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Savvy mum reveals how to make your food shopping last under lockdown

DebsGC
23rd April 2020, 12:00 PM
  • Laura Swain, 28, makes each shop go as far as possible
  • Laura made a £4 chicken last for three different meals
  • Laura’s tips include bulking out meat with pulses and vegetables

If your fridge is full one day and all its contents seem to disappear by the next, you might need a helping hand for how to make meals last under lockdown.

One savvy mum of two, Laura Swain, 28, from Weston-Super-Mare, has revealed how to make the most of every single ingredient to make that food shop last as long as possible.

Laura, a full time career for her son who has a chromosome deletion 15q.11.2, says that focusing on being as savvy as possible with her food shop helps her ward off anxiety and stay positive.

Laura’s tips and tricks involve stretching a £4 chicken out into three different meals by bulking it out with vegetables.

Laura told money-saving community LatestDeals.co.uk: “I always write a shopping list before I go, listing out the ingredients you need for each meal and I also write out meals I could use with the leftovers.

"I wrap leafy or green vegetable in kitchen roll as I find then they can last up to a week. I buy whole cuts of meat so I can stretch them into different meals.

“For example, one large chicken costs £4 and I can make three family meals bulked out with store cupboard essentials and vegetables.

"For example, one large roast chicken made a roast dinner, a chicken pasta bake, enchiladas and some chicken noodle soup.

"Roast chicken can be shredded and makes it go so much further especially when you bulk meals out with veggies.

"Another time, I roasted a large gammon joint and made a roast dinner, pulled gammon in rolls and made gammon, egg and chips.

"When I’m cooking with mince, I use lentils to bulk it out and make extra portions to freeze for another day.

“It’s good to get clever with leftovers as well, like making a big batch of spaghetti bolognese, which can be turned into a chilli easily the next day just by adding chill powder and bulking up with some kidney beans or baked beans.”

Laura, who shares her recipes on Instagram at LauraS.edit, says that being under lockdown has meant she has to be extra creative about cooking and preparing food, and that in the process, it’s saved her money.

"I’ve been making my boys graze platters for lunch from random bits in the fridge, freezer and cupboards,” she adds. "They absolutely love it and it feels like a treat. Things like crackers, ham, cheese, fruits, vegetables and biscuits.

"Before lockdown I would spend £11 on two big packets of chicken breast to do three family meals but by cooking a large roast chicken for £4 and bulking them out I’ve saved myself £7 a week on chicken alone!

“I've been teaching myself in lockdown how to cook everything from scratch from watching videos online.

"As a busy mum of a five-year-old with a chromosome disorder and a one-year-old I find this helps my anxiety and give me something positive to focus on.

“It makes me feel proud, thrifty and that I’m making the most of being in lockdown."

Tom Church, co-founder of LatestDeals.co.uk, comments: “In everyday life, but especially during lockdown, making every pound stretch as far as possible is vital.

“Laura’s tips are invaluable: bulking out more expensive buys like chicken or mince with lentils and vegetables can make meals last as long as possible, and will make sure your family is eating healthily too!”

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