Updated: 13/09/2013 16:45 | By Nic Hopkirk, Managing Editor, Lifestyle
Jamie's Money Saving Meals: did the costs add up?

We try to make Jamie's Money Saving Meals for the same prices

Jamie Oliver (© Rex Features)
  • Jamie Oliver (© Rex Features)
  • A brisket of beef (© Channel 4)
  • Korean stir fried rice, with poached eggs (© Channel 4)
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'You might think it's impossible to eat really amazing super tasty food on a budget, but think again,' said Jamie Oliver at the start of his new show, Jamie's Money Saving Meals, which aired on Channel 4 last night.

Using money saving tips, tricks from the restaurant trade and some of 'the most gorgeous recipes ever, that happen to be really cheap' Jamie's pledge is that every single one of us could eat like a king but on a budget.

The average family in the UK throws away £680 of food a year and in his new show, Jamie shows us how to stop binning food and start using it to make delicious meals instead.

Yes, a big joint of beef is pricey, but if you turn the leftovers into a stir fry, you're getting two meals for the price of one – and making the most of your leftovers is the key to making good food cheaply, says Jamie.

'Everyone deserves an incredible roast dinner every week with friends and family but so many of you think you can't afford it. You need to think big and spend a bit of money to save money.'

So did the price of each meal add up? We put Jamie’s recipes to the test by choosing the cheapest possible versions of the ingredients from Sainsbury’s supermarket to find out.

04/09/2013 09:37
As usual this article is trying to make it more expensive, if you bothered to watch the program you will have seen he made the yorkshire puddings  - he didnt buy frozen and most people have an egg some milk and flour to do this.  Then the £1 mustard  - its not as though you have to pay £1 every time, a jar will last several meals and its a common condiment to already have.  

Same with the blatant rubbish printed about the cost to buy all the equipment  - most people already have a set of pans, a knife, a grater etc.

I think most people miss the idea which is highlighting that you can have healthy food at a better price than the plastic microwave meals.  And hes right in his point that some people moan of poverty and that they cant afford food and yet they have flashy big TV,s ipads, its a matter of priorities and some people would rather eat cr*p and have the gadgets  - surely health always comes first.
04/09/2013 09:16
Your costings are totally wrong! You've costed for a whole jar of mustard, a whole bag of frozen peas, a whole jar BBQ sauce, and entire block of cheese!!! He doesn't use all of these. He has rightly costed the contribution of the small amounts he's used. The rest will contribute to other meals. This is simple economics. If you can't calculate this, no wonder the country is in such a mess!!!
In a real world he has to first of all live totally on an average family income and do the work hours an average guy does with an average family for at least a month then he will see that this just doesn't work. Most people do not have cupboards full of herbs and most of all do not have the nergy or time to follow the regime to make best use of fridges and freeezers. I grew up in a wworld in which first of all until I was 7 we had food rationing after the war then you couldn't get half the ingrdients we have today, no one dreamed of herbs and Italian or foreign dishes etc. The food was tasty and we grew up okay but the big difference was that it was all fresh food not processed food from supermarkets . What has ruined diets and made peoples eating bills more expensive is the way supermarkets have taken over the supply of the food chain. I now live in a small village that has a traditional butcher, baker grocer etc. Our food bill has dropped dramatically and the food we eat is far better and tastier. We were astounded when we first realized how much we were saving 
04/09/2013 09:39
MSN haven't costed that properly, £1 for enough mustard to coat the beef??? I think not. Also anybody who's skint will not be shopping at Sainsbury's they're one of the most expensive supermarkets around.
04/09/2013 06:47
Jamie is just making money from old ideas. I grew up in the early fifties when everyone used their leftovers to make more meals,Its the way people lived back then, you had to make food last.
04/09/2013 07:40

It's easy to see where the price difference is coming in. In MSN's version they are paying 80p each time for a pinch of herbs, or £1 a time for a spoonful of mustard etc. Jamie is making that classic mistake of thinking everyone is as posh as he is and already has a fully stocked herbs, spices and condiments rack before they start therefore falsely cutting the cost of his meals. The poorest people in our country at the moment probably can't afford to have these things already in their kitchen!

04/09/2013 11:59
The problem he's got is that he's trying to work against the enormous vested interest of the food industry and the commodities market while trying to fix the populations poor diet under a free market do as you like self interested culture. You can bang on about it, but no ones going to listen. It just comes across as very nanny state and preachy.

