The world is still in recession. Even though there is some slight optimism for the coming year, there are still lots of businesses filing for bankruptcy, which means the loss of jobs, and more and more people living below the poverty line. Grocery shopping is very expensive and there does not seem to be an alternative to cheap processed foods.
A Girl Called Jack
There is a woman in Great Britain that I admire a lot. Her name is Jack Monroe. She was one of those people living on next to nothing, trying to feed herself and her young son on £10 per week! And what an amazing job she did! She refused to feed her son the e-numbered and extremely greasy supermarket grub. Instead she did extensive research on where certain items were cheapest and used them to make healthy, simple and nutritious dinners.
Jack Monroe started a blog a while back (agirlcalledjack.com), sharing her frustration with the governmental system and sharing her recipes including the cost of each meal, some of which were as low as 9 pence per portion! Take for example this roasted cauliflower-Fennel-and bramble apple soup for 55p or her now famous carrot-cumin-kidney bean burger for 9p! Her blog instantly became a big success and from the comments it is clear that she was definitely not the only one in that dire situation. Her recipes inspired many people to be more conscious of what they were eating and that with some effort they could even save money by paying more attention to what they bought and where.
Jack, being a smart shopper, also noticed the benefits of growing her own, so she grows her own chillis and herbs …on a window sill. Saving a bit of money but still eating healthy. Her lavender bush has provided her with inspiration to make lavender sugar and lavender cookies.
Even if you do not have a garden you can still grow fresh herbs that are expensive to buy. If you do have a garden then you have many more options.
If your garden is small then buy cheaper vegetables like carrots and peas, and grow the more expensive ones like chillis and courgettes. One courgette plant (even in a pot) can provide you with enough courgettes for the whole season and chillis are easy to freeze so you can enjoy them all through the year. Grow in pots and re-use these pots season after season.
Search for where they have compost for sale and make your own compost bin using a cheap plastic storage container. Ask around to see if other people want to join in so you can share seeds or maybe even exchange some of the produce you have grown.
Jack now has a book coming out with all her amazing recipes. She is an advocate for the less fortunate people and is a campaigner for OXFAM and Child Poverty Action Group, and she still stirs up discussion by freely offering her views when people “think” they know what it is like to be poor.
Check out her blog www.agirlcalledjack.com!