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Delia at the Royal Norfolk Show 2008
Credit crunch: Delia on food
As the nation tightens its belt due to rising food costs, culinary doyenne Delia Smith shares her thoughts on how to make the most of what you've got in the kitchen.
When it comes to food, Delia Smith is a person we trust for advice. She's been teaching the nation to cook for more than 30 years and with food prices on the up, she recommends it's time to take a fresh look at ingredients.
"If we're talking meat, people have got to switch into using four-quarter meat, all the bits that people don't want," said Delia.
"When you're going into a shop and just buying the chicken breasts, or fillet steaks, all the things we've been spoilt with – the rest of the animal and the bird has to be used as well. So that would be my tip – start doing slow cooking," she added.
Food prices significantly dearer
In the current economic climate food prices are significantly dearer than they were two years ago.
Cooking at home is the cheapest way to eat
The cost of the average supermarket food shop was 5.8% higher in May 2008 than at the beginning of the year and will continue to rise, suggests a study by the retail analysts Verdict.
The cost of fruit and vegetables has risen the most - up 16% since January.
The rising price of petrol is also making the transportation of goods more expensive, which in turn is being passed to consumers resulting in a more expensive weekly shop.
To help combat the rise, some people are turning to grow-your-own as a cheaper alternative, with other doing their food shopping online to resist the temptation of additional treats found in the supermarket aisles.
One part of the solution to help cut food costs is to make the ingredients we buy go further.
"That's how the old canny cooks used to work," said Delia Smith, speaking to The Politics Show at the Royal Norfolk Show 2008.
"You'd have a roast on Sunday, then you'd have something else on Monday and something else on Tuesday. I think if you're going to have something like a shoulder of lamb, then the next day have a lamb curry," she added.
At the same time as prices are going up, we throw away a third of the food we buy. So have we become more wasteful?
"We definitely have and I'm guilty myself," said Delia.
"The dreaded date stamp! We didn't use to have the sell-by date, we'd just smell the food.
Delia shares her foody cheats
"When I did the book How To Cheat At Cooking and people were moaning about me using frozen mashed potato, the potatoes were all grown here in East Anglia and you'd just take out what you need when you need it.
"You don't throw away those you didn't use or the ones that had gone soft so I think we should be looking at frozen food as well," she added.
Price comparison websites
According to The One Show's finance guru Justin Rowlatt, the internet is a good place to search for ways to help make your money go further.
There are many websites which compare the prices of a wide variety of everyday costs such as food in supermarkets. Experts suggest that using these websites could save you hundreds of pounds a year.
Finding these websites on the internet is easy.
Type a keyword for the item you'd like to compare in your search engine's search box, like 'insurance' or 'credit cards', followed by 'price comparison'. This should bring up a list of websites that offer price comparisons on these items.
And if a social gathering with food is just too good to miss, rather than going out to eat with friends, cook for each other at home as it remains by far the cheapest way of eating.
last updated: 22/07/2008 at 13:42