Family Cooking in Lockdown

The news that the UK is going back into lockdown on Thursday is a financial and mental health blow to millions of people. With money extremely tight for many families I’m going to focus on some low budget family meals that can be made with little time and cooking experience.

Worry can wreak havoc on our health and one way to counteract this is to eat foods that protect our mental health. Slow burning foods lower blood pressure which in turn reduces stress hormones being released into the bloodstream. Food doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive to do you a lot of good. When there’s so little we can control at the moment a family meal that feeds our physical and mental health is a big win.

Here are the lockdown dishes I’m going to show you this week. They’re based on a family of 2 adults and 2 children under 8. I’m also including the shopping list you’d need to make everything:

Full of fibre this can be lunch or dinner and padded out with store cupboard ingredients.
A very simple pasta sauce is extremely versatile. You can eat it by itself or add meat, fish or vegetables.
Another basic that can be added to easily and is great for using up bread that’s a few days old.
A family staple that is nutritious, can be made in big quantities and freezes well.
Equally good at breakfast, lunch or dinner, this dish has fibre, protein and mental health superstar selenium.
Chicken is one of the cheapest meats. I’m going to show you how to turn a roast chicken into Little Effort Roast Chicken Sunday Lunch, Chicken and Red Pepper with Rice then Chicken Stock Soup. 12 servings from one chicken.


Bag of baking potatoes (£1)
1 pack of butter (£1.50)
1 small bottle of olive oil (£2)
Salt, pepper and sugar (£1.20)
1 jar of dried mixed herbs (50p)
chicken stock cubes (50p)
2 x 500g passata (70p)
2 x tins of chopped tomatoes (70p)
1 pack of spaghetti or pasta shape (50p)
1 bag of orzo or small pasta noodle (60p)
4 tins of baked beans (£1)
1 tin of cannellini beans (35p)
2 tins of potatoes (£1)
1 bag of rice (£1.30)
1 loaf of bread (50p)
12 eggs (£1.40)

Bag of at least 10 carrots (60p)
Bag of at least 5 onions (60p)
Head of celery (50p)
2 x peppers of any colour (£1)
1 bag of lemons (60p)
12-16 sausages – frozen (£1.70)
1 whole chicken (£3.20)
1 bag of frozen peas (60p)
1 block of cheddar or Red Leicester (£1.80)
1 jar of mayonnaise (85p)
Milk (£1.10)
Optional: 2 x tins of tuna (£1.50)
1 tin of sweetcorn
tomatoes (65p)
Worcestershire sauce (£1.50)
Fresh thyme (50p)
TOTAL £30.50


Published by One Tough Cooker

I'm the writer at One Tough Cooker. My experience with post-natal depression has shaped my appreciation for the family cook. We make thousands of meals to feed our families' tummies, hearts and minds.

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