Has anyone else been here? The cheapest of cheap food shops. When money is s tight all you can afford is pretty much just basics; tinned beans and bread. With the rise of the use of food banks I think mainstream media would make us think they are almost a myth, not needed or that the people using them just can't manage their money. However it is real. It's happening to real people, with jobs that don't pay enough, in a world where we have so much to pay for and that we are expected to have. I remember when we struggled a few years back.
This morning Freya and Albert have been playing Mario Kart quite contently and I've been tucking into a nice seeded loaf and a cup of earl grey in bed whilst catching up on a few emails for Alfa Design. Sad as it sounds, I can't go more than a few minutes without a quick browse through Facebook. Whilst online, I stumble across this video that hits pretty close to home.
It's about a mother struggling to feed her children. Can you imagine how hard that must be? During the term time she receives free school meals, but over the six week holidays there is no additional financial help. This often results in skipping her own dinner in order to feed her children. I feel a familiar knot in my stomach, I've been there. Maybe you have too.
At 22 I was at university with two children and money was tight, my food budget was normally around £18 a week. I would eat the cheapest basic meals ( I'm talking super noodles, beans on toast, or perhaps a bowl of oven chips, basically, lots and lots of beige) so that I could ensure the children had a decent dinner and a nutritionally balanced packed lunch to take to nursery. But guess what? I wasn't alone, although I felt very much that I was, the truth is that this was happening everywhere, it still is, but many of us are blind to the problem, and often individuals are too embarrassed to let on.
Trust me, you would not believe how easy it can be to cover it up once you get started.
Personally, I found that: "Hey guys, why don't we do dinner at yours this week? then maybe I can have you over next week?" ( Hopefully when my next payment has cleared) Sounds so much nicer than, "can I borrow 20 quid again please?" Don't you think?
Thankfully we haven't fallen upon times like that for a while now. After uni Levi and I went on to get steady jobs and we were lucky enough to move to my mums while we found our feet. I'm still pretty frugal, and I don't spend much on our family meals. I've got a go-to pinterest board where I save all of my recipes. (link here for those of you who have pinterest: www.pinterest.co.uk/amiesmind/vegan-meals)
Seeing the video this morning, and all of these feelings flooding back has inspired me to share some of the recipes and methods that I used to depend on. I know that those of you who need this the most probably won't want to share or comment, but perhaps you will save a link to your phone, or make a note of something useful, if so then I've achieved what I wanted to.
Can I also remind Plymouth people that there is a fantastic lunch at the library scheme that is currently running through Wednesday's in August, where children can pick up a free lunch and join in with family-friendly activities. Have a read if you are interested
If you are lucky enough not to need my suggestions then may I ask this? When you pop to a friends house, take a pack of biscuits, or offer to pick up the milk. Invite a friend over for a regular weeknight dinner, or perhaps double up when you make a lasagne and ask if they wouldn't mind trying a new recipe you're working on. Be thoughtful, be tactful and be kind
Our go-to Recipes to follow 🙂