GET IN TOUCH
There are many wonderful ways to get in touch!
For any enquiries about journalism, writing articles, speaking engagements, events, any charity recipe requests or anything Generally Work Related, ping an email across to email@example.com
I’m on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/bootstrapcook
…And Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/mxjackmonroe
…and Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/agirlcalledjack
And finally, my postal address is Jack Monroe c/o Aoife Rice, United Agents, 12-26 Lexington Street, London, W1F 0LE
Look forward to hearing from you!
Always moved and provoked by your magnificent blog. Believe me,many people read what you say,and appreciate your honesty and your humanity. Never stop!
just wanted to say i stumbled across you only a few days ago….your talks are amazing….your website wonderful and informative…..so glad I found you….you have inspired me so much you wont believe….thank you ….Chris
Great blog. Wishing you lots of luck xx
I read today about your blog and I just want to say as a mother living on a very tight food budget too how inspiring it is that you have wrote bout how to feed your son on a budget and nutritiously.
I live off £40 a week for food household items clothes for my son myself and my partner and I try and provide healthy food whilst making sure I don’t run out of money.
I think there should be more mothers like you out there that do the best for their children on a budget and are willing to do the best with what you have.
Heard you on the radio this morning, what a lovely person you are .I am going through a dark depressing period at the moment ,hearing you and now reading your blog is given me the inspiration to try your recipes.
Thankyou and best wishes .
I’ve just stumbled across your blog and I have to say that you are such an inspiration! As someone in full time work who is currently struggling to get by on next to nothing (mostly due to a lot of accumulated debts from less happy/ prosperous times), I really didn’t think I could manage to eat one more meal of Dal.. Or indeed, beans on toast. I love to cook but I struggle come up with new recipe ideas on such a limited budget.
You and your blog have really ignited a spark in me and I can’t wait to try all of your delicious recipes! All the very best to you and your son, congratulations on the F&M award, the book deal, etc! You are really going from strength to strength and you deserve every moment of success that you’ve earned.
Ps. Where on earth do you manage to find 1.5 kg of mixed veg for £1?!?! This is a really amazing find! I see this listed in a lot of your recipes.
Hi Megan, I used to get it from Sainsburys but they’ve since discontinued it. You can get 500g of onions and 500g of carrots for (I think) 49p each in morrisons though. X
Hello Jack. I’m from Germany and read about your blog on a german online newspaper (spiegel.de) today. I just want to let you know i’m wishing you all the best for your future. Your blog is great and it’s very important to write about that bad financel time in your live. Hope you have a good week! Besr regards, Anja
Hiya thought of another recipe well kind of recipe. Tesco pitta pack of approx 6 22p passata or can use tomato puree if have any in the cupboard? Cheese cheap block of cheese I found is Iceland £1 mature cheddar. I call these “pitta pizzas” spread the tomato on the pitta grate the cheese and grill. You can add anything to them you have left over meat or sweetcorn ham mushrooms anything. Cheap meal not just for the kids but adults too 🙂 plus kids love decorating things so keeps them busy for a few mins 😉
p.s frozen mixed veg carrots broccoli peas and carrots 80p asda
Hi Charlotte – I make Pitta Pizza too! Great for Small Boy on a rainy day 🙂
made pizza with my son last nite, great fun and a milestone as he has a nut allergy and contamination OCD..
Fantastic work, a blog for our times. Please carry on and ignore the trolls. When they call for you to stop, it’s the best possible sign that you’re doing something right, something needed, something effective and helpful. More power to you.
Not sure about the new website layout – it’s hard to find what’s new and the dates
The new stuff is the first few articles, I’m moving Hunger Hurts and the book link to the top bar… Tweaking today!
hi jack i have a question say your on a budget as you were £10 a week do you have any clever ways of making a cafe latte at home on the cheap with something from basics range ? i.e could you make a caramel or hazelnut cafe latte at home for a fraction of the cost they cost in coffee shops without expensive equipment for us coffee lovers on a tight budget ?
Congratulations on the gig with The Guardian. Brilliant
Awesome stuff telling how it is, in Scotland same problems my article in for our new digital newspaper which launches next week here http://www.digitalsentinel.net/index.php/2013/10/food-poverty/ keep up the good work 🙂
New website design is much better. Well done.
I’ve given the Versatile Blogger award to you: http://unbalancedresearcher.wordpress.com/2013/10/15/wow-unexpected/
Keep it up!
My family is clinging for dear life to lower middle class and I appreciate your realistic picture of how to get some food on the table. Living in the US, some of your strategies don’t translate, but the spirit helps me when the month runs longer than the paycheck.
Don’t let the foodies get you down! Home-cooked dried beans and artisan cheese are lovely, but we all have to do what we have to do to get by.
