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  #21  
Old 01.11.2011, 16:02
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Re: Eating on CHF 50 per Week. Is it Possible?

There are actually a few good ideas on this thread

I paid 3.-chf for half a rather large pumpkin on the market. I diced it and half of it I made Pumpkin and Potato Gnocchi and the rest I made into enough soup to feed two for two servings each.

Liver is also a wonderful, cheap source of protein. I payed 1.45.-chf for a tray of diced pork liver, coated in a sprinkle of flour and fried quickly with an onion. Great thrown into a warm salad.

I think it is doable with some imagination and a well stocked store cupboard. You can also beg the butcher for some bones and make some wonderful stocks that bring any cheap food to life.
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Old 01.11.2011, 16:09
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Re: Eating on CHF 50 per Week. Is it Possible?

I've done a similar challenge here in Argentina last year after La Presidenta came out with some speech about the fact that there is no inflation and that a family of 4 could eat well on something crazy like AR$20 a day. I did my best, but it's just not possible, especially if you are typical Argentine who eats meat every day and if you want to add veggies so you don't get scurvy or rickets or something. lol.

Anyway, I don't know if CHF50 a week for 2 is doable. I'd have a go at it when I get back. I have the luxury of going shopping whenever I want so I go right before the store is closing to get the 50% off deals. Then I plan around that.

But here are some inexpensive ideas:
  • moussaka, either with tomato sauce or ragu
  • Vegetarian lasagna with tomato sauce or ragu
  • Beans & rice.
  • Home made pizza.
  • Whole chickens, as mentioned, go a long way.
  • Crepes are a good cheap meal, university staple, fill with left overs and some cheese then have sugar & lemon ones for dessert.
  • Spaghetti aglio olio pepperoncini is basically free.
  • Minestrone soup is filling and usually we put in the grana/Parmesan crusts and I don't put in pasta but you could
  • Egg salad
  • Old bread turns into stuffing
  • Making your own yogurt & ricotta is easy & cheaper than buying


As to Tom's point, ready made meals, pre packaged foods are I think are always more expensive, aren't they?
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Old 01.11.2011, 16:11
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Re: Eating on CHF 50 per Week. Is it Possible?

Ok get ready for simons ultimate budget buster vege chilli dish

One can mixed beans
one can red beans
two cans chopped tomato
small can corn kernels
one onioin
clove garlic
one pepper
cumin powder
coriander powder
chilli powder


chop onions garlic, pepper, fry in small amount of oil with spices till nearly done
put in tomatoes, heat for 15 minutes
drain the beans, in the pot, cook until warmed through
serve on rice
I usually have it with cheddar cheese on top, but being in Switzerland.....
Easily two meals to 3 meals
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  #24  
Old 01.11.2011, 16:12
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Re: Eating on CHF 50 per Week. Is it Possible?

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There are actually a few good ideas on this thread

I paid 3.-chf for half a rather large pumpkin on the market. I diced it and half of it I made Pumpkin and Potato Gnocchi and the rest I made into enough soup to feed two for two servings each.

Liver is also a wonderful, cheap source of protein. I payed 1.45.-chf for a tray of diced pork liver, coated in a sprinkle of flour and fried quickly with an onion. Great thrown into a warm salad.

I think it is doable with some imagination and a well stocked store cupboard. You can also beg the butcher for some bones and make some wonderful stocks that bring any cheap food to life.

Warm liver salad
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Old 01.11.2011, 16:13
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Re: Eating on CHF 50 per Week. Is it Possible?

Don't forget porridge for breakfast. Very warming in the approaching cold mornings and staves off hunger until lunch. Something to do with releasing its energy slowly.

Very cheap. Just checked leshop.ch: 500g for CHF1.20. Easily enough for a week for two. Need a bit of milk and jam to cheer it up - but that's not strictly necessary.

Last edited by Gordon Comstock; 01.11.2011 at 16:14. Reason: punctuation
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  #26  
Old 01.11.2011, 16:24
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Re: Eating on CHF 50 per Week. Is it Possible?

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As an enthusiastic amateur cook, I've set myself the goal of feeding my wife and I (there's just two of us) for a week on just CHF50.

The rules of the challenge I've set myself are:
  • the CHF50 will cover breakfast, a DIY lunch and dinner each day for two for a week
  • apart from dried pasta, yoghurts, cheese and ham, all ingredients will be raw, fresh, seasonal and/or unprocessed
  • the dry goods cupboard (flour, spices, pulses, sugars) can be plundered
  • there will be at least 4 meals with meat in them
So far the closest I've managed is CHF83 for a week...

I don't need to feed the two of us on CHF50/week, but it's a fun challenge. I wonder how others could do.
Thanks for reminding me! Now that my mum's not staying with us it is time to save up until Christmas. After buying our new winter clothes and a big night out recently, i'm thinking of trying a no-spend November, and buying only essentials.

