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Budget menu: Tips to cooking well for £1 a portion

Sausage and butterbean casserole with herby crumb topping It's tricky, but you can feed a family on £1 a portion

Many people in Britain face real food poverty - which means a daily struggle to eat and to get enough nutrition because of lack of money. But is it possible to cook decent meals for £1 a portion?

Half a million people in the UK are using food banks, and a third of children are going to school on an empty stomach.

So where are the best places to shop? What are the best things to buy? And how can you add flavour to meals cheaply?

Chef Richard Corrigan, took part in The Great British Budget Menu and shares his top tips.

Buy second hand cookery books

Make the £1-a-portion recipes:

Smoked mackerel coleslaw

Feed a family easily with a sausage casserole

Add zing to a mackerel slaw with wedges

Stir a sweet potato and chickpea curry

"I'm in restaurants - the top end sector - to be given so little money to live off (in the programme) it was such a shock.

But what I've noticed, is that many have a distinct lack of cookery reference books.

You need to study and learn, read and absorb and learn how to cook.

Books don't have to be expensive. Go to Oxfam.

Pick up a few cheap cookbooks and try things out.

Test cook things.

Really examine 'special offers'

Protein - so chicken and fish, on this budget is just so expensive - a free-range chicken on this budget? Forget about it. So how do you buy protein?

I had never walked around supermarkets and realised the confusion of special offers - question everything. Many offers might not be that good.

(There are ) So many different offers on salad, at the salad bars, the salad aisles, a different part of the veg aisle.

I don't actually really think there is such a thing as a supermarket discount.

Unless you work out the times of day when they do the really discounted offers on food going out of date and pick that up.

Head to the markets - at the right time

Forget about going to the supermarkets to get a big fruit basket. Pick up your fruit and veg at the market instead.

Richard Corrigan Richard Corrigan says shop at markets for veg

If you head to the veg markets at about 5:30 on a Friday, when they are packing up for the weekend and not opening again till say Tuesday - they don't want to pack it all up and take it back to their lock-ups.

Buy as much as you can and then freeze as much as you can. It is the best cheap place.

Fresh eggs are a great, great treat when on a budget. You can get them cheaper at the markets.

Make friends with a butcher

Sweet potato and chickpea curry

Watch The Great British Budget Menu on BBC One at 20:00 BST On Thursday 11 July.

Try more Great British Budget Menu recipes

I recommend you find a butcher, become best friends with him and then get him to guide you through how to feed your family on a tight budget.

Try healthy alternatives to processed meat.

I saw gammon at £12 at a supermarket and I know you can get it for much less than that in a butcher's.

The over-shopping in supermarkets needs to stop.

Shop locally, shop small, and your money will go further.

Make your own bread or buy a 'real loaf'

Fresh food is filling. Forget about buying pre-sliced loaves.

Buy real bread or make your own.

I know professionally what costs 60-70p, the Chorleywood white bread - but you should try the opposite for something more filling.

If you shop for big loaves at about £1.50 and pick up a wholemeal seed bread, they are cheap, with no preservatives and (have lots of) grains.

Pick up peppercorns, salt and spices

Forget table salt. You can buy sea salt for £1.50 and break it up in your fingers and a little goes a long way - it lasts for ages.

Counting the pennies:

Try Martin Lewis's tips to save money

How to eat healthily on £1 a day

How little money can a person live on?

Peppercorns are great to go with anything and everything and pepper stops your palate getting bored.

Go down to an Indian food shop and you can pick up a pestle and mortar for a couple of quid. Grind fresh spices up in it. A great investment.

I love cumin and cardamoms, buy big whole ones and you end with a fresher flavour.

Grow your own

Have your own herbs in the garden, in pots - it's very important.

Look after them, water them and you will save loads of money not buying fresh herbs.

Keep it simple

Mackerel Mackerel gets cheaper when it's in season in July, August and September

Keeping it simple when cooking on a budget is the key thing.

Don't go fancy, don't buy too many ingredients.

Straightforward food will save you time and money.

You can feed your family, don't be self-conscious, try new things.

Buy tinned 'back-ups'

Tinned food can make meals go further.

Have back-up tinned produce in your cupboard stores.

Tinned fruit is delicious and a great source of nutrients and a great winter back-up. Buy tinned beans, kidney, chickpeas, tinned tomatoes, value ranges.

You can make... Tunisian baked eggs - a fantastic dish with fresh eggs and tinned tomatoes.

Go on a 'fishing expedition'

Watch carefully for offers on tinned fish in shops - tinned sardines tastes great.

If you can go down to a market, look for the bycatch - British coastal fish that people haven't found a market for just yet. Bycatch is sorted and sold at market so you won't get it in the supermarkets.

You can put a coley in a fish pie and it makes a great dinner. Or go for flounder, plaice.

Stay away from the exotic, you will pay a lot of money. Look out for mackerel - in season in July, August and September, that's when the British mackerel run starts so prices are good."

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