I do not know if you have done this, but do you have a monthly cost of food section on your blog. I am trying to figure out a way that one can see how much is spent in UK terms then convert to US currency and try to match cost out lay here. You can include or use total family not just your self.
It has been a struggle over here to stay healthy and keep head above water so to speak.
Thanks for sharing with other people. I salute your bravery and your honesty. Never mind the trolls. I hope life turns out for the best for you.
I do have a question: what is the best way to buy your book to make sure you get the maximum out of it?
Best wishes and love.
Great blog, great receipes from an utterly decent, admirable human being. Just read the brilliant reply to the vile Littlejohn article in the Mail – ouch, man down and out!
Keep it up
Hi Jack. I have a technical question on the blog, I cannot find the RSS feed link now that you have switched themes, any ideas where it might be. I am also a little in love following your response to the odious richard littlejohn. Steve
Hi Jack. Like many others, I’m a great admirer of your resourcefulness and culinary inventiveness in the face of financial hardship — and an even greater admirer of your willingness to share these talents with others. I haven’t read all your blogs, so forgive me if I’ve missed this, but have you done anything yet on the virtues of growing your own bean/lentil sprouts? There are many great things about them:
1. They’re a great way to get nutritious greens into your kids, because they’re quite sweet and crunchy, and I’ve found that even toddlers will much through handfuls.
2. They’re an excellent substitute for more expensive greens, especially in the winter, and they are probably best eaten raw (when they’re also most nutritious).
3. They’re a good way to get kids into growing things, because they see the beans grow almost before their eyes — ready to eat in 2-3 days.
4. They’re really cheap, especially if you buy a big bag of dried mung beans or lentils from the nearest Asian food store (though I realise not everyone will have the cash for a big bag). And you can sprout quite a range of different lentils, not just traditional mung beans (puy lentils are probably my favourite).
Great blog love your response to Richard “the turd” Littlejohn. I aspire to being hated by the Daily Mail but sadly fear I am unlikely to be able to produce something as worthy, inspiring and useful as your blog. I actually live on benefits as a full time carer for my wife so there is some hope.
I just read about you in an article in the Evening Standard online. I am so impressed by what you are doing and being able to battle your critics just a great job. I left the UK 25 years ago and now live in the US but will continue to follow your progress. Thank you.
I love your initiative and your recipes. I have tried some myself. So far the aubergine chickpea is my favourite. Your site is inspirational and I’ll spread the word.
I read about your story in the Evening Standard and just want to say I think you are an amazing person, a real survivor, and an inspiration. Your son is so lucky to have you as a mum. xxo
Saw this one today – thought it might be of interest here, if you haven’t already found it:
Obviously would have to have an out-of-reach-of-children place to put it!
I’ve just stumbled across this blog and felt compelled to comment. I grew up in grinding poverty, with a mother and father too young and selfish to parent properly – I quickly learnt I had to take that role. Choosing between soap, toilet paper, toothpaste and electricity for the card meter is something no 11 year old should have to do. One vivid recollection is being left with £5 to feed all four of us (myself and three siblings) not knowing when we’d see mum again (and having to climb out of the kitchen window because we’d been locked in).
Your budget recipes would have been great then and they make a refreshing change to well known tv chefs making their affordable meals when you know that their recipes aren’t driven by necessity.
Speaking of the Tories – my dad is now registered disabled and being financially crippled by the bedroom tax (because under this government being physically disabled isn’t enough), I have shared your article showing the MPs that claimed up to 25k while voting for the Bedroom Tax – my father is housed in the least desirable area in his region (a place taxis won’t go at night and the only claims to fame are the high levels of unemployment and child poverty) in a three bed house because there is not one single 1 or two bed property in the entire region thanks to the big sell off from the Thatcher years.
Anyway, back to the point. I just wanted to sincerely thank you for blogging your experiences. You’ve snapped me out of my rampant pursuit of ‘Things’ (so I never feel poor again) and made me realise that now I’m actually doing ok I need to be less selfish and do more than just help my dad…
I have just read your response to Richard Littlejohn. It was a positive and rational response to his malign and bitter view of the world. Keep up the good work.
Our politics are obviously vastly different, but that front page photo of you with your son is delightful!
Just heard you on Women’s Hour. Truly an inspiration. Thank you.
Heard you on BBC radio this morning. You are inspiring! You mentioned using tins of beans though, and wondered why you hadn’t tried dried beans. They are dead cheap and there are so many dishes you can make with them! Just need a pressure cooker. Good luck with your book.
Hello again, have just discovered you are being castigated for doing Sainsbury’s ads. Well done keep true to yourself and do not worry about idiots sniping at you, they are not worthy of head room,
Just wanted to send a message of support. You’ve earned every penny of that Sainsbury’s cash through a long hard slog and it’s nobody else’s damn business what you do with it. Personally I’m extremely happy for you. People who expect you to stay poor are a waste of oxygen.
