How to eat British on a budget

Caroline Cassidy

British Food Fortnight will be running from the 18th of September to the 3rd of October. It's two weeks of celebrating what's great about food from the whole of Britain. This year British Food Fortnight has joined forces with Department of Health to celebrate British food on a budget. There will be a particular emphasis on the children this year with organisers sending chefs into schools to teach children how to cook. There will also be lessons for mums and dads on where to buy healthy food and how to achieve the five a day recommended intake of fruit and vegetables. Look out for centres in Manchester, London, Bristol, Nottingham, Newcastle, Southampton, Liverpool and Coventry.

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There are plenty of ways you can incorporate British produce into your diet without breaking the bank. Take at look at our guide on eating the best of British on a budget

Find out what is in season. There are plenty of ways to tell. Look out for the special offers in the supermarkets. Many of the stores will offer two for one deals on what's in season. The high street green grocer will fill up the shop with the seasonal fruit and veg too. Right now for instance you should be enjoying apples, plums, grapes, figs and pears. Pumpkin, squash, kale and leeks make will also be showing soon and lamb is once again on the menu. Seasonal food is often more abundant and won't have been flown in so it will be cheaper to buy. It will be fresher and therefore healthier too.

Buy cheaper cuts of meat. Cuts of meat are going in and out of fashion all the time. By buying the less popular cuts you can save money. If you follow good cooking practices there is no reason why you have to short change yourself on quality either. Ask the butcher what cooking method suits which meat. Think about offal, pig's trotters, ox tongue or even pigs cheeks for a tasty cheap alternative British supper.

It works out cheaper to buy a whole chicken rather than pieces or a leg of lamb rather than lamb chops. You can use the leftovers in soups and stews or just to make some tasty stock. In the past many families made the Sunday joint last most of the week. Turn the leftover beef or lamb into mince for a cottage or shepherd's pie. Decent leftover meat makes a fine cold repast with pickles.

For some meat products it is worth spending a little more. Sausages, bacon and chicken will shrink if they have been filled with water so pay a little more and your buy will go further and taste better. The same applies to cheese. Good quality strong cheddar will go a lot further than the bland, plastic tasting cheap one.

Look for food that is high in vitamins and minerals. Potatoes are something of a super food with high amounts of vitamin C and minerals like zinc and copper. New potatoes are also high in iron. This makes them a lot more nutritious than other starchy foods like rice and pasta.

Many supermarkets have a large stock of British food but this varies between stores. Always check the labelling and ask staff about what they stock. Many will have plenty of locally sourced fish, meat, vegetables and fruit.

How about visiting a farm to pick your own? This is a great way to do your fruit and veg shopping. Without the transport costs the food is invariably a lot cheaper. It's also going to be fresh and in season.

An even better idea is to grow your own? If you have access to an outside space, no matter how small, you will be able to grow some of your own produce. Try herbs, carrots, tomatoes or even raspberries. You can use pots or grow bags and there is nothing more healthy, cheap and fresh than produce you have cultivated yourself.

Why not forage for food? There are blackberries in season now and you should also find juniper and elderberries. Just look in your nearest green space and you will be surprised to see just how much free food is on offer.