Money

Fill tummies for a lot less money with Mrs Crunch’s summer holiday cooking tips


HAVE your food bills soared since lockdown started?

You’re not alone.

Since lockdown we've been spending around £38 a week more on groceries — here are some great tips to help you spend less this summer

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Since lockdown we’ve been spending around £38 a week more on groceries — here are some great tips to help you spend less this summerCredit: Getty Images – Getty

We’re spending around £38 a week more on groceries, with kids and parents all at home, according to confused.com.

And with the summer holidays starting, the attack on your wallet is set to continue.

Here are some savvy tips to help you spend less this summer – and some great money-saving recipes from morrisons.com.

Mrs Crunch recipes in association with Morrisons
Mrs Crunch recipes in association with Morrisons

Aubergine & mince bake

(Serves four)

A delicious aubergine bake will feed the family and takes minutes to knock up

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A delicious aubergine bake will feed the family and takes minutes to knock up

Preparation time: 20 minutes.

Cooking time: One hour.

YOU NEED:

  • 400g minced beef
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 150g red split lentils
  • 400g chopped tomatoes
  • 400ml beef stock, made from a cube
  • 300g potatoes, peeled and sliced
  • 1 aubergine, sliced and pre-salted for 30 mins to lose bitterness
  • 10g sunflower spread
  • 20g plain flour
  • 400ml semi-skimmed milk
  • 2 large tomatoes, thinly sliced

METHOD: Preheat oven to 180C/160 fan/gas mark 4 and dry-fry the mince until brown.

Drain fat then add curry powder, lentils, chopped tomatoes and stock.

Bring to boil, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

Spoon into an ovenproof dish. Boil potatoes for five minutes and either boil aubergine for five mins or fry in olive oil for 2-3mins until soft.

Arrange potatoes and aubergine over mince.

Put sunflower spread, flour and milk in a pan and cook, whisking continually, until you have a smooth, thick sauce.

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Pour over the bake, arrange the tomatoes on top and bake for 30 minutes until piping hot and golden.

Minestrone soup

(Serves two to three)

This hearty minestrone soup has ladle's full of healthy nourishment and can be finished off with some shavings of tangy Parmesan

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This hearty minestrone soup has ladle’s full of healthy nourishment and can be finished off with some shavings of tangy Parmesan

Preparation time: Five minutes

Cooking time: 25 minutes

YOU NEED:

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 250g frozen mixed vegetables
  • 2 tsp pesto or 60g tomato puree
  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • 100g thin spaghetti or any pasta, broken into short lengths
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tsp mixed herbs or oregano
  • 1 can mixed beans, drained
  • 80g coarsely grated Parmesan-style cheese, to serve (optional)

METHOD: Pour the oil into a pan and add the frozen mixed vegetables and tomato puree. Cook for two to three minutes.

Add the stock, pasta , chopped tomatoes, dried herbs and the beans.

Bring to the boil and simmer for ten to 20 minutes, until the pasta is tender.

Taste to check the seasoning and add salt and pepper if desired.

Finish with a little swirl of pesto and a shaving of Parmesan.

Market Street tip

Never prepare your aubergine too long before you want to cook it, because the flesh will begin to discolour.

Keep them cool but don’t store in the fridge.

Cooking tips

MAKE A DATE: Morrisons has a £12 the best date night deal, including two mains, two side dishes, desserts and wine.

Get romantic and make an evening of it with Morrisons £12 date night deal — includes two mains, two side dishes, desserts and wine

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Get romantic and make an evening of it with Morrisons £12 date night deal — includes two mains, two side dishes, desserts and wine

COOK WONKY: Shop for less-than-perfect produce for a better price. Morrisons’ wonky onions, 1kg, are down from 60p to 50p, while a 2.5kg bag of wonky potatoes is just £1.

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GRAB A GREAT DEAL: Pick up four meat or vegan burgers and a four-pack of Stella Artois or Coca-Cola for just £3.50 at the Co-op, saving up to £3.65. Offer runs until August 4.

JUST CHILL: Families can save £1,500 a year using frozen not fresh, says a study by Iceland and Birds Eye. Start off with 25 per cent extra on a bag of garden peas at Iceland, £1.

By using frozen not fresh you can save a whopping £1,500 a year — start off with 25 per cent extra on a bag of garden peas at Iceland, £1

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By using frozen not fresh you can save a whopping £1,500 a year — start off with 25 per cent extra on a bag of garden peas at Iceland, £1

BIG NIGHT IN: Morrisons is cutting the price on its in-store pizzas ­– a 14-inch was £4 now £3.50, while a 10-inch was £3 now £2.50.

FILL’ET UP: Buy three packs of frozen fish fillets for £10 at Iceland, including six basa fillets, down from £4.50 to £4.

SWITCH TO OWN BRAND: You can save up to £2.60 on Waitrose own Colombian ground coffee at £3.30 or two for £4.

Switching to own brand products is a simple thrift tip — so perk up and save on Waitrose own Colombian ground coffee at £3.30 or two for £4

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Switching to own brand products is a simple thrift tip — so perk up and save on Waitrose own Colombian ground coffee at £3.30 or two for £4

GO BACK TO BASICS: Pasta with sauce. Baked potatoes. Sausages and beans. Eating well doesn’t need to come with a high price tag.

FAMILY FEAST: Iceland’s Sunday lunch menu offers a meat joint, potatoes, Yorkshire puds, pigs in blankets, a vegetable and a dessert for £9.75.

TAKE YOUR PULSES: Bulk up on bolognese, chillis or stews with cheap tins of pulses. Buy four tins of KTC kidney beans, chickpeas or butter beans for £1 at Morrisons, or 35p each.

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Pulses are a great and cheap source of protein and fibre — buy four tins for £1 at Morrisons, or 35p each

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Pulses are a great and cheap source of protein and fibre — buy four tins for £1 at Morrisons, or 35p each

GROW YOUR OWN: The biggest food waste culprits include bagged salad and fresh herbs. Grow your own – you only need a window box – and you won’t be chucking away money.

SWITCH FROM PRIME CUTS: Choose money-saving mince and thighs. At Morrisons, buy three packs of chicken thigh fillets for £9, usually £3.50 each, saving £1.50.

You don't have to buy prime cuts when money-saving mince and thighs have just as much goodness — three packs of chicken thigh fillets are £9, usually £3.50 each at Morrisons

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You don’t have to buy prime cuts when money-saving mince and thighs have just as much goodness — three packs of chicken thigh fillets are £9, usually £3.50 each at Morrisons

FREEZE A DEAL: Find a deal on your favourites, such as Tesco frozen wild salmon fillets, 500g, down from £5 to £3.50, and buy two.

WASTE NOT: Bread is one of the biggest wasters, but stale loaves can be made into breadcrumbs, puddings and garlic bread. Get tips at lovefoodhatewaste.com.

BUY IN SEASON: Lidl currently has a British sweetheart cabbage down from 52p to 39p.

Get some good old greens in with Lidl's British sweetheart cabbage just 39p

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Get some good old greens in with Lidl’s British sweetheart cabbage just 39p
TikTok star shares easy fried egg sandwich recipe and it looks amazing

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