Recipes for good food on the cheap

Recipes for good food on the cheap

Recipes for good food on the cheap

First published in Letters by

I DISAGREE with Richard Bridge’s comments (Letters, January 7) when he states that “most cheap food is over-processed junk, while good-quality, nutritional food costs more”.

A nourishing meal can be made from scratch very cheaply and quickly. All you need is a good cook book, which you can purchase from a charity shop if you cannot afford a new one. You do not need to eat meat every day and vegetables cost very little. Processed food is full of fat and salt.

Mr Bridge questions why poor people must never make poor choices. Well, let’s face it, they cannot afford to make poor choices.

My parents were poor but my mother always had a wonderful dinner ready for us every evening. She taught me to “make do and mend” and always to save on a regular basis. A lot of ladies these days do not even know how to sew on a button.

The best advice I have ever been given was to write out my week’s recipes and then shop for only those ingredients. This way there is no waste, and if there are any vegetables left at the end of the week they can be made into soup.

Jenny Hilton, Holgate Lodge Drive, Holgate, York.

Comments (6)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

12:37pm Sat 11 Jan 14

George Appleby says...

Well said jenny, it's the way we were brought up and we haven't suffered by it. Ours are doing it too. Hope you are all OK and happy new year.
Well said jenny, it's the way we were brought up and we haven't suffered by it. Ours are doing it too. Hope you are all OK and happy new year. George Appleby
  • Score: 15

10:44pm Sat 11 Jan 14

Teabag1 says...

Wise and true words, perhaps there should be more focus in schools on taking care of ones self if some parents today lack the skills needed to teach those needed to there children or perhaps workshops for parents.
Wise and true words, perhaps there should be more focus in schools on taking care of ones self if some parents today lack the skills needed to teach those needed to there children or perhaps workshops for parents. Teabag1
  • Score: 11

9:20am Mon 13 Jan 14

old_geezer says...

On the one hand, I've just made a huge pot of soup for a couple of quid; on t'other, if you're out of work and living on a rundown estate, life may be against you on this score.
On the one hand, I've just made a huge pot of soup for a couple of quid; on t'other, if you're out of work and living on a rundown estate, life may be against you on this score. old_geezer
  • Score: 1

10:06am Mon 13 Jan 14

Lunatic says...

A fair point, but it does sort of overlook the actual crux of the issue; we live in a world where there's enough high-quality nutritious food for every single human being on the planet. Nobody should be force into the position where they can't afford to eat healthily. It's criminal.
A fair point, but it does sort of overlook the actual crux of the issue; we live in a world where there's enough high-quality nutritious food for every single human being on the planet. Nobody should be force into the position where they can't afford to eat healthily. It's criminal. Lunatic
  • Score: 3

10:59am Mon 13 Jan 14

Fat Harry says...

Jenny's points are fair enough, and don't in my view contradict Richard's original letter which, if I recall correctly, was aimed at explaining how it is that people can be both obese and poorly-nourished at the same time.

He was correct to point out that most cheap food is over-processed, and consequently high in sugar and fats.

Jenny is equally correct to point out that a nutritious diet can be put together fairly cheaply IF we have the necessary skills, knowledge, and experience, and IF we have easy access to shops that sell such cheap food.

For instance if you go to Leeds or Donacster markets, cheap cuts of meat are plentiful, especially towards the end of the day. Such cheap cuts are not so readily available in York, in my experience, but the bus fare to Leeds and the time taken make such expeditions unrealistic.

I'm fortunate that I learned such cookery skills as I have from my mother who learned hers the hard way during the 1920s and 30s. That cookery still leaned heavily on red meat and large quantities of fats, so trod a fine line between solid nutrition and the risk of piling on the pounds.

The answer surely is partly in good education about nutrtition, not the outpourings of celebrity chefs (remember the patronising and unrealistic claptrap Jamie Oliver treated us to a few months back), but also to ensure that people have enough money not just to buy decent food, but to be able to afford the gas and electricity to cook it and freeze/refrigerate it.

That means stopping the witch-hunt against benefit claimants and ensuring that state schools are sufficiently well-funded to allow them to educate children (both sexes) about nutrition and cooking.

Free and readily-accessible adult education classes may help too.
Jenny's points are fair enough, and don't in my view contradict Richard's original letter which, if I recall correctly, was aimed at explaining how it is that people can be both obese and poorly-nourished at the same time. He was correct to point out that most cheap food is over-processed, and consequently high in sugar and fats. Jenny is equally correct to point out that a nutritious diet can be put together fairly cheaply IF we have the necessary skills, knowledge, and experience, and IF we have easy access to shops that sell such cheap food. For instance if you go to Leeds or Donacster markets, cheap cuts of meat are plentiful, especially towards the end of the day. Such cheap cuts are not so readily available in York, in my experience, but the bus fare to Leeds and the time taken make such expeditions unrealistic. I'm fortunate that I learned such cookery skills as I have from my mother who learned hers the hard way during the 1920s and 30s. That cookery still leaned heavily on red meat and large quantities of fats, so trod a fine line between solid nutrition and the risk of piling on the pounds. The answer surely is partly in good education about nutrtition, not the outpourings of celebrity chefs (remember the patronising and unrealistic claptrap Jamie Oliver treated us to a few months back), but also to ensure that people have enough money not just to buy decent food, but to be able to afford the gas and electricity to cook it and freeze/refrigerate it. That means stopping the witch-hunt against benefit claimants and ensuring that state schools are sufficiently well-funded to allow them to educate children (both sexes) about nutrition and cooking. Free and readily-accessible adult education classes may help too. Fat Harry
  • Score: 9

11:30am Mon 13 Jan 14

The Great Buda says...

Great post there Fat Harry.
Great post there Fat Harry. The Great Buda
  • Score: 1

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree