Cooking on a Budget

Last week I saw the programme “Great British Budget Menu” on the BBC. Normally, in the Great British Menu Great Britains top chefs compete for the chance to cook a four-course banquet for a high-profile figure, and often these meals are quite expensive because of the ingredients (both lots of different ingredients and pricy ingredients make it expensive), but also the work that goes in them. In this budget special focussed on food poverty, three of Britain’s leading chefs go and live with three households who are struggling to feed themselves properly and eat nutritiously limited by their very small budget. The chefs have to eat just like the families do and need to call on every ounce of their professional skills when challenged to shop and cook on their households’ budgets. The chefs’ Budget Banquet challenge is to cook cheap nutritious meals on next to nothing for the Great British Menu judges. Invited to taste the chefs’ food and discuss the issues are politicians, high street supermarket representatives, well-known faces and movers and shakers from the charity world. Together with other well-known British chefs they make a list of basic products and a range of recipes that are cheap to make.

This link will bring you to the list with ‘basic’ products, cheap recipes and tips to eat nutritiously.These tips and recipes might be useful for you, even if you’re not on a tight budget.

Another great tip is combining buying in bulk with good planning. For example, buying 5 kg of potato or a kg of chicken breasts is a lot cheaper (looking at the kg price) than buying 1 kg or a single breast, but because the total prize is higher you need to plan this to fit in your budget. And of course you need to make sure that you eat it before it spoils, and within the time range of your budget. It might be quite some work to plan everything, but it will help a lot with eating well on a tight budget.

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