With food prices on the rise, it is more important than ever to scout the supermarkets for bargains. Joanne Webb O’Rourke, who has 11 children has partnered up with Aldi to help parents save money on meals as children return to school. Alongside her top tips, Joanne also shares her favourite healthy chicken casserole recipe.
Joanne’s ‘Top 10 Tips’ for feeding the family on a budget
1. Plan all the meals for the week on Sunday and do the food shop on Monday if possible, when supermarkets are typically quieter and there is more space to shop!
2. Ban daily shops. Milk and bread top-ups are fine but daily shopping can really skew shopping figures.
3. Make meals interactive with the help of fun themed crockery, cookie cutters to make shapes with (Stacey Solomon style), and personalised bowls.
4. Make meals your family enjoy so dinner times aren’t a struggle. Use meal requests as a prize for example, best behaved can pick Friday dinner.
5. Once a week make a meal that the family has never had before – this is a great way to introduce new foods to younger family members.
6. Set up a breakfast station, including a cereal dispenser, for a hotel style breakfast at home without the fuss.
7. Plan one ‘fakeaway’ meal night a week to keep things exciting. This could be anything from air fried chicken and chips or Chinese chicken noodles.
8. Make packed lunches the night before. Keep sandwich fillings simple and always include a piece of fruit and something sweet for a little treat like biscuits.
9. Make puddings and cakes from scratch as it saves a lot of money in the long run. Batch cook cakes and pop them in the freezer.
10. Main things to keep replenished – milk, bread, fruit and biscuits. These are my fail-safe items for lunch boxes and snacks.
For the casserole:
1. Cut the chicken into small chunks and place in an oven dish
2. Chop the onions, carrots and mushrooms and add to the dish
3. Add the packet of frozen peas
4. Mix up one stock pot with hot water and pour into the dish
5. Add the chicken casserole mixes
6. Mix everything together and season with salt and pepper
7. Place lid on top and cook in the oven on a medium heat (160°C degrees) for around two to two and a half hours
8. Stir and check every half an hour – if the mixture looks a bit dry add some water
For the mash:
1. Whilst cooking, peel and chop your potatoes and boil until soft
2. Once soft, drain the potatoes, add a spoon of butter and a dash of milk and mash to make creamy mash potato
3. Place your mash on to a plate (we like to make it into a circle or fun dinosaur shape) and add the casserole in to the middle