Mum Lorna Rich has shared her plan for making 14 days of easy, thrifty meals for the coronavirus lockdown.
She says the key to making supplies last is the freezer, root vegetables, and the occasional stew.
As a new mum living on maternity leave, Lorna founded her @athriftymum Instagram account back in January to help others live a costcutting lifestyle.
She shares tips based on what she eats with husband Jon, 32, and five-month-old Casper.
Lorna, 31, said: ‘It’s all about clever batch cooking to enable health, fresh where possible, nutritious food.
‘This isn’t a super scrimpy meal plan – it’s buying sensibly and making higher priced ingredients, such as chicken, go a long way by padding out with veg and healthy grains.”
‘It’s not 500 ways with a tin of spam – but it’s thrifty and it’s cheap.
‘It’s a fresh, healthy, wholesome set of meals that are going to keep your immune system up.
‘I am certainly not a nutritionist, in no way, shape or form – but I tried to keep the meals healthy, chucking in loads of fruit and veg.
‘This is how I’ve approached isolation for me and my family.
‘All of these recipes are versatile and so ingredients can be swapped out for what’s in the cupboards.’
Lorna’s shopping list for 14 days of isolation:
Fruit and veg:
- Bananas – buy green so they can ripen at home!
- Apples – last for ages in the fridge
- Butternut squash
- Potatoes – baking potatoes are helpful!
- Sweet potatoes
- Fruit juice
Herbs and spices:
- Thyme – fresh or dried, both work!
- Chilli Powder
- Butter or spread
- Chicken – whole or Quorn pieces
- Beef – braising steak works well for Lorna’s recipes, or use veggie sausages instead
- Mince or Quorn mince
- Fruit for smoothies
- 12 eggs
- Bread – two loaves so one can go in the freezer
- Burger buns – freeze these
- Long-life rye bread
- Naan bread
- Pasta – one pack will do
- Risotto rice
- Cereal – two boxes
- Porridge oats
- Stock cubes – chicken, beef, or veggie
- Chicken gravy granules
- Black beans
- Kidney beans
- Baked beans
- Tinned tomatoes
- Tinned sweetcorn
- Tinned salmon or tuna
- Red lentils
- Coconut milk
- UHT milk or any alternative you like
- Tinned fruit
- Vegetable oil
Lorna’s 14 day meal plan:
- Breakfast: Crumpets and fruit juice
- Lunch: Root veg soup – make a big batch for the freezer too
- Dinner: Pot roast chicken stew, roast potatoes, green beans
- Breakfast: Eggs on toast with tinned tomatoes (or fresh)
- Lunch: Cheesy beans on toast
- Dinner: Chicken or Quorn fajitas with black beans
- Breakfast: Bananas on toast with fruit juice
- Lunch: Quesadillas – butternut squash, chickpeas, cheese, wraps
- Dinner: Chicken noodle soup and homemade soda bread
- Breakfast: Porridge with frozen fruit, fruit juice
- Lunch: Jacket potatoes, tuna and sweetcorn
- Dinner: Dahl, rice, poppadoms
- Breakfast: Beans on toast, fruit juice
- Lunch: Dahl soup (blend up last night’s leftovers), naan bread
- Dinner: Tuna pasta bake
- Breakfast: Cereal, frozen banana smoothie
- Lunch: Pasta with broccoli and pesto
- Dinner: Veggie chilli, sweet potato wedges
- Breakfast: Banana pancakes, frozen fruit, fruit juice
- Lunch: Black bean quesadillas, cheese, sweet potato wedges
- Dinner: Tinned salmon, frozen pea and mint risotto
- Breakfast: Eggs on toasted rye bread with frozen spinach
- Lunch: Beef or veggie sausage stew with root veg mash
- Dinner: Dahl soup
- Breakfast: Porridge with frozen fruit and honey
- Lunch: Omelette, frozen spinach, cheese
- Dinner: Beef or Quorn sausage stew, root veg mash, frozen broccoli
- Breakfast: Cereal with frozen banana smoothie
- Lunch: Jacket potato with baked beans
- Dinner: Veggie curry (frozen from week before) with rice
- Breakfast: Porridge with tinned fruit
- Lunch: Soup, crackers, cheese
- Dinner: Pasta with tinned tomatoes, tinned sweetcorn, frozen peas, and cheese
- Breakfast: Beans on toast – use your frozen loaf
- Lunch: Jacket potato with tuna and sweetcorn
- Dinner: Homemade salmon fishcakes, frozen broccoli, frozen spinach
- Breakfast: Cereal with a frozen fruit smoothie
- Lunch: Soup, crackers, cheese
- Dinner: Shepherd’s pie with root veg
- Breakfast: Banana pancakes with frozen fruit
- Lunch: Leftover shepherd’s pie with baked beans
- Dinner: Homemade spiced bean burgers with sweet potato wedges
Lorna says her number one tip for following the plan is to ‘have enough space in your freezer so you can pre-prepare and batch cook foods’.
And while desperate for the public not to stockpile, there are five items the Bristol-based mum does recommend the chef-of-the-house checks are in the cupboards:
‘Some frozen veg – great for casseroles and stews and the base of pies.
‘Some kind of dried carbs or pulses – pasta, lentils, beans, some bulk essentially.
‘Stock cubes – with frozen veg, you can make soup.
‘And porridge oats are really versatile.’
She adds: ‘But when food shopping, apply the same principles that you would when buying something new.’
‘Ask yourself – do I really need this and do I really want it, or is it just an impulse purchase?
‘If you’re not already a confident cook, don’t put lots of pressure on yourself to be the next Delia Smith overnight.
‘Parents have got enough on their plate at the moment, whether they’re trying to homeschool the kids or keep them entertained.
‘This isn’t the time to be making your kids eat lots of new food that they’re not comfortable with.
‘People need to give themselves a bit of a break – just relax and do what you can.”
‘Try and get the kids involved in cooking if you’re happy to do that, – but if they end up eating pasta with tomato sauce on for five nights a week, it’s not going to kill them!’
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