Stumbled your way a couple of months ago, pleased your blog has enabled your message to be spread across the airwaves.
Wishing you well this Christmas.
Your an inspiration
Hi Jack! Just wanted to say a quick hello and to let you know how much i admire what you have going here. Your book for me is very anticipating and i cannot wait to get stuck into it! All the best wishes for 2014 and i look forward to now following your blog. X
Hi Jack, its great to see you doing so well, though the big thing still remains, well the ‘elephant in the room’ so to speak is how in this day and age in Britian a person with a child is allowed to be cast out on 10 a week for food? It is upsetting and terrible, that you had to endure that level of poverty. The fact you were able to eat and stay healthy and focussed is amazing.
Don’t know how you did it, many people would have gone under. and will say again the real scandal is that a situation in a so called rich capitalist country was allowed.
Hi jack your chicken dish on the sainsburys advert looks lovely where can I get the recipe please?
An article about you was published today in our national paper here in Singapore (very, very away from the UK). I must say that your experience and resourcefulness put me to shame. We are a relatively wealthy country (with pockets of poor people, but not too many) and most if not all the citizens own a house or an apartment. Our daily grouse is typically about the overcrowded public transport or how overpaid our government officials are. Many of us plan for a trip overseas or plan to get that 10th branded bag each year. Not many of us have to worry about where the next meal will come from. The only time we suffered from hunger pangs was probably when we voluntarily avoided eating just to lose some weight. Your story is a good wake up call for me to not take things for granted, and to help out when I can. Thanks for being such an inspiration and for continuing to help others now that you’re better off. God bless you and your child.
D’y’know I recently. Emailed you complimenting you on your ethics and frugal living approach, then around 5 mins ago I saw a Sainsbury ad with You??!!??!!
Gotta day…..disappointing jack
I am interested to learn more Eddie, why is this disappointing, I think it is great that Jack was asked, so I am interested in learning more about how other people feel…
God forbid anyone appears on the tv… Thats all of the government out of the picture then, what?
Dunno why i am posting this here at all but ur absolutely gorgeous :/
Just saw you on The Benefits debate…..you were fantastic! Go Girl!
Fantastic tonight, Jack
you did good and showed the passionate believer you are.
dont let them bring you down. It was great to see you
Good luck in all you do
Jack, I literally lost my shit with excitement when I saw you on Channel 5, trying to explain (very briefly) to my boyfriend as to why you’re such an inspiring and amazing person (he’s unaware he’s eaten a lot of your recipes during a recent tough period).
So I was thougherly hacked off with the awful Edwina at not actually letting you speak and give comment. I’m sure you had more to say than on your family’s occupational history… Gutted.
I stumbled upon your blog after watching the big benefits row (what a rediculous name for a show!), but I wanted to say that you are a real inspiration. I really enjoy your blog posts, and I hope more people get tuned into it.
What I think about Edwina Currie, after she made those diagraceful personal remarks is another story. If only I was in the audience..!
Take care Jack, all the best.
I enjoyed listening to your passion last night on Channel 5.
Just want to say I thought you were brilliant on that ridiculous show on Monday night and my views on Katie Hopkins and edwina currie are unprintable. You are an inspiration. Good luck in everything you do.
The first time I read your blog I cried so much for you and SB! God you’re so brave! I read your blog again recently and I’m still crying but with happiness for you, I’m just thrilled for your good fortune. Best of luck with all you do in the future. I placed an order for your book & can’t wait to get it:-) People like you make the world a good place.
Hello Jack! I reluctantly saw that debacle on channel 5, just happy that it did not go as the conservatives would like it to. (but then it was channel 5, what!) HOWEVER i digress. Just sent this email off to Edwina Currie via her website. I know you are just the young age of 25/26 but you need to learn how to deal with these sort. Control your anger and use your superior knowledge against them. It takes many years of learning how to take on these dinosaurs. I am a 55 year old dinosaur. However, this is my email to Ms Currie;
Dear Ms Currie
I had the unfortunate experience to witness your appearance on a repeat of Channel 5’s “The Big Benefits Row”. (Not my choosing, I must admit) I have to say that having seen your ‘performance’ on aforementioned television program, and witnessed your overbearing attack on Ms Jack Munroe, I have to admit that I, too have been in the position of having to endure an un-educated and non informed argument before, and very recently. My dear old father has just passed away, suffering from senile dementia. I, too had to endure ‘finger pointing’ and argument without sound base. It was very difficult for me have to deal with that. To have had to stand there and try to placate my totally irrational Pater in his demented state was the most excruciating and frustrating experience one could imagine. I would not wish that condition on anyone.
