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Savvy mum-of-two shares 'an old trick' to bulk up meals and 'make food stretch further'


Recipe boxes or hampers like Gousto, SimplyCook, and HelloFresh, have been on the rise since the start of the pandemic as more people shop online. Some people have claimed that not only are they easier – they are delivered straight to your door – but also, some are cheaper than buying food from the supermarket.

A savvy mum-of-two has revealed that buying a food hamper for her and her family online is cheaper than going to the supermarket and doing a weekly shop.

Lorna Cooper, 46, used MuscleFood’s £59 Value Hamper to cook 25 hearty dishes over five weeks for her family.

The Scottish mum fed her family from just 57p per portion.

In total Lorna cooked up to 100 portions from the hamper, which included a total of 7.3kg quality lean meats such as beef mince, beef steak, pork sausages and chicken breasts.

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The hamper is designed to make 66 meals for under 90p per portion.

Lorna shared her meals on her Facebook group, Feed Your Family, which has over 500,000 followers.

The mum-of-two often shares her latest food tricks and tips on the page.

Examples of Lorna’s meals from the hamper were two lasagnes, which cost a total of £5.20, two cottage pies, costing £4.58, and a sausage chilli, which came to £4.80.

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“The key to making the hamper stretch further is to bulk up dishes with things like vegetables, lentils and even oats,” Lorna continued.

“Adding oats to a dish is actually an old trick from our ancestors. It thickens up the meal and anyone who eats it will hardly tell the difference between the oats and the meat because they’re cooked together.

“Another way to bulk up a meal is to actually cut the meat up. Bulk up a typical pasta dish by chopping up a few sausages.

“No one is going to know exactly how much is in there – visually it will look like a lot more has been added.

“It’s the same with chicken. I personally like to shred this and, once it’s done, it looks like there’s so much of it. It’s perfect for using as a bulky sandwich filler.”

Lorna went on to offer more tips for feeding your family for less, saying: “Always batch cook two meals – if you’re prepping a lasagne on a Sunday evening for the week ahead, then why not make another one for the freezer.

“It will take the same time to cook two as it would to cook one and you’ll be saving on gas and energy in the long run.”

The mum-of-two added that it’s worth “filling up the freezer”.

“It’s cheaper to run a freezer full of food than it is an empty one, so you may as well freeze your meats and other foods to help them last longer,” she said.



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