Feeding a family on a budget

Hi!

My name is Hayleigh. I am mum to toddler Eva and baby Edwin. Cat mum to Pop and soon to be wife to Stephen.
I am not a chef but I do love to cook! Being on a tight budget and each one of us having different tastes makes cooking meals that we all enjoy very difficult.
Over the past couple years I have developed meal plans that are super cheap but still extra yummy!

Four years ago Stephen and I were both working, enjoying plenty of takeaways, meals out and our favourite meal was pizza and chips! It’s safe to say that I could not cook. I didn’t eat meat and I wouldn’t touch any vegetables unless they were a pizza topping

Fast forward a few years, I became a full time mum to Eva and I learnt the dreaded word, ‘weaning’. When I became a mum I decided to start eating meat and healtier meals in an attempt to not let Eva be a fussy eater.

I soon discovered that eating healthy on a budget for the three of us was harder than I thought. At the supermarket a multi bag of crisps costs less than a bag of apples and a bag of oven chips costs less than a bag of potatoes!

I made this blog more for myself because I read and tried so many recipes that I have lost track of what was and wasn’t so good. I must warn you, I’m still not the greatest cook! I burn things, they don’t end up looking like the picture in the book and I have a badly equipped kitchen. The most high tech gadgets I own are a hand blender and an electric chopper!

I try and base a weeks meals around the same ingredients so things don’t get too expensive and also so I make sure I won’t waste any thing.

Here are my tips and tricks for eating on a budget:

•Plan your meals for the week- If you plan what meals you are having for the whole week it makes shopping for your ingredients a whole lot easier and cheaper. I tend to stick to the same sort of ingredients for each separate week. For example: chicken and chorizo pie, Thai chicken curry, chorizo ham burgers. You can swap around what order you have them so you don’t end up eating lots of things similar day after day. I will post  my week of meal plans as I do them.

Meat: I tend to have two different meats in one week as it can get too expensive buying lots of different types for one week. We eat a lot of chicken as buying a whole chicken can go a long way. For example, use the chicken breasts wrapped with bacon and stuffed with cheese, the meat from the legs and any left overs can be used in a curry, freeze the wings so when you have enough you can have Chinese spiced chicken wings, even the chicken carcass can be used for a stock or soup.

Getting meat from the butchers is often cheaper and a lot better than supermarket meats. It’s also great to support local businesses!

Veggies: Don’t be afraid of frozen vegetables, I keep a bag of peas and sweet corn in the freezer as ’emergency veg’! I often buy the same vegetables but prepare it in different ways.

Freezer: Frozen food is often seen as bad but I keep my stocked of things that I won’t need for a few days and need it to keep fresh. I freeze and label all leftovers so towards the end of the month we can have meals without having to buy a whole lot.