Mom explains the simple “century-old tip” to make family dinners a lot cheaper

Lorna Cooper has urged struggling families to stock up on their meals in a new post on the “Feed your family about £20 a week” Facebook page

Lorna Cooper is the author of Feed Your Family For £20 a Week
Lorna Cooper is the author of Feed Your Family For £20 a Week

A mother-of-five and budgeting expert has reminded shoppers of a centuries-old tip for reducing the cost of meals.

Lorna Cooper, 45, has urged struggling families to stock up on their meals in a new post on the Feed Your Family For About £20 a Week Facebook page.

The money-conscious mum from Paisley, near Glasgow, explained why meat is often the most expensive part of a meal.

Instead, she recommended filling the dinner with lentils, chickpeas, beans, barley and oats to make the dish longer, Manchester Evening News reports.

Lorna, who is also the author of the book Feed Your Family For £20 a Week, explained how the same practice of stuffing is used with Yorkshire puddings and dumplings.

Lorna recommended stocking up on meals


daily record)

Lorna has also launched her own website


Paisley Daily Express)

“We often tell people to fill up on meat meals,” said Lorna, who is a mother of three and a stepmother to two more.

“The reason is that meat is often the most expensive aspect of the meal.

“Another reason is that we don’t really need the huge portions of meat that many of us enjoy, and by reducing portions, we lower the price.

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“It’s not a new phenomenon. Yorkshire puddings are used to fill people up so they eat less meat, the same goes for dumplings and stuffing.

“Breadcrumbs are used in sausages, patties, and meatloaf to reduce the meat content. Lentils, chickpeas, beans, barley and oats are used for the same reasons.

“It’s a tip that’s been used for centuries. If you don’t want to do it, we won’t force you.

“But if you’re a meat eater looking to cut the cost of your weekly groceries, then this is a very quick and easy way.”

Supporters of the savvy Lorna praised the idea, and many said they had already tried it.

“I filled my spaghetti bol with peppers and mushrooms. I actually preferred it,” said one.

“I just halved the amount of meat we have in the ground beef and chicken stuff and made lentils and legumes out of it,” said another. “It definitely helps save money, and it doesn’t hurt the waist either.”

A follower asked if the family noticed a taste difference if they added a can of lentils to cottage pie or spaghetti bolognese.

While some said it made no difference, others offered their own tips.

“Use dried red lentils rather than green or canned ones would be my advice,” said one.

“They’re cheaper and color-matched better with camouflage, but more importantly, they blend beautifully into the sauce.

“Start with a small amount and increase each time you make this dish. Just make sure they’re well broken down and you should get away with it.”

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