‘I’m beating the cost of living crisis by making 42p meals!’

43p meals

by take-a-break |
Updated on

Scroll to the bottom for the chance to WIN £50!

Gemma Loveden, 36, tells us the low-cost recipes she makes that her six kids love…

mum feeds family 42p meals

With the kids in bed, I sat down in front of the TV with a pen and piece of paper.

'Meal planning time,' I said to my husband Guy.

With six children — Crystal, 17, Curtis, 11, Cassius, six, Clayah, four, Creeson, three, and Carmelo, who has just turned three — careful planning was key.
It would have been easy to 
spend a lot, but I discovered tips and tricks to prevent us breaking the bank.
I used extra veggies or lentils to make dinners stretch further and added mustard to my cheese sauce to bring out the flavour, instead of having to 
use more cheese. When I 
threw adzuki beans and a bit 
of spice into my spaghetti Bolognese, the kids loved the Mexican twist.
I spend around £130 a week on my food shop, which I think is reasonable with eight mouths to feed!
I make big batches to freeze for nights when we need a quick dinner.
One day, I posted a photo 
of my home-made sweet potato chocolate brownie in 
a Facebook group. I was surprised to see all the likes 
and comments it got.
Someone wrote: You should start your own group.
So, I did and called it Foodie Family Meals. It was a place to share my healthy, nutritious and affordable recipes. Within days, I had hundreds of members. 
The recipes I uploaded were always purse-friendly, and focused on hearty home-cooked meals that were a little bit different.
My macaroni cheese topped with cheesy fish fingers is popular. The whole meal costs around £10 and is made in seconds — plus it has three different vegetables, and a salad — and works out at just 42p per portion.
The cost of living crisis is affecting so many families. To combat this, I’ve become 
more inventive. I butterfly chicken breasts to create two portions instead of one, which makes the perfect chicken burger that the kids love. It’s also far healthier than buying premade burgers.
Now Foodie Family Meals 
has over 70,000 members and is still growing.
I’m proof that even if you’re busy with a lot of mouths to feed, you can still cook a fresh, nutritious meal from scratch, even on the tightest of budgets!

To find Gemma’s group, search Foodie Family Meals on Facebook.

money saving mum saves on meals

● My macaroni cheese topped with cheesy fish fingers costs around £10 but that’s for 24 portions! Simply add peas and sweetcorn into the pasta with a basic cheese sauce (flour, butter, milk, cheese and ½tsp mustard). Top it with cooked fish fingers, baby tomatoes and cheese, and bake until golden and oozy. Serve with salad. 
Price per portion: 42p

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