A budget-conscious mum has revealed the secret of making her son’s school lunch for just 15p a day.
Stephie Lehrle, from Stoke-on-Trent, says she saves the pennies by cooking large batches of nutritious meals in one go.
She has also taught her son how to cook his own pasta pots at home – for “a fraction of the price” of food in the canteen.
In total, the pair make 20 servings at a time with ingredients costing £3.
Previously, she would fork out as much as £2 for a pasta pot at her son’s school. It means she is making a saving of £37 every four weeks during term-time.
Stephie shared photos of her smiling boy cooking his lunch in their kitchen, and thousands of people praised their money-saving idea.
Posting on Facebook’s Family Lowdown Tips & Ideas group, Stephie wrote: “So tonight teaching my son the art of batch cooking… As OUR school meals are not particularly nutritious or cost effective.
“Batch cooking is great for families who are busy or people that live alone. Nutritious food cooked just the way you like it, when you want it and a fraction of the price.”
Her post attracted more than 7,400 likes and 1,200 comments from other parents.
Many praised her for teaching her son life skills.
One said: “What a fab idea! Not just for the cost but you’re teaching your son life skills. Plus you have also spent quality time together.”
Another added: “Brilliant idea and what a great mum for teaching your son not only how to cook but also how to get the most out of your money. Well done.”
A third suggested Stephie’s son should sell the pots at school for £1 each and make a tidy profit.
Batch cooking is a tried and tested way to save cash – and many parents swear by it.
Among them is super-organised Donna Steed, 50, who has managed to slash £50 off her shopping bill every week by packing her freezer with cooked meals.
The busy Aberdeen mum cuts down on food costs by planning carefully and rustling up multiple meals at the same time.
She went on a cooking blitz at the end of last year, spending a whole week preparing meals just before Christmas.
She filled her standing freezer with 108 tubs of food.
“I did a couple of dishes every other day to get the ball rolling,” she said. “I tend to put one dish in the slow cooker, one on the hob and then one in the oven, then it didn’t feel as much of a chore.
“It seems quite productive but it really doesn’t require that much effort. In the end, it only takes about an hour out of the day.”
She said the process has become “quite addictive”, adding: “You feel like you’re being organised and efficient so it feels really good.”
Meanwhile batch-cooking convert Mary Bells – who says she feeds her four-strong family for just £47 a month – has urged others to “batch cook the h*** out of life!”
She buys from the bargain aisle in the supermarket and stores her meals in two chest freezers.