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Free cookbook helps families stretch their food budget

The Heart Foundation’s free cookbook, Cheap Eats, is helping people learn to cook heart healthy food for less than $3 per serve.

Cheap Eats is the Heart Foundation’s most popular cookbook and the latest version has been updated in partnership with FinCap and is available free from local budgeting services nationwide.

The cookbook contains tips for people living on a tight budget including simple recipes, ways to save money on food, and heart-healthy cooking advice without compromising taste, quality or nutrition.

“There are lots of practical ways to save money on food. Cooking a dish that can be spread over a number of meals, shopping in season and checking to see what needs to be used up before you shop can all help” says the Heart Foundation’s National Nutrition Advisor, Lily Henderson.

“Eating less meat is another way to save money especially if you buy it often. One way to make your meat go further is to add grated or frozen vegetables or a can of chickpeas, beans or lentils.”

Lynda Markie is the manager of Gisborne Budget Moni Ora and she’s been using the cookbook throughout her 10 years at the budgeting service.

“Copies of the old version used to fly out the door. Everyone was really excited when we saw the new book arrive.”

Lynda says her service is all about giving people step-by-step plans and Cheap Eats really helps, by giving people practical guidance on how to manage food. 

“People don’t know what to purchase. The book gives them something to take away so they know what to buy at the supermarket.

When people are struggling, it’s the food that gets pushed out. But this has such a big impact on mental health and general well-being.”

Lynda says the book has a good balance of simple healthful meals to get anyone through the week.

“The cooking and storing instructions are a great addition so the reader can feel confident to try something new. And the pictures are mouth-watering, it all looks very yum.”

  • People can get the cookbook from their local budgeting service or download Cheap Eats online.
  • For more help with making a food budget stretch further, people can contact FinCap’s free financial helpline MoneyTalks on 0800 345 122 or visit their website

Cheap Eats has been printed with the support of the Kelliher Charitable Trust.

Download the Cheap Eats cookbook