From my observations of your actions on that debate I would strongly advise you to have a medical scan to pick up any signs of Vascular Dementia. I believe that there exists medication to alleviate the condition before it gets too hard to control. My poor father was diagnosed too late for medical help, having to rely on a cut back version of the NHS who passed his early signs of the illness off as “just old age”.
My Mother and I would sit by his bed and just talk, knowing that he knew we were there but could not understand. He died a withered shadow of himself in a bed in a care home.
IF his condition had been picked up earlier he may still be with us. I sincerely hope that you take my advice and get checked out medically.
l just wanted to say l was so impressed and thankful for your contribution on Monday evenings debate about the programme `benefit street`.What a silly bully EC came across as and you defened yourself correctly.
l also believe you are doing a great work just being you
And do you think you’re doing the Poor a favour by telling the whole wide world we can feed a family of a few Groats a day, if we ask for increases in benefits now the politicians will turn round and say “What do you need more money for, you can eat like a lord on buttons, just read Jack the Hack’s column” DUH!!!
And if we asked for a rise in benefits we wouldn’t get it, so yes she is helping! Massively, as for you, obviously the type of person who lives off of benefits, this isn’t just for people who are bumming off the government, it’s for people who work but can only just afford to put a meal a day on the table. Think twice. Not everybody scrounges.
Thank you for all your amazing recipes heck, your blog is very touching and brought tears to my eyes, I already spend as little on food as I can but have started using left overs for other meals now. Love your peanut butter granola btw, so does my little boy 🙂
for me you make others aware of their reality, accept it and make the very most of it, in the most positive of ways, food is just one of them
It is possible to live on benefits – if you know how to budget. It’s not supposed to be easy – because if it were, it would reduce the motivations of those who are not naturally ambitious. You cannot trust in the virtues of hard work before you have seen the benefits of being hard working. For that reason alone, the benefits system should be something that people – especially young people – seek to avoid.
Hi Jack, although I live in the UK, I just heard about you for the first time today (Saturday 15 Feb in case you want to check it out) on a French radio programme on Europe 1. I have been gobsmacked by your life experience and amazed by what you have achieved. As a cook myself and a food lover, I know that you can cook for a fraction of the price on offer in supermarkets. You are an inspiration for everyone in the UK. I am very glad that you managed to publish a book on how to cook cheaply and healthily. I deeply hope you will make a difference in this country. I also strongly support you in your fight against food poverty in the UK; this is something that one should not even contemplate in the 4th world power.
poverty isn’t limited to those on benefit.
many working families are stretched to the limit with burdensome mortgages that todays society forces people to think is the norm; rising fuel prices; debts for any number of reasons – not just poor financial management – so we can all learn from frugal recipes
Just read your thoughts in the Guardian today, how true ! just wish the Tories would realise that most people are just a couple of pay packets from poverty, no-one should think ‘it won’t happen to me’ ,illness ,the death of a wage earner ,illness ,loss of a job; we are none of us immune from ‘life’ . STOP PINISHING THE POOR MR CAMERON.
Thank you Jack for your inspiring work. We work with families who are ‘vulnerable’ for many reasons, and food is a very big issue. I have written a post about you. I love your recipes. They are ‘real’ and the concept of using the ‘basics’ ranges is brilliant. I used to live next to a waitrose and you can go there 30 mins before closing and get amazing bread that retails for £1.99 for just 20p! I used to buy as much as I could and freeze it.
Keep up the brilliant work. You are making a big difference to people’s lives.
Just an FYI – I mentioned your blog at http://barbararath.com/2014/02/23/my-disorganized-life/. Please let me know if you want the link removed.
I tohught you were great on Womans hour today, very inspiring and refreshing to see someone reflecting the lives of so many of us.
I’m reading your book this morning, It’s beautifully presented and I’m getting hungrier by the page. Thank you
Hello Jack, I got your book yesterday and I must say how reading that your liitle boy had 1 Weetabix with water and then wanted bread and jam bought a lump to my throat. I am a dad and can understand the feelings you went through. I love the reciepes, and I have also enjoyed reading the bits inbetween. I will be using it when my seperation is finally sorted. Godd luck for the future and say hello to Little Boy for me! x Nick
Hi Jack, I love the look of the website and the recipes are absolutely amazing! Just one thing, the website isn’t really easy to navigate. I’d really like to find the vegetarian recipes quickly and easily but typing vegetarian into the search bar doesn’t return many of the recipes which are =[
Also a few more vegetarian recipes would be good (although that said, most of them are fairly simple to convert.)
Other than that, thank you for the blog and the website. It really is such a great resource.
