PREPARING tasty meals for a family of four doesn’t have to be expensive. You can meal-prep with easy recipes and shop smart in Morrisons to still eat healthy meals on a budget.
It’s now super easy to achieve better health through diet by cooking up easy, healthy meals and still saving money on your weekly supermarket bills.
Clinical Nutritionist, Suzie Sawyer from Feel Alive UK, makers of a range of evidence backed nutrients – Alive! with 26 fruits and vegetables says: “It’s always best to plan meals for the week ahead, whether you’re on a budget, cooking for a hungry family or just looking after yourself.
“However, it’s essential if you’re feeding a family of four on a budget of £20 per week – that’s just £2.85 per day! While it might take a little more planning, it can definitely be achieved.”
Here, Clinical Nutritionist Suzie shares her top tips to help feed a family of four for just £20 a week – and it’s recipes the whole family can enjoy too…
LOOK FOR ‘UGLY’ FRUIT AND VEG
Suzie says Morrisons is a great place to start.
She says: “The supermarket chain, Morrisons, in particular have launched a range of ugly fruit and vegetables and also ‘wonky’ fruit.
“We have all come to expect perfect specimens in the supermarket, therefore the less attractive ones get left on the shelf.
“However, they are still packed with essential nutrients and are considerably cheaper in price.”
BUY SUPERMARKET BUDGET BRANDS
A simple yet effective way to feed a family of four on a budget, advises Suzie, is to buy budget brands in supermarkets like Morrisons.
She says: “Buy supermarket budget brands – they will generally contain the same levels of nutrients, although they may not taste quite as good.
“However, that could often be down to more sugar, salt or artificial flavours so they might even end up being healthier!”
Nutritionist Susie says shoppers should cook in bulk if they’re trying to feed a family of four on a budget.
“Cooking in bulk is a great way of saving money,” explains Suzie.
“For example, a lentil spaghetti bolognaise can be batch cooked and frozen. Many dishes, especially curries, actually taste better after freezing.”
Suzie says there can be a vast difference in price in differing supermarkets – but Morrisons is famous for its low prices.
She says: “There can be a vast difference in price between the big chains so do price match.
“Plus, it’s worth remembering that small corner shops are always going to be much more expensive.
“And there will always be a price benefit from buying in bulk with larger quantities.”
BUY DRIED VERSIONS RATHER THAN TINNED
The nutritionist from Feel Alive UK, says buying dried versions of items like beans and lentils – rather than tined – are great family food staples that come within a £20 budget.
Plus – Morrisons have a great range available in all their stores.
Suzie says: “Buy dried versions rather than tinned – I’m talking beans and lentils, which are great sources of protein.
“Buy them in bulk and soak them before using as per their instructions on the pack. Plus, you’ll not be eating salt and sugar generally added to canned food.”
Locally-sourced produce and farmers markets tend to be cheaper because they’ve not travelled halfway around the world to get to your plate, explains Suzie.
“Plus, they certainly contain more nutrients,” she says.
Suzie says many people have acquired allotments during lockdown, partly as a relaxing hobby, but also because many have become more aware of the importance of protecting the health of themselves and families.
BUY FRUIT AND VEGETABLES LOOSE
Suzie also recommends shoppers feeding a family of four for £20 a week by their fruit and vegetables loose.
She says: “It’s a great idea to check the per kilogram price on foods so you can buy the cheapest but these will generally be lower on loose fruits and veggies, rather than those pre-packaged.
“Plus, you don’t need to buy fruits and vegetables ready chopped (they’ll have lost nutrients in any case), cheese ready-grated or other produce pre-prepared.”
The clinical nutritionist also added that it’s important to note that it’s not easy to get all the nutrients the body needs on a daily basis, (bearing in mind there are 45), particularly on a tight budget.
She explained that this is even more important when thinking about the nutritional needs of growing children and teenagers, especially around their calcium, iron, iodine and folate requirements; all nutrients we know to be deficient in the UK population.
She says: “The Alive! Multivitamin and Mineral Once Daily Tablet (with products tailored to men, women, children and the over 50s) will cost £1.86 per week and is like having a very cost-effective insurance policy ensuring the body is not missing out on vital nutrients.
“All the range contains a unique blend of 26 fruits and vegetables to further top up the diet.”
Suzie also shared her top recommendations for staple budget-friendly foods to keep in the store cupboard at home.
Staples for the store cupboard – What’s on the menu for the day?
Eggs are one of the best sources of protein as they contain all nine essential amino acids so
are great for the whole family, says Suzie.
Importantly, they are less than 15p each and make a great start to any day.
Plus, blueberries, which are available at every Morrisons, are a great source of vitamin C so will protect all the family’s immunity.
Some delicious Banana and Oat Pancake recipes only cost around 0.50 per serving, so they’re a great, budget-friendly breakfast recipe.
For a great family weekend lunch, make crispy cod fingers with wedges, suggests Suzie.
She says: “Most kids love fish fingers but it’s much more cost-effective to buy white fish and make your own.
“If you buy cheaper white fish (which is available in Morrisons), such as pollock, the cost will be even cheaper.”
This costs approximately 0.60p per serving.
The nutritionist says pasta is fantastic for feeding and filling up the whole family and is super-cheap too if you’re shopping on a tight budget.
She recommended a number of pasta recipes – including tuna broccoli pasta bake and rainbow pasta – both of which can be made using ingredients from Morrisons.
Tuna Broccoli Pasta Bake
Suzie says: “Tuna Broccoli pasta bake not only gives the family some energy, but tuna is a great source of low-fat protein.
“Broccoli is also a certain superfood, delivering loads of nutrients. This is approximately 0.40p per serving.”
While the rainbow pasta recipe Suzie suggested, is full of antioxidant-rich tomatoes, onions, garlic, cabbage, herbs and carrots.
Plus there’s some additional protein from the parmesan cheese.
Suzie says: “This meal is a winner on all counts at only 0.25p per portion.
“When it comes to nutrients, the more colours of the rainbow are eaten, the greater the number of nutrients.
“This dish can be served to a family for dinner and it doesn't disappoint!”
Another rainbow meal that includes basmati rice rather than brown rice, is a simple carrot biryani dish.
One that Suzie recommends includes onion, green chilli, garlic, garam marsala, turmeric, carrots, frozen peas, coriander, yoghurt and roasted cashews – plus it works out less than 0.73p per portion.
She says: “Whilst wholegrain brown rice is super-healthy and very cost effective, brown basmati is lower on the glycaemic index.
“This means it’s going to deliver sustained energy to all the family for longer. Plus, it contains additional plant protein from cashews.”
These recipe ideas are all living proof that surviving on a budget and feeding a family of four doesn’t mean a compromise to health!
Plus thrifty mums share their top tips for saving money on grocery shopping.
Meanwhile mum shares how she feeds her family for just £4 a day.
And we reveal how to save £500 before the summer holidays start.
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