Skint Foodies: Jack Monroe on Radio 4, Sun 28 July at 1230


Just a quick heads up for anyone that wants to tune in, I’m on the BBC Food Programme today at 1230 with Sheila Dillon.

From the BBC Radio 4 website:

“Sheila Dillon meets the cooks specialising in great food on small budgets, part of a world of food blogging influenced by life of benefits, periods of homelessness and shopping budgets that can be as little as ten pounds a week.
One of the highest profile blogs is “A Girl called Jack”, written by Jack Monroe, a single mum who lives in Southend-On-Sea. Out of work, having complications with benefits and reduced to feeding her small boy Weetabix mashed with water, she went online to share her experience and started writing about food.
What followed was a record of some of the most savvy shopping tips to be found anywhere, from dishes that can be cooked for 27p a portion, through to a forensic guide to every supermarket shelf, freezer cabinet and fresh produce aisle.
In a recent report by Oxfam, the numbers of people now using food banks has reached 500,000, linked, charities say, to recent reforms of the benefits system. The government disputes this link, but food insecurity is increasingly found in every region of the UK.
Others who have taken to writing about their efforts to cook and eat well on low budgets include
Belfast born, now London based, Miss South who along with her brother, who lives in Manchester, Mr North, share recipes and pictures of the food they enjoy. Miss South recently came out as being “properly poor” in a blog posted last November and her writing has inspired others who need to cook on food budgets hovering between £15 and £20 a week.
The third blogger in the programme is Tony, aka Skint Foodie. Once a high flying, restaurant going professional, his writing documents a determination to eat well despite losing everything to alcoholism.”

Jack Monroe. Twitter: @MsJackMonroe. Facebook:

Categories: Blog


  1. You will be fantastic. Enjoy it; you deserve it. Less media focus on the royal family and more focus on families in poverty is definitely needed and your voice is one of the most honest and articulate I’ve heard.

  2. Not commented before on your blog but have been following it with interest for a while now. Having just heard you on R4 thought it was time to say well done and thank you for your wonderful recipes . I can’t wait for your book to come out and am planning to buy copies for my two sons at university. In fact this afternoon I am going to teach them to make the fish paste pasta which is fab! I wish you and your boy all the best for the future.

  3. You go girl! I only discovered your blog days ago and as I live in Australia I wont be able to hear the radio program, but I am thoroughly enjoying your blog and learning so much! Thank you for sharing your knowledge.

  4. Jack you came over brilliantly, nailed the problems on the head lack of food education, benefit problems etc without sounding sour and angry about your own situation give yourself a huge pat on the back and I hope your writing skills and knowledge carry you onwards and upwards xx

  5. Just listened to The Food Programme on Radio 4 having picked up your email Heads-up 10 mins before. An excellent programme, all three contributors came across well. I think you had the lion’s share of the programme, Jack, and you came over very well. Clear, concise and committed to how you operate and what you achieve on such a small budget. Hope the programme inspired others on tight budgets to look at your recipes and try them out. I also hope more affluent folk think again about spending less money on food and to cut waste by shopping more thoughtfully. Well done.

  6. I listened with interest and found the programme to be inspiring stuff Jack!

    I’m a fully-employed I.T professional and I still have times when the money runs out before the month. No shame in being broke these days.

    I’ll be following you now, and wishing you well

  7. Reblogged this on Marie's Blog and commented:
    Listening now – been watching Jack since she appeared on BBC a few months back. I wish when I was really struggling. I was working and could barely afford to feed myself and my other half ant then I lost my job and was left practically homeless.

  8. There seems to have been a bit of a rush on salmon fish paste at my local supermarket, Jack. I wonder why 🙂 . What I love about your blog is that you really know what it is like to wander around a shop that is full of luxury brands and walk out clutching just a handful of cheapie ‘value’ products and some marked down vege. Unlike me, however, you then go home and make something sublime with them! Some people are very judgemental about families that exist on cheap, unhealthy carbs. However I can see exactly how it happens when you have a very tight budget and limited cooking skills. Under these circumstances you want something cheap, you want something filling and you also want a bit of comfort as well. You’ve proved that you can have all this but still eat something delicious and nutritious as well. Good on you! The tinned vegetable aisle has never seemed so exciting 🙂 . Off to listen to the R4 piece.

  9. Really enjoyed your insightful piece on the radio…and looking forward to reading your blog and trying some recipes, well done for making a difference.

  10. I listened to the programme on Radio 4 today and loved it! Looking forward to reading through your blog now. Teresa

  11. Brilliant on the food programme, just listened on iplayer. You’re an inspiration! Admire your political outlook. All power to us single mums 😉

  12. Listened to the programme yesterday and was inspired. Your comment that you had two inspirational teachers had me hopping in my kitchen shouting “Yes, yes, yes, bring back old fashioned home economics, teach youngsters basic cooking skills ( not food assembly as my boys were taught – for one whole term! ) and nutrition and household budgeting.” Surely an essential life skill. In my nursing career I was passionate about nutrition as so many diseases are diet relatedand it’s the only way ton tackle the obesity epidemic. So few people seem to know how to cook and rely on poor quality ready meals they can bung in the microwave.

    Whilst I’ve read a lot of your blog I’ve some way to go, so don’t know if you’ve included these budget ideas. Dried skimmed milk is less than half the price of long life or fresh pint for pint, and whilst I wouldn’t advocate it for drinking it is great for custard, sauces and makes the lightest of egg custards ( I found that out when I forgot the fresh stuff for a home economics class and had to use Marvel. Mine was voted the best in the class! )

    Secondly home made yoghurt is far cheaper than little pots from the super market. I make mine from a litre of long life skimmed milk, a tablespoon of dried milk, and a teaspoon or two of live yoghurt in a bulk yoghurt maker from Lakeland but you can also use a pre warmed thermos flask and milk warmed to blood temperature (ie so it feels neither hot nor cold to your finger) leave overnight and hey presto enough yoghurt to last a week. Drain off the whey. Strain it further for a thicker “Greek” version and longer still to get a soft cheese equivalent.

    Good luck with the book I hope it’s going to be priced so the folk who really need it can afford it!

  13. Listened to the prog on iplayer. How different all the bloggers were. It was a bit surreal listening to skint foodie talking about having no money for food on the budget he has, after listening to you on your budget. Everything is relative isn’t it.

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