This morning, I skived off work*, scooped up the contents of the meat fund and went to the kosher butcher. It had been six months since my last visit, I had £230 to play with and a freezer that looked half full. In the end, I spent £199.35 and bought the following:-
2kg roasting chicken - 3 meals plus stock
3 x 350g packets of chicken livers - 3 meals
2kg rolled turkey leg roast - 3 meals
marinated Tuscan lamb roast - 1 meal
1lb marinated stir-fry beef - 2 meals
4lb minced (ground) beef - 8 meals
Shoulder of lamb - 2 meals
5lb cubed steak - 5 meals
9 chicken breast fillets - 9 meals
Lamb spare ribs in honey - 1 meal
2 packs beef sausages - 2 meals
700g turkey schnitzels - 2-3 meals
6 packets stock cubes
So that's 41 or 42 meals where each meal feeds a minimum of 4. The only thing I didn't buy was steak. (I forgot.)
Let me restate it: that's four roast dinners plus leftovers; three pre-prepared Chinese meals (just add veg and rice); nine large chicken breasts (250g each) which will make nine stir-fries/ risotto/pasta dishes or curries; five assorted beef stews or curries; 8 meals of minced beef and other possibilities; three of chicken livers; plus a bag of "I don't feel like cooking what have we got to eat?".
It will take us through to December by my reckoning. Sometimes my ability to stretch out food amazes even me. Of course, we eat the odd vegetarian meal - less frequently than you'd think - and a reasonable amount of fish (maybe 2lb a month if you include tinned tuna and pilchards), but we don't go hungry by any stretch of the imagination. Nor do we eat out a lot.
Hmmm..... Do you remember back in October when I was toying with doing a Wartime Experiment but wondered about whether we could survive the food rations? Dealing with the meat ration was really what was putting me off trying the experiment. Well, www.whatsthecost.com's UK inflation calculator tells me that £200 today is the equivalent of £3/17/9 in 1941 money (£3, 17 shillings and 10 pence). In 1941, the meat ration was 1s2d per week. Therefore, I reckon I've just bought 15 weeks' worth of meat ration for two people. Food for thought.
* More to the point, since I have done at least 40 hours unpaid overtime since the start of May, which includes unwilling working 5 hours on Saturday and our timesheet week runs Saturday to Friday, I told my bosses that I was booking that time in my regular 40 hours and not working today. (At my grade, I can't claim paid overtime.)