December 10, 2023

Affording salmon on a low income

I love salmon, or any kind of fish, but the price of it means that I can not eat much of it out of my £750 a year food budget.  However, Mr S and I have found a way around this for the last 4 years.  Every Christmas and Easter a supermarket, (Morrisons), sells whole salmon at half the normal price.  We buy at least one for around £18 to £20 and fillet it, getting around 20 fillets per fish to freeze for later.  This means that for one fish the two of us can have lots of lovely meals during the year.

Sometimes we will eat them as a fillet each, but other times we will make fish pie, add one flaked in pasta, or use one to make fish cakes, curried fish pasties, or other meals.  These meals feel like luxury to us, but at a very low cost.  They also add nutrition and help us have a balanced diet. When filleting and deboning the fish we are also left with lots of bits of salmon that are excellent to add to a fish pie or scrambled eggs.

This time when we filleted one a couple of days ago, we put the bones and the head of the fish in to a pot of water and brought them to the boil and then turned them off and left them until they were cool. We rescued over 2lb more of salmon from the pan and it did not make the house smell (which had put me off doing it before).  This also provided us with fish stock for soups and stews.  It is important to be careful taking out all the loose bones though.  We used a fine sieve.

I had saved enough money to buy two large whole fish this Christmas, and these will make a fish meal for us both once a week for at least 50% of the year, and they only cost us £46.  If we are lucky we will buy another at Easter and do the same.

Mr S bought some special tweezers to get the bones out of the fish this year, and they cost £3 on Amazon. Other years I have just used redundant eye brow tweezers.

By thinking outside of the box, putting in effort, and being creative this is just another way that we eat a luxurious, nutritious diet on a very small budget.

Does any one else do this?  I bet there are some out there that catch salmon too!  I would love to do that.

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4 Comments

  1. Agnes December 11, 2023 at 11:06 pm - Reply

    I did it for the first time this year. I bought two, first one smaller, for £15 . I have never filleted fish before. I managed eight fillets. The rest i boiled using your technique and had a bowl full of salmon flakes which i used in pasta bake. I have another one, much bigger. I will fillet it tomorrow, hopefully easier this time

    • ToniG December 12, 2023 at 8:15 am - Reply

      Well done. We were lucky as our shop fillets them for you and then we just had to take the little bones out.

  2. Paula Gatenby December 15, 2023 at 6:05 pm - Reply

    What a great way of making the most from what can be an expensive purchase. I love salmon but buying it in 2 fillet packs is so very expensive and so I end up not buying. I love the idea that this approach gets enough fish for almost a meal a week for half a year. I’m going to give it a whirl but a bit scared of the actual filleting process but got to be worth a try.

    • ToniG December 18, 2023 at 7:17 pm - Reply

      We got the supermarket to chop the head and tail off and to take the main bones out. They offered. We just picked out the little bones and cut it into portions

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