Mum Claire Gillies has shared how she’s able to feed her family delicious and nutritious in the cost of living crisis.
Claire, 45, says her favourite dishes include a healthy aubergine and lentil meal that comes in at just 63p a portion, and a butternut squash mac and cheese for less than £1 per portion.
The primary school teacher credits her upbringing with how she’s been able to get creative with her food budget during these tough economic times.
For Claire, from Harpenden, nutrition is vital. She started to take cooking healthy meals from scratch seriously back in 2017 when she was beset by family tragedies.
First, her father passed away from cancer, shortly followed by her brother, who died of the same illness a year later, and then her other brother, who had a heart attack.
Claire said: ‘We didn’t have much money when I was growing up, and my mum had three children to cook for.
Claire says she’s able to keep costs down by shopping around.
‘Once a month, I go to Aldi and I stock up on all of my store cupboard essentials because they’re so much cheaper there,’ she says.
One of Claire’s favourite go-to recipes is a pasta bake, which can be made for 50p a portion without protein, which she does admit makes it less nutritionally balanced.
She added: ‘A tin of tuna tinned fish is a brilliant thing to add to it – or some cheese on top. It will only increase the price slightly, and it will still come to less than a £1 portion but be a tastier, more nutritionally balanced meal.’
Some of her other faves are a butternut squash mac and cheese, which she can make four servings of for £3.98 based on current Aldi prices. She uses butternut squash, homemade cheese sauce, pasta, and breadcrumbs. She also makes an aubergine dish for four that costs just £2.50, made with one large aubergine, four garlic cloves, a leek or an onion, tinned tomatoes, lemon juice, seasoning, and red lentils.