Oops sorry. Ignore part of my last comment. Once I clicked on the vegetarian tag on one of the recipes a lot more showed up. My bad! It would still be good to search through the internal search box! =]
You’ve done so well you’re now moving into a tricky area where you’re going to get accused of no longer being ‘poor enough’ to comment or attacks that you’ve lost your integrity. Choose your fights wisely and don’t let the bastards grind you down, those of us in the real world know the reality of success v compromise!
Sula, very well put
Dear Jack ,
I’m trying to contact you about a project for the French Television.
Could you please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you very much,
I read the gov turned down 3 m from eu fund to fund foodbanks.so disgusted i made hopefully alright petition. Gov don’t care but its more for them to face up to until they stop denying.
My review of your excellent book http://chrishallamworldview.wordpress.com/2014/03/03/a-girl-called-jack-book-review/
I’ve just had the peanut butter and yoghurt ice cream from your book (with DARK choc bits) and it was yummy, as are all your recipes. I don’t know if you’re at all interested in the ins and outs of complementary protein, but peanuts and dairy products are complementary, making a complete protein (according to Rose Elliot, and I think she knows a thing or two about it!). So the next time somebody says “I could live on this” about this recipe, tell them “That’s right, you could”!
It may be me being inept but since the blog layout changed to the big square pictures I’m afraid I can’t follow how it’s all working – where do new posts go? Is there some way to make it a list layout of posts in date order rather than the big squares?
I agree – the big squares are frustrating
I agree too. I like to look and see what’s new since last visit, but it’s impossible now. Unless, of course, you know different!
just came here to search for recipes but as Nicola mentioned above, have not found this website visually easy to follow and use at all – would much prefer list of options rather than the big squares
Hello Jack, just wanted to let you know that last month, your recipes saved me a massive £100 plus in food; instead of reaching payday overdrawn, I was actually more than £100 in credit. And the family didn’t notice that I was doing ‘austerity’ either! Thanks to being able to cut down on what I pay for food, while still putting nutritious meals on the table, I feel more control of my finances, so thanks sincerely for that. Just one thing, I love the smart new look of your blog, but could you do away with having to click on the squares to make the items appear (only to have them disappear again…) Might just be me but I feel it’s easier if all the text is there all the time, (if you know what I mean). Makes it easier to browse. Thanks again.
Just bought your book. For the first time in years I am inspired regarding food. I have bipolar and am on benefits and live alone. I have been not surviving on ready meals and most recipe books are for at least 4 people and assume you are rich. Cant wait to get cooking! Thank you and v happy there will be book 2. Keep on keeping on xx
I just saw your story on TV. Your approach very good and very inspiring. It’s the best attitude against crisis. Wish you the best for the future.
Heard you on radio 4’s “any questions” this evening, and had to stay in the car and let my takeaway go cold to listen to you. No, the irony wasn’t lost on me either. Anyway, I had to look you up to just say what an inspirational speaker I think you are and to thank you for talking so plainly and profoundly on such a powerful issue. Thank you for opening my ears and mind. May you continue to do so. What a fantastic spokesperson you are. May your wisdom and clarity drive some serious fundamental change in our society and government.
Thank you Jack for giving me ideas of how to cook healthy meals on a very tight budget, my story is like many, divorced when the down turn happened, no job survived on my divorce money while doing casual work in anything, my age was against me as well, my older daughter lived with me and eventually found a part time job through her own hard work but 12 hours is not enough and she too has been searching and applying just like me. Now facing rent arrears – will have to sell just about everything and put some into friends storage, daughter thank heavens can go and live with my son who has his own small place, my own sisters have disowned me and thought I was alone but there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel as another relative can give me a roof over my head while I search for work – its in a different part of the country – but work is hopefully work. Sometimes things happen if life but I fight on..
I like the newer format! x
I spent the whole of today reading and learning your story. Whilst I never had to live off £10 a week, some of your posts did take me back to my student times when I raided Sainsbury’s Basics lines,supporting myself on zero-hours jobs and really learned the value of a shameless haggle .
Your blog strung quite a few chords. But the biggest frustration I feel for your story is not one about the government, the system – it’s about what is left of relations between humans.