I've tried the $21 Challenge from Simple Savings, hints and tips available here: http://www.simplesavings.com.au/downloads/
It is in Aussie dollars, so more of less 21 sfr in a week - and I have succeeded a couple of times!! Every now and then I try the challenge and only shop for what I need to make up meals from what I have in the freezer/pantry. 50 sfr a week is a great budget to try every now and then for food for a week.

I have so many packets of things like lentils, chick peas (from when you think you are going to make hummus or felafel) and I use my flour stocks for bread/pizza/naan bread/deserts. I use the dried fruits for the kid's snacks and dates go in our favourite pudding and pine cuts in cous cous. I only buy fruits, veges, yoghurt and milk for a week.

We live very well and I wouldn't call it scrimping but being creative and not wasteful. Plus I have better things to do than spend my life shopping for food and this way I don't need to do a big shop with the car every single week.
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  #27  
Old 01.11.2011, 16:48
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Re: Eating on CHF 50 per Week. Is it Possible?

Great thread!

We're gonna do our shop on Saturday and try and get a week's worth of food for 50chf, looking forward to this!
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  #28  
Old 01.11.2011, 17:11
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Re: Eating on CHF 50 per Week. Is it Possible?

It's absolutely doable if you can limit your eating. There are many people around the world who live with much less than CHF 50 on food for one week.

For example:
1. Buy raw oatmeal/wheat flakes for breakfast ( 1kg pack may cost less than CHF 3)
2. Buy Vegetables from Aldi/Lidl (with CHF 20, you have limited choices on the types/quality of the vegetables)
3. Buy Meat & Cheese from Migros/Coop (you can get by with CHF 20 )
4. Buy Rice/Pasta or whatever with the rest CHF 7.
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  #29  
Old 01.11.2011, 17:12
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Re: Eating on CHF 50 per Week. Is it Possible?

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I wonder how others could do.
I feed my family on approx 200 / week for 4 people
This is based on CH shopping
Go shopping in DE and you can drop it 20% easily

So 50/week is doable, IMHO

Some rules you can use:

Never buy anything that is not on special! Paying full price is the silliest thing you can do.

Always get food (in order of price) Germany / Aldi / Denner / Coop+Migros. Coop+Migros is the last option, they are the most expensive from the common supermarkets.

Go shopping at just past 3pm (especially on Saturdays) at your local Coop, many items are discounted 30% to 50% to clear

Aldi do 1/2 price day-old bread, good for baking eg bread deserts

Check the bulk sizing prices per kg, per liter etc. Bulk is often much cheaper.

Avoid non-essentials like alcohol, chips, softdrinks

No-name brands like M-budget are much much cheaper, and often (but not always) a similar quality

Take friends when you shop in Germany, maximise the tax-free allowance. Know the limits!

Changing from shopping at Migros to shopping at Aldi+Germany has saved me heaps in my food bill

Lastly, keep a running average monthly / weekly total in Excel, and enter everything you buy. It is fascinating to see what the average will stabilise at after a few months.
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  #30  
Old 01.11.2011, 17:20
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Re: Eating on CHF 50 per Week. Is it Possible?

I would approach it by looking at average price per kg.

If one person eats roughly a kilo of food a day that makes 14kg per week for the two of you. So 50CHF/14kg = 3.57CHF/kg. If half of this is potato and pasta (1 CHF per kg cooked) this would leave you 36CHF to send on 7kg of meat and veggies and that's over 5 CHF/kg. So this is what you could buy:

7kg potato & pasta 14CHF
1kg whole chicken 10 CHF
1kg of pork or ground meat 10 CHF
5kg of fresh veggies for 16 CHF (tomato, cucumber, salad, spices etc)

Bread would pointless to buy ready made (if you want to save money) because it's so easy and cheap to make at home.

And by buying the chicken -50% late in the evening you can add a bottle or two of cheap wine or 10 beers :-)
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  #31  
Old 01.11.2011, 17:23
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Re: Eating on CHF 50 per Week. Is it Possible?

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I would approach it by looking at average price per kg.

If one person eats roughly a kilo of food a day that makes 14kg per week for the two of you. So 50CHF/14kg = 3.57CHF/kg. If half of this is potato and pasta (1 CHF per kg cooked) this would leave you 36CHF to send on 7kg of meat and veggies and that's over 5 CHF/kg. So this is what you could buy:

7kg potato & pasta 14CHF
1kg whole chicken 10 CHF
1kg of pork or ground meat 10 CHF
5kg of fresh veggies for 16 CHF (tomato, cucumber, salad, spices etc)

Bread would pointless to buy ready made (if you want to save money) because it's so easy and cheap to make at home.

