Savvy Student cooks Mothers Day Sunday Roast for 87p

Money savvy saver Chelsie Angeles shares his money saving ideas with, as the 22yr old expert tells us how she is making a Mothers Day roast with all the trimmings – all for just 87p a head.

Here is her story…

“Making a Sunday roast is a British staple, cooked for an end of week treat or for a special occasion like Mother’s Day.

This year our options for celebrating Mother’s Day are limited due to the lockdown, but there are something’s we can still do to make it special – cooking a Sunday roast being one of them!

However, a Sunday roast can be costly to cook, especially if you are catering for a large family so I wanted to see if I could make a roast on my student budget.

Chelsie shares her money saving idea for Mothers Day

Using Frozen ingredients

As a student a lot of the food I buy tends to be frozen, as typically it’s significantly cheaper than the fresh alternatives.

Plus, you can buy things in greater quantities whilst the use-by dates are much longer. Most supermarkets stock a wide selection of frozen vegetables, Yorkshire puddings and potato options to choose from.

To save more money, I swapped the classic farmhouse vegetables used in a roast for a multi-purpose bag of mixed vegetables, which halved the price per portion!

White meat such as chicken is widely stocked and generally the cheapest option (£3-5 per kg) whilst red meat options can be limited and more expensive (£7-10 per kg).

As the cheapest option at my local Tesco was chicken thighs sold in a large quantity, I opted for it so I could use the remaining chicken for other meals.

Cooking a Sunday roast using only frozen ingredients is £0.87 per serving, with meat making up 72% of the total!

Ingredients for Frozen (per person)

  • Frozen vegetables – 6p (69p/kg) – Tesco
  • Frozen roast potatoes – 8p (81p/kg) – Asda
  • Frozen chicken thighs – 63p (£3.15/kg) – Tesco
  • Gravy granules – 2p (£5.88/kg) – Tesco
  • Optional extra: stuffing ball dry mix – 8p (£2.36/kg) – Tesco

Using Fresh Ingredients

The fresh aisles of the supermarket are something I normally bypass in favour of the ease and familiarity of my frozen buys.

Whilst exploring the fresh aisles, I matched the frozen ingredients mentioned above with their fresh counterparts so I could make a comparison.

I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the fresh meat options could be bought cheaper than frozen, with chicken thighs coming in at £1 cheaper per kg. I previously bought into the common misconception that fresh food is more expensive. There are some cases when this is true, but fresh meat isn’t always one of them.

A Sunday roast cooked using just fresh ingredients costs £0.86-£1.50 per serving, price dependent on whether you want to spend time preparing your own vegetables.

Chelsie’s Mothers Day dinner with all the trimmings

Ingredients for Fresh (per person)

  • Vegetables – 20p (if bought singularly or 38p for pre-done) – Tesco
  • Roast potatoes – 4p (39p/kg for roasting your own or 50p for pre-done) – Tesco
  • Chicken thighs – 40p (£2/kg) – Tesco
  • Gravy granules – 2p (£5.88/kg) – Tesco
  • Optional extra: stuffing balls – 20p (£6/kg) – Tesco

Best of Both: Fresh & Frozen

As a busy student and YouTuber with novice cooking skills, I’m not one to spend much time in the kitchen, so the thought of preparing all my own vegetables seemed a bit daunting.

Plus needing to buy fresh vegetables in large quantities with limited dates is completely fine for a family but it could result in food wastage for a single person like myself.

Combining the best of both fresh and frozen, I made a Sunday roast dinner with frozen vegetables, roast potatoes and box stuffing whilst using fresh chicken.

This marries the ease of cooking frozen veggies with the succulent taste fresh meat can offer. This version of my Sunday roast totals at a delightfully cheerful £0.64 per serving!

The 22yr old has been savvy with her money

Ingredients for Frozen & Fresh (per person)

  • Vegetables – 6p (69p/kg) – Tesco
  • Roast potatoes – 8p (81p/kg) – Asda
  • Chicken thighs – 40p (£2/kg) – Tesco
  • Gravy granules – 2p (£5.88/kg) – Tesco
  • Optional extra: stuffing ball dry mix – 8p (£2.36/kg) – Tesco

Want to switch it up?

You can adapt this approach to a Sunday roast on a budget by using beef and adding Yorkshire puddings. Using fresh ingredients, the roast could total £1.99 per person (£1.49 for beef steak and 26p per pudding).

Cooking your own Yorkshire puddings are quick, easy and cost approximately 3p per portion. This could save you 23p per Yorkshire pudding and bring the total cost down to £1.76 per serving.

I have a number of years experience in money saving and being savvy with the pennies. I hope to bring you as many student discounts as I can get my hands on.