Jack, I have not walked in your shoes and am really careful to speculate on any details. Whilst I can only look at it through my own prism, it drives me barking mad that people around you – presumably, not totally devoid of common sense to notice your situation, no matter how hard you tried to hide it – had watched you live in this, what’s even worse, they had watched your child live like this – and did nothing?! In no way, shape or form does this take even a teeny amount of blame and fault from those who designed the world you (and many others) were forced to live in, the world of food poverty in one of the richest economies in Europe and the world. But as I am reading your recounts of days gone by, a question that I cannot shake off is not one of “how could the government allow this to happen?” but “how have the people around Jack allowed all of it to continue for so long?!” I only found one reference to this in your writings – about pride you felt then. Every young adult has that, wants to be independent, that’s normal. What is not, is the woman who saw you at the food bank, a woman who knew you and your family, and – nothing. There must have been others who suspected or knew. And, being a mother myself, I know that if you were offered help, you would have taken it, not for your own sake- for the sake of your son. It doesn’t matter whether there were, or not, conflicts with your family. It doesn’t matter if you didn’t ask. It doesn’t matter that they have no obligation to help. None of it matters. Whilst this does not play any part in what you focus on/campaign for, and you do not fixate on it, the “every man on his own” hidden motive that I get from your story angers me on a personal level much more than anything else. It is frustrating that those making decisions about our world could not possibly identify with the majority of people and the real world; but it is downright inhuman when those supposedly closest to you turn their back either through action or simply idle observation. This coming from a person whose (single) mother sold her house in a week and moved into a cramped flat, the proceeds (plus half of my salary and savings) to help out out my sister who was in a similar situation in terms of speed of losing it all.
I’m sure your experiences have made you who you are, a strong, young woman; it will influence the rest of your life and the way you bring your Jonny up. Having gotten out of that nightmare, you have no one to owe anything to, no one to credit for it but yourself, hard work and determination, and in a way I guess it is liberating. But the way I see it, your story is as much about how there is no ONE to fall back on, as much as about noTHING to fall back on, if you accidentally slip through the net.
I wish you all the best for the future, both yours and your son’s – hang in there!
Thank you for doing QT. Sorry you were put on the spot to start. Don’t agree with all your opinions but very happy to hear your point of view.
Jack saw you last night on BBC. A fresh face and perpective. Read blog etc. If you get chance take a look at sight below. Philip
Hi Jack, you say imagine living for 11 weeks without money, to cut a long story short, since Jan 2013 i have not had one penny from JSA because they claim i do not lodge at my friends on the settee. yet i had been on there records prior to that at the address, as a lodger. no help no money no food, at 56 years old, i now have to go and steal push-bikes to sell for food money, pinch from shops anything i can to sell for food money. Break in to property to take stuff and sell for food money, clothes on my back, shoes on my feet. my friend still let me stay, sleep on the settee as before. I do extra work to earn my keep. Pinch razors for a shave or steal items to sell to buy razors or go without. So try to think how it is for me, one and a half years with out a penny unless i pinch it at 56 years old. Yes i have tried for job after jobs, with swallow legs some kind of nose problem(s) And i am sure they must be more like me in the UK. But at least i have a roof over my head for now.
Jack perhaps its better for you, but I really miss the format of the old blog – both in terms of people chiming and and its less ‘refined’ look. If I might, I don’t think this look is ‘you’ at all.
Its so sanitised, bright and stylised and people don’t seem as real or as active as they used to be either. In my humble. substance is your thing, style is secondary.
What with your appearing on foodtube (I watch it so I’m not criticising) but with the previous Jamie Oliver drama not only forgotten, but seemingly not mentioned by anybody. I didn’t like the haters, but a bit of healthy cynicism is good, where are the fair thinking cynics – the bedrock of a questioning society, I think anyway!
Well, I just don’t feel the urge to come here any more. I do agree with your views though and strongly support you. It’s just I feel that the business direction you’re going in doesn’t include me as much as it used to.
I’ve just come across your blog as I was in need of some cheap healthy recipes and I’m amazed at what is available cheaply and will be cooking up a few in the very near future.
Thanks for the great recipes.
You supported the WOW Petition, so I thought you might like to see this. A detailed assessment has been done of the impact of recent welfare reforms, and there is now clear evidence that sick and disabled people have been hit hardest of all – households with disabled adults and children losing an average of £1500 a year each. (Of course these are usually the poorest in the first place.) If you were able to give the details a signal boost it would be much appreciated.
Attempting to go through every single recipe in the book. As someone who gets very nervous cooking which leads to a lot of mistakes, it might take a while. Still, as long as I have some successes
Jack, you are amazing! I am a single mum to 4 and struggling to make ends meet at the moment. A friend of mine loaned me your book and suddenly I’m much less stressed about how I’m going to feed us all. This week I made a double batch of your Chilli. We’ve had it in wraps, on rice, hot, cold, as a main meal and in lunch boxes. My kids have always hated pulses but 3 out of 4 loved it. Couldn’t believe how cheap it was to make! All hail the value beans and tomatoes!
It has been amazing to come across your work Jack. As a poor international student I have been at a loss about how to eat right. At one span I ended up living on chicken and chips and gained 7 kilos. It is insane how expensive everything is. Sometimes fruits or vegetables are costlier than alcohol. In India one can have a decent but healthy and frugal meal for 35p. I feel the corporitisation of everything here leads to such incorrigible prices
Was searching for one of your hummus recipes. There do not seem to be an on this site, altho’ I am sure they used to exist? Only answer to recipe search was the article about fancy pants ingredient. Any ideas?
