Bargain-hunting mum shares how she feeds her family for as little as 75p a meal

Alison with one of her budget-friendly meals (Picture: Barry Preest / SWNS)

A mum who’s a whizz at tasty meals that won’t break the bank has shared how she rustles up meals that cost as little as 75p a head.

Alison Palmer, 48, set up a YouTube channel to show people how to cook ‘proper food’ – even when money is tight.

On Universal Credit living with her child and partner, Barry Preest, 42, Alison has had to come up with a number of hacks to make food go further – and create dinners that adults and kids alike will enjoy.

Some of her tips include opting for frozen and tinned veg, meal planning, and getting yellow sticker bargains as the end of the day.

Alison, from Lydney, Gloucestershire, said: ‘Nowadays a lot of recipes can be so complicated and use expensive ingredients, but they don’t have to be.

‘But when I Googled recipes for people on benefits, not much came up – so I decided to film my cooking to show that you can make lots of great meals cheaply.

‘As a child we didn’t have much money but I always saw my mother cooking wonderful meals from scratch and I have carried that forward in my own life.’

A savvy mum reveals the shopping and cooking hacks

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The mum explained that savvy shopping habits can slash food bills without sacrificing on taste.

She said: ‘It’s just about planning your meals and using the right ingredients – you especially shouldn’t be afraid to pick up tinned and frozen food because it can be just as good!’

Some of savvy Alison’s other top tips include buying and freezing discounted and soon to expire items, taking advantage of buy-one-get-one free deals, and planning meals so you never waste food.

Alison’s top five cheap and tasty home-cooked meals

  1. Spaghetti Bolognese
    Onion, garlic, own-brand lean mince, pasta, tinned tomatoes.
    £1.07 per portion, makes four.
  2. Fish and Chips
    Four frozen basa fillets, home made batter (flour, milk, baking powder, salt), Maris Piper potatoes for home made oven chips.
    £1.16 per portion, makes four.
  3. Chicken Casserole
    Eight chicken thighs, tinned peas, tinned carrots and tinned potatoes.
    £1.23 per portion, makes four.
  4. Toad in the Hole
    Home made batter (flour, eggs, milk, oil) and eight frozen sausages.
    75p per portion, makes four.
  5. Turkey Burgers
    Turkey thigh mince, one onion, six bread rolls
    £1 per portion, makes four.

She also swears by own-brand products in supermarkets and does her grocery shopping at ASDA where she mainly buys from the ‘Smart Price’ section.

But her number one tip, she says, is having confidence in your ability to make tasty, nutritious food – no matter how simple it is.

‘There are so many possibilities once you have the knowledge and confidence to try,’ she said.

‘I want to show people that in my videos. My YouTube channel has had great feedback – one viewer said “it’s so good to see someone cooking proper food”.

‘And that’s what I want people to see – that proper, old-fashioned tasty cooking doesn’t cost a fortune.’

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