A Co Galway student and mother of four has set herself a challenge of feeding her family on €10 a day this month.
Food blogger Mona Wise, a fulltime student at NUI Galway, aims to achieve her goal without compromising on nutrition.
Ms Wise who lives in Claregalway is challenging herself and her chef husband, Ron, a chef at Mortons, the gourmet food store in Lower Salthill, to live leaner during November. The couple will endeavour to feed their family on a budget of €10 per day for dinner.
With careful menu planning and savvy shopping skills they will, over the course of the month, showcase eight or 10 tried and tested recipes which are straightforward, flavoursome, nutritious, and affordable.
“November is a difficult month on the pockets of most Irish families,” says Ms Wise, who is studying for a BA degree in creative writing, English literature and German language studies. Saving for Christmas, extra fuel, electricity bills, and winter clothing for children eats into the family budget.
“In an effort to cut down on spending many families cut out valuable nutrients as they choose cheaper and more convenient food over home grown dinners. By undertaking this challenge we want to show other families that it is possible to save money and still feed a family nutritiously for less than €70 per week.”
The mother of three boys and one girl, ranging in ages from six to 10 years, is currently putting the final touches to her first book The Chef and I which is due out in March.
“Every Friday afternoon we spend an hour carefully planning the menu for the week ahead. We draw up a few different lists. One for all food items and one for household items like rubbish bags and laundry detergent, etc. Then we divide and conquer. The chef [her husband] does the food shopping and I do the rest. This makes grocery shopping a lot easier and as we each only carry a certain amount of cash with us it is easy to stick to the budget.
“Living leaner for the month of November assures us we will keep better tabs on what we are eating and where we are spending our money, freeing up a little extra cash for us to have on hand for when the festive season rolls around.”
The Wise family’s living leaner menus feature trusted favourites including squash and pineapple muffins, nutritious vegetarian pasta bakes, homegrown pizza with winter rocket and delectable apple and blueberry pie all guaranteed to satisfy your comfort food pangs this winter and leave a few extra euros in your purse.