Enjoy eating a healthy diet and entertaining

There’s no better way to make new friends than to offer them food. If you can get everyone invited to throw in a few quid, (or bribe them to wash up), it’s cheap and fun and you get the satisfaction of knowing that you and your pals eat well at least once in the term.

Don’t be daunted by cooking for lots of people, start small, and cooking for four is as easy as cooking for one. Cooking a vegetarian meal is always a safe bet. It’s cheaper, and the likelihood is that at least one person present will be veggie - so you avoid the risk of panicking over a cheese omelette while your lovingly prepared steak and kidney pudding meets its maker. Better still, ask all of your guests beforehand, as food allergies are becoming increasingly common, and you may need to give your menu a little more attention.

Choose a dish that you like to eat and therefore can enjoy cooking and eating. If you have a “signature dish”, then cook that, but try tweaking it, or spicing it up a bit e.g. if your good at basic lasagne, then perhaps you could try with different ingredients, goat’s cheese with pesto and spinach or chicken and broccoli.

Shopping for ingredients is an integral part of meal preparation and by shopping around you can get better ingredients at cheaper prices. Take some time over shopping. Supermarket wars mean that there are often good two for one or half price offers on. Most supermarkets also reduce stock that is close to its sell by date - look out for these items and incorporate them in your menu plan, be flexible and you’ll save yourself cash.

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