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A kind-hearted mother is battling the cost of living crisis by writing meal plans so struggling parents can feed a family of four for less than £4 a day – so they don’t have to feel like they are ‘poor’.

Samantha White, from Leicester, became concerned after noticing Facebook friends saying they had ‘no money’ to feed their family, and concocted an entire weekly plan of meals budgeted at 87p per day per person, by buying supermarket own-brand produce. 

Now the 31-year-old posts the budget meal plans on Facebook every week and has been inundated with messages from grateful people who have come to rely on her ideas. 

The mother-of-two explained while she doesn’t follow the strict meal plan herself, she is keen to help others, adding: ‘It’s awful. I’ve got my own children and I can’t imagine feeling like that.. I can’t imagine going to bed and not knowing how I’m going to feed my children.’

Samantha White, from Leicester, is battling the cost of living crisis by writing meal plans so struggling parents can feed a family of four for less than £4 a day - so they don't have to feel like they are 'poor'

Samantha White, from Leicester, is battling the cost of living crisis by writing meal plans so struggling parents can feed a family of four for less than £4 a day - so they don't have to feel like they are 'poor'

Samantha White, from Leicester, is battling the cost of living crisis by writing meal plans so struggling parents can feed a family of four for less than £4 a day – so they don’t have to feel like they are ‘poor’

The mother-of-two has shared a weekly menu for a family-of-four which she said can be made on a tight budget of just £25

The mother-of-two decided to start writing low-cost meal plans after joining a budget focused Facebook group in search of recipe ideas.

Samantha said: ‘There was a post from a girl saying she had £20 to last her, her husband and child for nine days.

‘People commented with different food options which is helpful but she was in distress.

‘I thought that I’d be able to help if I went through and listed what to buy to make different meals and I managed to make a meal plan for £18 and she messaged me saying how grateful she was.

Now the 31-year-old posts the budget meal plans on Facebook every week, and includes recipes for pies (pictured) and curries

Now the 31-year-old posts the budget meal plans on Facebook every week, and includes recipes for pies (pictured) and curries

Now the 31-year-old posts the budget meal plans on Facebook every week, and includes recipes for pies (pictured) and curries 

‘I saw more and more posts about people who’ve got no money. 

‘She was so grateful and I thought she can go to bed that night knowing she could feed her child. It shouldn’t be a reality for anyone in this country.

‘I include normal meals like cottage pie, bolognese, curries and I always include a roast dinner option because that’s what I cook for my family and its what normal families should be eating.

‘They shouldn’t have to feel like they’re poor.’ 

The mother-of-two decided to start writing low-cost meal plans after joining a budget focused Facebook group in search of recipe ideas (pictured)

The mother-of-two decided to start writing low-cost meal plans after joining a budget focused Facebook group in search of recipe ideas (pictured)

The mother-of-two decided to start writing low-cost meal plans after joining a budget focused Facebook group in search of recipe ideas (pictured)

Samantha spends two to three hours per week scrolling through supermarket websites, carefully selecting each item and calculating the cost.

However Samantha, who runs a playgroup, admitted that she doesn’t follow the plans herself as she opts for branded items and doesn’t even budget when shopping for her own family – though confesses she should. 

Although Samantha opts for branded items herself, she advises anyone using her meal plans to stick to supermarket’s value range to make their money go further. 

The weekly suggested shopping lists include whole chickens for £2.66, packets of mince for £1.79, 20 sausages for just a £1 and spaghetti for just 20p.

While Samantha confessed she doesn't follow the meal plans herself, she said she is happy to help others who are struggling with rising food bills

While Samantha confessed she doesn't follow the meal plans herself, she said she is happy to help others who are struggling with rising food bills

The mother-of-two said she spends two or three hours putting together the meal plans for strangers online

The mother-of-two said she spends two or three hours putting together the meal plans for strangers online

While Samantha confessed she doesn’t follow the meal plans herself, she said she is happy to help others who are struggling with rising food bills 

Her meal plans include cottage pies, bolognese, pasta salad and ham sandwiches and range from £20 per week to £25 per week for a family of four.

Desserts include angel delight for 55p, 12 fromage frais yoghurts for 73p, or even cheaper cans of rice pudding for just 20p.

Since sharing her plans, she said she’s inundated with messages of thanks and has been asked to share her ideas in other Facebook groups.

Samantha said: ‘I do it when I’ve got time. My daughter likes me to sit on her bed while she’s going to sleep so I’ll do it then. 

Social media users have been blown away by Samantha's helpful meal plans, with many flooding the comment section with praise for the mother-of-two

Social media users have been blown away by Samantha's helpful meal plans, with many flooding the comment section with praise for the mother-of-two

Social media users have been blown away by Samantha’s helpful meal plans, with many flooding the comment section with praise for the mother-of-two 

‘I started posting in one Facebook group then I got contacted by other pages asking me to post them in two other so I get about 1,000 responses altogether.

