publication date: Mar 25, 2008
author/source: Fiona Beckett
Just as Delia turns up on our screens advocating the use of expensive pre-prepared products here’s Jamie pulling in the opposite direction and launching a ‘Feed your Family for a Fiver' campaign.
Sainsbury’s who is (of course) backing the initiative points out that many ingredients are cheaper in real terms than they were at the beginning of the last century. Having checked their own archives they discovered that a pound of beef cost £1/6 in 1903 or £4.28 in today’s prices whereas now you can buy 500g for £1.55. What they don’t mention is how much their own prices have gone up recently.
Two tins of chopped tomatoes, they point out were 10 1/2d or 88p for a small tin in 1920 and now cost the same amount for 2 x 400g tins. But not so long ago you could buy a tin of tomatoes for less than 20p. (They’re also cheaper if you buy them whole rather than chopped. )
Also - forgive me for being a cynic - but you can be sure in these hard times that what Sainsbury’s is offering with one hand it will take away with the other. While you’re in the shop watch like a hawk for the prices of other staples you buy regularly such as cucumbers which are currently on the Sainsbury’s website for 99p or red peppers which are 78p each. Stop by your local greengrocer or fruit and veg market and you'll pay at least a third less for them.
Good on Jamie, though, for encouraging people to make simple freshly cooked, meals for their families - or fellow students, of course. His heart's in the right place. The first recipe, which will apparently be aired on telly tomorrow night, is for spaghetti and meatballs. You can find it on the Sainsbury's website though bear in mind you can save yourself 40p or so if you follow my advice here.