And by buying the chicken -50% late in the evening you can add a bottle or two of cheap wine or 10 beers :-)
Oops, since 7kg of cooked potato or pasta was only 7 CHF so you would have an extra 7 CHF to spend anyway you like :-)
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  #32  
Old 01.11.2011, 20:22
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Re: Eating on CHF 50 per Week. Is it Possible?

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If you cook Indian vegetarian meals then you could kind of manage on 50 quid a week.. The dals are rather inexpensive and then of course the vegies and rice would just about come within the target of CHF 50. This would involve cooking from scratch..

To manage on CHF 200- 300 / month is doable if you make Indian Vegetarian meals but then there are NO frills and fancies rather basic home cooked food...
Actually that is true, although I definitely eat out 3-4 meals a week. But am pretty sure Indian vegetarian (with eggs too) does the trick...however it might get boring for you!
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  #33  
Old 01.11.2011, 21:01
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Re: Eating on CHF 50 per Week. Is it Possible?

Buy everything in france or germany, you might manage then. - but the gas/electric bills could scupper it!
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  #34  
Old 01.11.2011, 21:46
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Re: Eating on CHF 50 per Week. Is it Possible?

but why? would you do that?

If you have to then i understand but it seems to me as sensible as sellotaping your eyes shut
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  #35  
Old 01.11.2011, 21:54
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Re: Eating on CHF 50 per Week. Is it Possible?

Be aware that the amount of time you spend might be more costly, than what you save
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Old 01.11.2011, 22:12
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Re: Eating on CHF 50 per Week. Is it Possible?

I live alone... recently I've been planning out my meals more (because I've been struggling with eating properly), and this has had a knock-on effect that my food bills have decreased.

My slow cooker also helps. I cooked some baked beans in there... total outlay of 2.90 (beans and ginger, had the other ingredients already)... I've had 4 meals already and got two more portions in the freezer. Mind you, the beans are a bit crunchy...

I also like the coop 'prix guarantie' pork sausages. 4.40 produced 6 portions of pasta with sausagemeat and carrot sauce (again in the slow cooker).

Unfortunately the only thing I can manage to get down for breakfast are fruit smoothies, which are neither cheap or filling. Never mind.
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Old 01.11.2011, 22:29
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Re: Eating on CHF 50 per Week. Is it Possible?

Another way to cut the costs is going to one of these "Restpostenmarkt" or "Liquidationsladen" or whatever they call themself.
I usually raid them first, and then buy the vegs, bread and what else I need in Coop. Recently I picked up 6 jars of Patak´s Korma Sauce for just CHF 1 each, where Coop usually charge CHF 5-6.

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  #38  
Old 02.11.2011, 05:09
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Re: Eating on CHF 50 per Week. Is it Possible?

I think I most weeks eat(and drink - without beer/booze) for around 50CHF or less..

A regular days diet is probably something like this

8 eggs - 1.9 chf
1.5 liter skim milk - 2.4 chf
1.5 liter water - 0 chf
350g pasta - 0.4 chf
200g shredded tomatoes - 0.6 chf
6 pieces of toast - 0.3 chf
6 pieces of (cheap) sliced meat - 0.8chf
= 6.4 chf per day

+ salt, pepper & mustard - 2 chf per week

I probably spend a little more as i sometimes get some bacon, cream and onion as well for a carbonara sauce..
Not very exciting, but it keeps the budget down.

It's a hard challenge though, and if I had more money, I sure as hell would eat differently!
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Old 02.11.2011, 06:56
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Re: Eating on CHF 50 per Week. Is it Possible?

It's possible to eat on CHF 50 a week even by buying meat. The trick is to buy a bulk of reduced meat and veg and create different meals out of almost the same ingredients. Best example is minced meat. Buy a kilo, brown it and make a thick Bolognese with tinned tomatoes, carrots, celeriac, onions an garlic. Just add salt and pepper, split the sauce in three parts, season one part with oregano and rosmary and you get a pretty decent spaghetti sauce. Take the second part of the base sauce, season with rosmary, oregano and some thyme, add a bit of water, prepare a sauce bechamel and grated chesse and make a lasagne. The same goes with aubergines and feta or courgettes or... Take the third part, add some pinto beans, chilis, coriander and other spices, fill some tortillas with the mixture, top it with grated cheese and bake it in the oven.
The beauty with this system is, that you can prepare the base sauce and freeze it.
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Old 02.11.2011, 07:02
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Re: Eating on CHF 50 per Week. Is it Possible?

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sorry... a fun challenge?.... I consider eating good, healthy, tasty food fun.

mrs. and I couldn't survive one day on CHf 50.--


anyway.... if it's your thing.. good luck... let us know how you get on.

p.s.. if "ouchboy" should offer you a peanut butter sandwich.. just say no.
Couldn't agree more. Fun and a top priority for feeling my best. I'll cut corners in many ways - but never with food.
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