I may be high maintenance, but I also know how to save the pennies when I need to, and even Gordon Ramsay is feeling the credit crunch! Here are a few ideas for surviving the bleak financial times whilst still chowing down on something tasty at the end of the day...
1. Grow your own
I've been growing coriander, basil and chillies - it's pretty easy, saves money and feels even more satisfying when you cook something delicious with them!
2. Get organised
Plan your meals ahead, write a list and head out for a main shop once a week. I've started to only drive to the out of town farm shop at the weekend and then top up the fresh fruit and veges during the week by walking to my local greengrocer. Planning ahead also helps you to avoid waste, for example if you eat roast lamb on a Sunday, why not use the leftovers in a curry on Monday night?
3. Build up a spice cupboard
Once you've got a great spice collection, it's easy to snap up whatever's on offer at the supermarket and make something really tasty with it. If you buy them from an ethnic store rather than the supermarket you can buy huge packs at a good price.
4. Use cheaper cuts of meat
Chicken thighs are cheaper than breast meat, they're great in curries and difficult to over cook.
5. Skip the takeaway
According to the Telegraph, 1 in 6 people have stopped ordering takeaways altogether, as people start to cook their own curries at home.
6. Get the best price
Use sites like mySupermarket or supermarket.co.uk to compare prices and spot BOGOFs at the major stores.
7. Eat in season
It feels like everyone's been banging on about this for ages, but eating in season is tasty, good for the environment and cheap! Sites like Eat the Seasons will give you inspiration and even send you a weekly update email to help you coordinate your shopping.
8. Get creative with leftovers
Love Food Hate Waste has heaps of great ideas for using up yesterday's leftovers. It's not only good for your pocket, it's great for the environment too.
I would love to hear your comments too - how do you eat well without breaking the bank?