimmed milk50g butter50g plain flour4 onions, peeled and finely chopped50g grated cheese1 tbsp English mustard (if you have it in your store cupboard)salt and pepper to season


Cover the fish with oil and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle over the breadcrumbs and place in the oven or under the grill.

Cook the pasta according to packet instructions and drain well.

Pour the milk into the saucepan and add the onions. Bring to the boil and simmer for 2-3 minutes.

Meanwhile mix the softened butter and flour together to form a paste and whisk into the simmering onions and milk.

Remove from the heat, add the mustard if using, grated cheese and season with salt and pepper.

Serve in bowls and top with the cooked basa fillet.

Veggie three-bean chilli and rice

Serves: 5


2 tbsp oil 4 cloves garlic, chopped2 onions3 tins beans, drained (we used Chick peas, butterbeans and red kidney beans)2 vegetable stock cubespinch dried chilli flakesenough water to coversalt and pepper to season.1 kg rice, cooked according to packet instructions.


Heat the oil in a medium frying and add the onions and garlic and cook for a couple of minutes.

Add the drained beans, stock cubes, chilli flakes and cover with water. Cook for 15 minutes.

Cook the rice according to packet instructions at the same time.

Serve the bean chilli with the rice.

Gammon, roast potatoes, savoy cabbage, carrots

Serves: 5


1.3 kg gammon joint100ml oil1 kilo potatoes, peeled and quarteredPinch salt500g carrots, peeled and choppedsmall knob butter1 savoy cabbage, washed and chopped


Wrap the ham tightly in foil and bake at 180c for 2 hours.

Heat the oil in a tray in the oven.

Boil the potatoes and drain. Fluff the edges by shaking the pan and pour into the tray with hot oil. Season with salt and roast in the oven at 180c for 45-1 hour minutes.

Boil the carrots until tender, drain and add a small knob of butter and season with salt and pepper.

Add the chopped cabbage to a large saucepan and add a knob of butter and 2-300ml water season with salt and pepper. Place a lid on and part steam, then remove the lid and allow it to coat in the butter.

Lunch recipes

Pea, squash and potato soup

Serves: 5


500g frozen peas400g potatoes½ butternut squash1 litre water1 stock cube (vegetable or chicken)


Add the squash, peas, potatoes, onions into a pan and cover with the water and crumble in the stock cube.

Simmer the soup over a medium heat for 15-20 minutes until the potatoes are tender and cooked.

Blitz half the soup mixture and serve with buttered toast.

Tortilla with potatoes, cheese and peas

Serves: 5


10 eggs, whisked100ml semi skimmed milksalt and pepper1 tbsp oil200g cooked potato200g frozen peas50 grated cheese


Whisk the eggs with the milk and season with salt and pepper

Heat a shallow pan with oil. Add the cooked potatoes, frozen peas, and pour in the egg mixture to cover the potato and peas.

Scatter the grated cheese over and place the pan in the oven at 180c for about 10-15 minutes to allow the egg to set and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Serve.

Pasta salad


300g cooked penne pasta4 tomatoes, chopped6 hard boiled eggs200g mayonnaise1 Whole iceberg lettuce, roughly chopped

Tear up 2 slices of bread and bake in the oven to make crispy croutons.


Mix the cooked pasta, chopped tomato, boiled eggs and mayonnaise together. Serve with the sliced lettuce.

*Serve with toasted bread croutons.

Ham and Potato Rosti

Serves: 2


10g shredded gammon (leftover from Sunday lunch)250g potatoes, washed and grated with skin on2 onions, peeled and finely chopped1 clove garlic, peeled and very finely choppedsalt and freshly ground black pepper2 tbsp oil


Heat the oil in a large frying pan.

Mix the gammon, raw potato, onion, garlic and season with salt and pepper.

Form one large rosti in the frying pan and cook until golden underneath, it will stick together so flip the rosti and continue to cook until golden brown.

Cut in half and serve immediately.

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