General ramblings

Thrifty Thursday

September 19, 2013

Day 4 of the Waste Less Live More Better Food for all Challenge, is Thrifty Thursday, and looks at the issue of food poverty.

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In the UK alone, more than 4 million people are affected by Food Poverty, and many people have just £2.57 a day to live on.
So the challenge for today is to live on £2.57.

I have to confess to only having read this part of the Challenge on Wednesday night, and so am without any kind of preparation (bad blogger)
BUT I have an archive (that word again) of blog posts from our Live Below the Line week, where we lived on £1 per day per person for 5 days, so I thought you might like to re-visit those (good blogger)

Sunshine buns!

Sunshine buns!

  • Day 2-another great recipe for A Girl Called Jack, falafels!
  • Day 3-in hindsight, we basically just ate from Jack Munroe’s blog for the week-today we had carrot, cumin and kidney bean burgers, and they were delicious
  • Day 4-homemade pizzas!
  • Day 5-saw us reduced to pasta and tomato sauce with cheese, but the Smalls were more than happy with that

Food Poverty is a very real issue for millions of people, not only in the developing world, but here in the UK too.
Living on a very tight budget is, needless to say, hard.
Living Below the Line highlighted that for me.
I felt the worry each time the Smalls asked for snacks or another helping of food and trying to work out whether or not that would leave us short by the end of the week, and I had the safety net of knowing that if it really came to it, I wouldn’t let the Smalls go hungry and we could stop at any time.
I can’t imagine how it must feel to have NO safety net, and to be accompanied by that nagging fear all day, every day. To know that if the kids eat more one day, then you yourself will be going hungry by the end of the week.

I think alongside tackling the huge and complex issues that surround food poverty, another really important thing is teaching people how to feed themselves well, for less.
Blogs like A Girl Called Jack, and (for all the stick he has had) Jamie Oliver’s new series on cooking on a budget, are just brilliant at doing this.
But surely, we should be teaching our kids these basic skills at school, and running free courses for parents in disadvantaged areas, so that they are armed with the skills and knowledge necessary to be inventive with the ingredients they have.

Any top budget recipes from you lovely lot?

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  • Reply Diana Price December 14, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    Good vegan blogs and others will say a nice veg pie, is a great idea, simple pastry too, whole meal.

  • Reply Sue September 20, 2013 at 8:26 pm

    Sorry Jen couple days behind on reading your blog! When kids were little I made us ‘piggy pie’- just use bacon bits from butcher, 50p for a bag! Fry with onion chuck in a pie dish plus any leftover veg. Pour over gravy or if feeling extravagant a white sauce, make a suet pastry top, just dumpling mixture then roll out flat. Pop on top, a bit of grated cheese over it, and if you feeling exotic sprinkle chopped spring onions on top. Bake for approx 45 mins till brown and enjoy.

    • Reply Jen September 21, 2013 at 12:06 pm

      Piggy-pie! Love it 🙂
      Bet the kids loved it too.
      Thankyou

  • Reply notjustgreenfingers September 19, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    Great post. I so agree about giving people the knowledge to stretch their food as far as they can to make nutrious meals for the whole family. It is so sad that people have little money to buy groceries, but it is so important that people know what to do with the food they have.
    Cooking from scratch really is the way to go but it takes time to build up your store cupboards so you can make a little bit go a long way.

    • Reply Jen September 19, 2013 at 8:00 pm

      You are quite right. Thankyou 🙂

  • Reply AffordableLiving September 19, 2013 at 9:11 am

    Pancakes. Is my tip. Not just because they are surprisingly cheap but also they are just so darn tasty. The kids love them. I love them and I move towards having a pancake day every week. You can have savoury with some inexpensive ingredients then some sweet. I also recommend things like bacon and egg pasta (or carbonara – just add some pasta water, and poss. cheese if budget allows) with onion. Frozen veg is a big help. 🙂

    • Reply Jen September 19, 2013 at 10:45 am

      Hurray for pancakes-we love them here too-they are a regular Sunday tea!

  • Reply thedevolutionary September 19, 2013 at 7:40 am

    Great blog post, Jen. It’s Autumn, so I’m going to cheat and suggest keeping an eye out for apples, pears, plums etc, also getting hold of some crayfish from a nearby river (if feasible), and looking out for edible mushrooms in fields (if nearby). These goodies aren’t here all year, but we’re in the period of bounty right now which can help reduce costs enormously.

    I did some crayfish a few weeks ago and, apart from the gas for cooking, the meal cost some pasta, some butter and a squeeze of lemon (which we can’t grow). Oh, and a sprinkling of cheese, but that was luxury.

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