Hi Jack. How does someone living on a shoestring with a young child manage to afford so many expensive tattoos. What is the secret?
Ah! The secret seems to be, you buy the tattoos when you have a good job, and when you’re poor and hungry you can’t eat or sell them, so they stay on your arms…
Let’s concentrate on helping people in food poverty.
Keep up the great work Jack!
Hello. I am about to buy a slow cooker and wondered if there is a central place to find your jow budget slow cooker recipes. Thank you.
You’ve come a long way since I 1st came accross you Jack. You’re part of the UK Establishment now.
Just Dont forget yr roots on your meteoric rise…dont be a sell out. Good luck.
I just read your wonderful response to that Littlejohn article.
I enjoyed it immensely.
I’m liking you on Facebook. and from now on I’m following your blog!
I made your pearl barely and mushroom risotto tonight, as featured in the Guardian, and it was one of the most delicious things I have ever eaten. I substituted some really cheap fresh spinach for the parsley at the end and it is truly delicious, very moreish and hugely satisfying.
Just want to say hi,I first saw your first book in the shops just thought it was another ordinary cookbook when I read the hunger hurts section I realised you were the person on the benefits debate you were great on that, you have done some excellent work and the Britain isn’t eating film reflected the attitude of politicians spot on, your second book is on my xmas list i’m hinting for my girlfriend to buy it for me, hope the horrible tweets don’t get you down keep it up.
Right On Sister
I wholeheartedly agree, would you suggest to Baroness Anne Jenkin that she speak to me and film my cooking with her on a budget? This is so that I do not have to punch her out, I am not normally a violent person. I have been writing to governments for 13yrs. over these problems and what has been the answer to take away money from me and now I try to live on £480 per month for fuel, heating, light, communication and food – nothing for entertainment nor relationships!!! By the way I truly believe that the government wish to come out of the EU so that they may further destroy the human rights particularly of the poor. And the very fact of any and every member of government of any house whom refuses to accept every single persons right to a healthy diet means that they are in breach of UN Human Rights – see Amnesty’s website, let alone EU Human Rights. Is there any help that you can give me in my situation, any journalism jobs? I have a certificate in journalism. A recipe suggestion that was particularly tasty : sausage loaf with BBQ beans.
I would like to challenge some member of this government to live for 2 weeks on JSA. I would be happy to join in and do the same! Perhaps we could live in a flat with prepayment meters for gas/electric very little food provided and have to eat , pay bills and transport costs on the going rate for JSA and no more . I think it might be an eye opener for one of us , ( clue ; I know it wouldn’t be me !)
I don’t know if the OP will read this, and I am somewhat untimely, but I’ve really been meaning to pick up on this. Similar stuff has already been done for reality TV several times.
For example, in 2003, Michael Portillo, no longer an MP after his amusing defeat in the 1997 General Election, starred in “When Michael Portillo Became a Single Mum” on BBC2. I well remember him bumbling about a small supermarket trying to spend a few quid efficiently to feed the four children he took on. If only there had been some kind of budget meal cookbook around. You can read an old review of it here:
The most recent one I can think of is in 2010, “Tower Block of Commons” on Channel 4. Four MPs were assigned council flats: Austin Mitchell (Lab); Mark Oaten (LD); Tim Loughton (Con); and Nadine Dorries (Con). Mitchell excused himself after a day or two citing the uncleanliness of the flat as too much to bear. Oaten was the only one to insist on a fee. Dorries was found to have hidden extra cash about her. You can read more here:
This may seem odd to submit to this site, but in my opinion I think Michael Portillo and Tim Loughton were the best of that bunch, both Tories.
However, I think the really important point is this. Challenging MPs to a two week stint of poverty might be shirked by the vast majority of them, but even those who do take it up know that after two weeks they’re returning to their own world. For the above, their eyes were opened, but they had an exit. When you experience poverty indefinitely, without prospect of end, only then is it at its scariest. It is that that explains so much about suffering poverty, and that element is very much missing from these challenges to MPs.
I know that this has been done before , I well remember the previous pathetic attempts, The point I am making is that I am fed up with certain people thinking that living on JSA is easy and that it should be reduced as claimants are all doing so well on it. I know that for many people it is hard work just to keep body and soul together and that an unexpected expense can tip people over the edge into complete destitution. To me the mark of a civilised society is how we treat those who are at the bottom of the pile through lack of work ill health disability etc. When I was very young my father was extremely ill for a long period of time and there were times when there was very little food available . I can remember my mother begging the Salvation Army for help as she could not pay the rent. Nearly 60 years later we seem to be returning to ‘ Victorian values’ those who have and those who don’t have and never will have . I am heartily sick of seeing the poor being bashed and made to suffer while others pay more on one meal than JSA pays for a week. .By the way I am happily retired now, and just feel I would just like to speak out on the iniquities of this world .
