Food is a basic necessity for us all. But it can be tough to come up with some brilliant , cost-effective meals, when ingredients can be quite expensive and recipes quite time consuming.
But there are ways for you to feed your family for less.
1) Good food, good money
What do you do when your son finishes his last Weetabix and you’ve nothing left to feed him? Mum, Jack Monroe, turned a hard time on its head and made it her mission for feed her son good food, for a lot less than the average weekly shop. Jack spent just £10 per week, which is more than five times less than the £54.80 spent on food by the average family per week in the UK. Her recipes even beat Jamie Oliver’s in a cook-off
Jack posts lots of tasty, healthy and cheap recipes on her blog and she can do wonders with a tin of chopped tomatoes. If you want to make a Masterchef menu from the value range, she’s worth checking out.
2) Start planning
We know everyone says it, but planning your meals does help things go a little further and stops things going off too.
Leftover sausages from breakfast could go in a casserole with the odd carrot and potato, a tin of white beans, some stock and some herbs.
Bacon can be used in a carbonara, or in a quiche, or wrapped around chicken, as well as in a bacon butty. Buying bigger packs of stewing steak means you can make a lovely pie for Sunday dinner, and then have another ready to pop into the freezer for a future meal.
Value tins of tomatoes can be added to some chopped onion and some garlic to make a pasta sauce, with can be perked up with a pinch of sugar and some seasoning.
If you plan your meals and cook a few from scratch, you’ll be able to make your money, and your food, go further.
3) Get some help
If times are tough, and you are struggling to buy enoughfood, you can visit a food bank. Set up by The Trussell Trust, there are food banks all over the UK, helping families when times are tough.
You just need to a voucher, which you can get from our Welfare Advice Team and our Tenancy Support Team, and take it to your nearest food bank, which would be the ones in Runcorn and Widnes. We will issue a voucher after we have asked some questions – as there is a criteria. You’ll be given some food to last you a minimum of three days and you’ll also be offered some further advice and support, over a nice hot brew too.
4) Useful tips
Cook in bulk – You can freeze portions of spag bol, or a stew and pop it in the oven on a busy evening.
Join the club – Club Cards are a great way of getting the most from your weekly shop – whether it’s vouchers for discounts on your favourite things, or £5 off your shop.
Buy online – If you buy online, you’ll be less likely to pop extras in the trolley, buy things you don’t need, or fall for the big bar of chocolate at the end of the aisle.
Make a list – If you are meal planning, a list will make sure you get everything you need. Go through the cupboards before you leave and see what needs using up and then you can buy ingredients to make those leftovers into a meal.
Mumsnet also have some brilliant tips when it comes to meals too!