Chinese Food on a Budget: Feed A Family of 4 for £30 a Week [Part 1]


Goodness me, how has the time flown so much and I've not posted in 9 months? I miss my blogging space so much but finding the time to write these days is nearly impossible. But anyway, I'm back with a new series of blog posts that I have been wanting to share for a while.

With living costs rising steeply in UK and not to mention Chinese/Asian groceries reaching eye-watering prices, I've cut my usual trips to Asian supermarkets and trying to make do with my regular grocery shops from Sainsburys/Aldi. There are many articles and blogs aimed at cooking family meals on a budget if you do a quick search, but the meal ideas are all usually Western food like cottage pies and pasta meals. Whilst I have nothing against these types of meals, I predominately cook Asian meals at home and I wanted to share recipes for the ingredients that can be bought cheaply in a regular supermarket. 


For this challenge that I'd set myself, I managed to buy everything I needed in Sainsburys for our family of 4. I planned for 7 family meals and the total for the ingredients came in at £30.95. Of course, if you shop at Aldi/Lidl, local markets, it is possible to bring this total down even further. 

My 5yro and 1yro do not eat big portions, so G and I had many leftovers from each meal that turned into lunch the following day. It is safe to say for us, the £30.95 I spent actually stretched out to cover our family for most of the week.

You will have to factor in additional cost for condiments each month. My absolute must have Chinese condiments is the holy trinity of light soya sauce, oyster sauce and sesame oil. Hoisin sauce, Shaoxing wone and 5 spice powder are also my must haves, but are not essentials for a lot of Chinese dishes. Oil, garlic powder, ketchup, sugar, salt and pepper are staples that most people will have already have in the cupboard. But nonetheless, for the sake of this challenge, it adds approximately another £25. This can be split over the month to make it £6.25 per week. Of course, you are more than likely to still have plenty of these condiments and spices left to use for a few months still.


The Thai jasmine fragrant rice is my absolute best discovery in recent times. At £6 for a 5kg bag of rice, it is cheaper than Seewoo who are currently selling 10kg bags for around £18. Tesco also started selling 5kg bags of this Thai jasmine rice, but coming in at £8 a bag. This amount of rice will easily last my family around a month, so the £30.95 I spent will stretch into the weeks ahead too. 

Another great find are the packets of udon at 60p a pack. The last time I checked in Seewoo, a 4 pack bundle of udon was around £2.80-£3.00


Here are the 7 meals I planned to cook for my family:

1) Chinese style beef and potatoes

2) Chinese 5 spice roast chicken

3) Stir fried chicken noodles (spaghetti)

4) Leftovers chicken congee

5) Chinese style tomato pork udon

6) Chinese char-siu BBQ pork

7) Chinese braised pork and potatoes


By the end of the challenge, this is what I still had leftover. My tip for family meals are to always choose the large size for everything. I always go for a large whole chicken, as I know I can really stretch out our meals this way, plus, it's less time spent cooking too and leftovers can just be quickly reheated. 

All the meals are served with a plate of veggies, or it's inside the dish. Vegetables are great for bulking out meals and there are many vegetables that you can buy for less than 50p such as cucumber and broccoli.

I will be making more budget friendly Chinese meals so stay tuned for part 2! I'll post the recipes for the 7 meals in the upcoming weeks and update links to these recipes as they get published.

In the meantime, do explore other recipes already on here.

1 comment

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