WE are all feeling the pinch at the checkout.
Official figures show the cost of living is climbing at its fastest rate for 30 years, partly due to soaring food prices. But you can feed the family for less with a few easy tweaks.
Here are my store-cupboard superheroes you can pick up for as little as 30p to make your meals go much further. They are so good they should wear capes . . .
GO LENTIL: Pulses stretch meals further, as they are high in protein and fill you up. Soak dry lentils in water overnight or pick up a tin of pre-cooked if you are short of time. Turn a two-person bolognese into a four-person meal simply by adding a tin of green lentils. Aldi has a 390g tin for 49p.
RICE ’N’ EASY: Always have a large bag of rice in stock. Then you can make loads of cheap meals. To make a simple biryani-style dish, add some garam masala spice mix and veg leftovers to your rice. For homemade egg-fried rice, boil and drain the rice, then toss in a pan with a beaten raw egg and some peas. Heat and serve. For easy rice pudding, cook any white rice with milk, sugar and vanilla. Sainsbury’s has 1kg of Hubbard’s Foodstore long-grain white rice for 45p.
BEANZ MEANZ SAVINGS: Think beyond beans on toast. Add a tin of kidney beans and a tin of black beans to chilli to double the portions. You can also try blending cannellini beans or butter beans and season for a tasty dip. Get a 400g tin of kidney beans for 30p at Asda.
OAT-SO TASTY: Aside from porridge, you can also blend oats with a banana, eggs and a touch of baking powder to make pancake mix. Make your lasagne go further by adding a handful of oats to the red sauce during cooking to bulk it up. Dessert? Make an easy crumble by sprinkling oats and sugar over fruit, then bake.
Or dig out a flapjack recipe for a great round-the-clock snack. You can get 1kg of oats for just 75p at Aldi.
- Prices here are correct at time of going to press. Deals and offers are subject to availability.
Deal of the day
WOK a deal! Iceland is doing three £1 Ben’s sauces and rice products, and a £4 wok, all for a fiver.
BELVITA breakfast biscuits are half-price at Asda. Now just 75p, down from £1.50.
See for yourself
GET two pairs of specs from Glasses Direct for just £14. Order by midnight TONIGHT with a MoneySavingExpert code.
First, select the two-for-one deal on prescription glasses over £49 on the Glasses Direct website, then enter code MSEJANUARY at the checkout to get £35 off.
LIGHT up your home with this hot-pink Felicity Flamingo table lamp from the French Bedroom Co, for £160. Or save with this lower-key lamp at JD Williams, for £34.30 and swap the lampshade for a brighter one.
Shop & save
BUY one, get one free on cosy £10 throws at Homebase, including spotty and strawberry print ones.
Leah’s little helper
TRAVELODGE has released more than a million rooms for just £29 across its 582 UK hotels.
The offer applies to standard rooms, sleeping two people, for stays until March 20 when booked through travelodge.co.uk.
Hot right now
ASDA has launched a lingerie range for Valentine’s Day, including red animal- print cami short pyjamas for £10.
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