Mum-of-three shares money-saving tips after cooking family meals for 97p a head
Emma Bradley, 43, served eight hearty yet balanced meals, like shepherd's pie, sausage casserole and meatballs for her husband and two youngest children for an affordable price.
The mum-of-three left her teaching job four years ago so that she could spend more time with her family and started blogging at EmmaAnd3 full time.
She would regularly bulk cook and freeze meals, which gives her more time to cook from scratch each day and get her youngest children Erin, nine, and Dylan, 15, involved in the kitchen.
The ex-teacher cooks up fresh and filling meals from MuscleFood for her family each evening and cooks in bulk on occasion for her eldest daughter Chloe, 19, to take back to uni.
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Dishes like bolognese and filled jacket potatoes are ideal for cooking, portioning up and freezing ready to take out and reheat when Chloe is busy studying.
Emma, from Gloucester, said: "I've found that it's actually harder to cook for my children now than when they were smaller. When they were really young, I used to bulk-cook a lot of meals as it was easy to just get them out of the freezer and serve them up whenever we'd all sit down to eat.
"Now we have to get the kids to and from extra-curricular activities like football practice and swimming lessons, and my husband works long hours as an assistant head teacher, so it’d be easy to find excuses not to sit down together every evening.
“This is part of the reason I like to cook fresh from day to day now – it gets the kids into the kitchen as soon as they smell something cooking, so they’re generally more involved and interested in the cooking process. Not to mention I have more time as I’m no longer working long, stressful hours as a teacher.
“Saying that, I do still bulk cook for my eldest daughter who is at uni. The stuffed jacket potatoes are perfect for this – you can just pop them out of the freezer and heat them up in the microwave if you want a quick meal or snack.”
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When her eldest daughter is back from university, Emma usually finds it quite hard cooking for a family-of-five as most supermarket products are packaged for four.
But bulk buying high-quality MuscleFood meat means Emma could put out the right quantities from the freezer.
She explained: "I’d never really thought about using an online retailer for meat, but I can’t fault the process at all. MuscleFood meat is great quality and goes a lot further than some supermarket alternatives – particularly the chicken breasts which were really chunky and filling.
“It’s important that my family eats fresh and nutritious food every day, so I try to squeeze extra veggies into dishes where possible.
“Sweetcorn might not seem like a natural go-to for meatballs and pasta, for example, but my kids love it, so I just throw some in to pack out the meal a bit more.
“By showing them how to cook healthy meals every day, I hope they’ll be learning about basic nutrition and how to eat a balanced diet as they get older.”
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