‘My phone goes a bit mad. I do try to read them and the majority are grateful and there’ll be one person saying there’s no desserts on the meal plan.

‘I always say it’s great if someone has a bit extra to add or I’ll tell them that if they can do better then they should share their list in a sarcastic way. People aren’t negative though.

‘It can take a couple of hours to do. I normally just go on Aldi’s website and put a shop together because it’s too much effort to shop around.

‘If you’re on a budget, you haven’t got time to travel to different shops.

‘A lot of suggestions are things like chicken nuggets because it’s ok to have a treat day but you wouldn’t want that all week.

‘I cook every day for my kids because I love cooking.

‘People message me saying thanks so much and that the meal plans are really helpful.’

Meanwhile Samantha said: ‘I don’t follow the plans myself, I should.

‘I’m not going to say I’m privileged but I don’t even budget, I just go to the shop and buy.

‘I plan our meals and what we’re going to eat but I don’t write down prices because I don’t need to.

‘I don’t want people to think it’s all well and good me doing it for other people when I don’t do it for myself.

‘I cook those kinds of things but not with the value range which is why I think it’s a bit hypocritical. I do it because people find it helpful.’ 

When I get time to do it I will because it costs nothing to be kind. If you can help someone then you do.’ 

Samantha’s weekly shopping list and meal plan for those on a budget  

WEEKLY SHOPPING LIST FOR A FAMILY OF FOUR ON A £25 BUDGET 

 Chicken: £2.66

Bacon: £1.25 

Mince: £1.79

20 sausages: £1

2.5kg potatoes: 89p

Carrots: 40p 

Brocolli: 49p

Stir fry vegetables: £1 

Blue dragon stir fry sauce: 49p

Egg noodles: 87p 

Spaghetti: 20p

Pasta: 29p

Tomato and basil meatball sauce: 65p 

Beans 3 cans: 66p

Gravy granules: 30p

Plain flour: 45p

15 eggs: £1.18

Milk 6 pints: £1.60

Cheese 400g: £1.79

Lettuce: 43p

Cucumber: 43p

Cherry tomato: 48p

Onion: 10p

Bread two loves: 72p

Burger buns: 70p

9 crumpets: 37p

Crackers: 39p

Cereal: 65p 

Butter: 65p 

Jam: 28p 

Lard: 39p 

Garlic bread: 32p 

TOTAL = £24.41 

WEEKLY MEAL PLAN 

BREAKFAST

  • Toast with butter and jam
  • Crumpet with butter/jam/cheese
  • Cereal with milk

LUNCH 

  • Cheese sandwiches/toasties
  • Cheese crackers
  • Beans on toast
  • Pasta salad    

DINNER

  • SUNDAY: Roast chicken, potatoes, homemade Yorkshire, carrots, broccoli and gravy 
  • MONDAY: Chicken stirfry with noodles and sauce
  • TUESDAY: Bacon, scrambled eggs, beans, sausage
  • WEDNESDAY: Meatballs, spaghetti and garlic bread 
  • THURSDAY: Sausage, mash, carrots and gravy 
  • FRIDAY: Cheesy omlettes with salad
  • SATURDAY: Fakeaway – homemade burgers and wedges 

WEEKLY SHOPPING LIST FOR TWO ADULTS ON A £20 BUDGET 

Chicken leg six portions: £1.79

Mince: £1.59

20 sausages: £1

Potato 2.5kg: 89p 

Carrots: 28p 

Broccoli: 47p

Onion: 50p

Frozen peas: 55p 

Plain flour: 49p

Gravy: 79p

Lard: 39p  

 Pasta: 29p

Chopped tomatoes: 22p 

Tomato puree: 31p

 Garlic bread: 32p

Beans: 22p

Spaghetti hoops 2 tins: 26p

Kidney beans: 30p

15 eggs: £1.18

Milk four pints: £1.15

Vegetable cous cous: 35p

Lettuce: 43p 

Cucumber: 43p 

Cherry tomato: 48p

Bread two loaves: 72p 

Crumpets: 25p 

Butter: 69p

Jam: 28p

Ham: 79p

Cornflakes: 55p 

TOTAL:  £18.76

 

WEEKLY MEAL PLAN

 BREAKFAST

  • Cereal with milk
  • Toast with butter/jam
  • Crumpets with butter/jam
  • Sausage sandwich 

LUNCH

  • Spaghetti hoops on toast
  • Ham sandwich 
  • Egg sandwich 
  • Scrambled egg on toast 
  • Pasta salad 

DINNER

  • Chicken leg, roast potatoes, homemade Yorkshire puddings, carrots, broccoli and gravy
  • Pasta bologanese with garlic bread
  • Sausage, mash, peas and gravy
  • Chicken, homemade wedges and beans
  • Toad in the hole with peas, carrots and gravy
  • Chilli on jacket potatoes
  • Chicken, vegetable cous cous with salad

 

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Source: Daily Mail

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