Ask Anna: Food

Take a look at the questions we’ve been asked about food during the pandemic. Click the question to read Anna’s response.
Got a question you’d like Anna to answer? Send it to us using the form below.
I don’t have a huge budget for food. Are there any ways to stretch things out?
Quids in! has produced a Top 5 Tips for stretching out a food budget (see it here). Some of it works best if we’ve had time to prepare but there are always extra things to try. It’s mainly about planning ahead and cooking in bulk. Keep an eye on local websites for people offering help. These could be official sources like the council or your landlord (if a housing association, society or charity) or neighbourhood groups like Community food pantries are popping up everywhere, do a Google search to find your nearest one. On Facebook, do a search for your town or village as you may find local groups offering neighbourhood support, like food hubs or meal deliveries, are springing up close to you.
I have got lots of food, but it’s all tins and dried goods. I am running out of ideas. I am going mad with pasta and tomatoes, and the kids are now refusing to eat it. Can you help?

Have a look online. You could start experimenting with different spices so a tomato sauce one night is Mexican, the next it’s Italian and then Indian.

There are plenty of ideas out there, and if you can get the kids involved working out what they could make from tins and dried food, even better! It’s an opportunity to teach the kids some cookery skills and they may even pick up some ideas on nutrition. Kids are resilient and often willing to see things from different perspectives if you can also make it fun and tasty.

Try one of the apps that help you to cook with what you have, (see Also try where you select which ingredients you have and they’ll start you off with a load of recipes. It then suggests more specific ingredients to give you more options. The suggestions are great because you probably have more ingredients than you thought and there are some great meals in your pantry just waiting to get out.