The banks and our spiv economy are at the heart of all this. Not feckless consumers. The market is set by futures contracts in order to raise interest and set prices, while on the other hand consumers are hit by low pay, encouraged to over consume and create far to much food waste. It's all about ripping of the consumer and providing an illusion of choice. We can't properly tackle food poverty and begin educating people until we start taking a collective interest in the health of the nation and how society is run. We all suffer in the long term regardless of our means.
04/09/2013 00:17
Disappointed with Jamie just a bit of a phoney, what he really wants is what a lot of celebrities want more  attention to their words of wisdom seen and heard on TV and then congratulate themselves on their importance
11/09/2013 21:18
I like Jamies Cooking shows, he is inventive creative and has a fun natured approach. He is right in not wasting food in the fridge that need to be used. He grows his own herbs also, thats easy to do. Theres is nothing more fun than making a meal for your family and knowing it taste good. Not many people realise how inexpesive it is to eat, and taste in food is easy. Thats not expensive. This new show of Jamies is great, as it appeals to alot of families on the go and run. Instead of buying take away everyweek because your to lazy to cook, Jamies teaching those people how easy it is. I love cooking and I love music and want to say thanks Jamie. Your awesome dood. Pauly Zarb
17/09/2013 07:25
A "dash" of soy sauce costs £1.15? What pathetic journalism this is.
04/09/2013 11:18
If supermarket meals are so cr#p and expensive then why doesn't he just put his name to some better ones that are affordable and healthy? I have a fresh cooked meal about 4 times a week but some times I just cant be bothered and there's nothing wrong with that. I cant afford fresh stuff all of the time because if I don't use it right away it goes off and it was a waste of money, we don't all have the time for this. I am sick of Jamie Oliver spouting on about health when he's hardly the image of it, he needs to climb out of his own backside and take a look at the real world
04/09/2013 12:14
I found his comments re British and foreign workers very interesting, no mention of the fact that the foreign workers are very low pay, so cheap for him to employ!  Also little mention that most of his "restaurants" are actually franchise operations using his name and nothing else.

As far as his meals are concerned, no comments about that fact that he buys in bulk and probably gets discount because the product is going to be used on the show!
The first recipe shown "roast beef"; If you go to any good butcher you should pay less than the £14 quoted, also many cuts of good beef are very cheap if you know what you are after.
Still interesting that the Sainsbury prices are double that from the programme.
04/09/2013 11:18

Where do they get these figures we don't throw away any food.

We buy what we need and eat what we need.

And as for the comments on working try 70 hours a week in a foundry on piece work.

He doesn't know the meaning of the word  work.

But I agree a lot of the young today are pathetic wimps.

We have had some come to work and after dinnertime you never see them again.

04/09/2013 09:45
I tried his food in Birmingham, found it expesive,not very good, in other words a rip off. in my lifetime I have seen the working class fight for holidays lower hours [it used to 50 plus per week no holidays only bank holidays] HE WANTS TO GO BACK TO 48 HOURS,HE IS WORTH £150 MILLION AND STILL WANTS TO SCREW WORKERS, HE IS THE TYPE THAT GIVES THE CONSERVATIVES' A BAD NAME, HE LIKES IMMIGRANTS' BECAUSE THEY WILL WORK FOR PEANUTS JUST TO STAY IN THIS COUNTRY.
OK...you say Sainsburys...which Jamie has to endorse due the contract....indregents ..in tins don't have to be the exspensive one...joints go to the local meat market....same with fish....veg local market....the point is you don't have try this....
04/09/2013 08:38
One thing there is no energy saving ideas, just add this and that and cook. Actually these vegetables and meat do not cost that much even in supermarkets if you carefully look around. There is no new ideas in this programme. 
I eat from the reduced section in Tesco yesterday 1kg side of salmon 6.37 1.06 per meal yummy
04/09/2013 10:55
His supermarket ready made food is tasteless crap if his school meals where anything like these they probably had to force feed the children.
"Two can live as cheaply as one" is an old phrase that in this case happens to be true.  Some dishes require many ingredients which are impossible to buy in small enough quantities for a single person, who therefore has the option of throwing food away or eating the same meal twice in succession.
05/09/2013 21:02
He's a darned good cook though. And as a parent I'm bloody glad the school meals have improved, largely thanks to his campaign. But I don't think he realises how little money some people have got. The problem isn't always people misspending - they simply don't have enough money. Even at £1.50 ish a portion, for a family of four, that's 6 quid for a single meal. If you are on benefits (around £60 a week per person?.) for everything, that might be unaffordable....
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