..I’ve just started work as a volunteer cook at our local Salvation Army Soup Kitchen and am utterly amazed at what is possible. Jack & her boy can live on a tenner a week and I’ve proved I can feed 25 hungry adults one hearty meal also for £10… Jack has been my inspiration & her book is the proof that a good plate of food costs very little. PS, it helps when a friend occasionally has a successful day shooting as Pigeon Pie is a favourite !
Is there any way you could explain how to make your bean burgers with just a microwave? I live in the US and have been homeless now for over four years. I get $200 a month in food stamps but no housing benefits or any other benefit. The US pretty much did away with welfare some years ago. People who don’t have minor children living with them are only give food stamps. I used to live in my car in a Walmart parking lot. A couple of years ago, a relative helped me to rent a small 8 by 10 foot office space. I pay the rent by selling things on ebay. This enables me to keep out of the cold, at least in the daytime. There is a communal kitchen for all the offices, but it just has a microwave and refrigerator. Tenants aren’t allowed to have cooking gadgets, slow cookers, burners, coffee makers or hotpots in their office due to the risk of fire. I would love to try some of your recipes, particularly the bean burgers, but I don’t know how to do it using only a microwave.
For anyone struggling to find housing, sometimes office space can work, depending on the building and whether management is absent or present, and it is often much, much cheaper than residential space.
Well done Jack, for ditching the Labour Party, I like you am going to vote Green for the first time.
Jack I want to say I’m fed up that someone has made you leave Twitter, we are all here as global friends, it is just the few who spoil it.
How can I leave Twitter if was never on it in the first place?
Hi, I’m a mum on a tight budget and struggling to make healthy delicious food. So pleased to have found your blog!! Your recipes are great and use simple cheap stuff that I already have in the house which is great because I often don’t have the headspace to shop for new and unusual ingredients. I’m really sorry that you’ve been harassed and bullied on Twitter recently and I hope that it doesn’t continue. All the best and a sincere thank you for helping me with your recipes. X
I came across your blog last night, am pretty sure I’ve read through the majority of it and you are now my new favourite person. You’re a complete and utter inspiration and more than deserve how far your blogging has taken you. I’m also completely astonished about the amount of abuse/hate you’ve received for no reason whatsoever and you should be proud of yourself for the way you’ve dealt with such utter bullshit. I really don’t know how I haven’t heard of you before, but you’re awesome- keep being awesome. Also, you may have just saved my life for when I’m off to uni in sept to study occupational therapy- unfortunately NHS maintenance bursaries aren’t the most generous schemes when you’re a teenager who still currently lives with their parents who are basically expected to be able to financially support me completely even when I no longer live with them…but now I know I should always be able to pull together a decently balanced meal on my budget- cheers! I’ll be sure to recommend your recipes if I ever get to work with people in supported housing which is something I’d like to do. 🙂
I love what you do….I think you are FAB!! I have both your books which I love. I would really like to champion you to write a Vegan book next, and put all of your yummy recipes in one book (I prefer to have a book to hold then scrolling on a computer when cooking) Anyway, I am not an official Vegan (yet!) but for health reasons and a growing feeling of wanting to fill my body and soul with living foods it seems I am heading that way……much love as always xxx
I just want to say thank you. I have a child to feed and no cash flow. Luckily we have a Sainsburys nearby and they do a lot of the value range.
The election was depressing and sometimes it’s hard to see the good folk, but we’re out here, and if we make our children strong and teach them to care for each other then we always will be.
Stay fabulous. This blog is going to be an enormous help to me and I’m sure the same is true for many others in the current climate.
I have been catching up on your old posts. Thank you for staying positive, especially now that the depressing results of the election are starting to make themselves felt.
I was made redundant 3 years ago, and managed to find a job, earning 1/3 of what I used to. However, I am one of the lucky ones – I have a job! As a 50+ with loads of experience, I got used to hearing many euphemisms for ‘too old’ following job interviews, such as ‘over-qualified’, ‘under-qualified’, and many more. I am now in an entry-level job, but heck, I am studying for a new qualification, and will hopefully be able to work for myself shortly!
I am also trying to eat healthily on a budget, and your recipes sound fab. I intend to try some.
Love your first book! Just read it today. So positive and optimistic. Gorgeous and imaginative. Play to your strengths lady!
Can you recommend a charity where I can donate money to help families with problems meeting heating / electrical bills. I donate to the trussal trust re food but want to help with fuel bills, won’t be much but I’d like to help!