Salix Homes helps tenants slash food bills
Published by James Allan for Salix Homes in Housing and also in Communities, Health
The participants with chef Ray Jones
A social housing provider has helped its tenants slash their food bills by teaching them how to cook healthy meals on a budget.
Salford-based Salix Homes teamed up with the health improvement team at Salford City Council to teach tenants how to rustle up nutritious meals on a shoestring.
The tenants were placed under the watchful eye of top chef Ray Jones, who works at Tameside College, who taught them how to cook a variety of dishes including bean casserole and Thai chicken curry using only fresh ingredients.
Salix Homes’ financial inclusion officer Mike Whitnall also spoke to tenants about how to make their shopping budget stretch further and where to go to get the best deals on food.
Danielle Slater, 34, from Ordsall, took part in the five week course at Ordsall Community Cafe and says she has seen her food bill decrease. She said: “Even though I try to work off a budget anyway the classes really made me aware of how you can buy cheaper if you shop around and during a time of recession anything that can help you save money is a good thing.
“Mike’s budgeting advice was really useful and now I’m looking at different brands and special offers. I’m a bit of a compulsive buyer, but now I find myself thinking ‘do I really need that’ and I’ve noticed my shopping bill has come down.
“The classes were really enjoyable and my favourite recipe was the Thai curry, which is something I’ll be making at home on a regular basis.”
One of the aims of the classes was to encourage those taking part to cook healthy meals at home and share what they have learnt with their friends, families and neighbours.
Danielle, who is the kitchen supervisor at Ordsall Community Café, has been passing on what she’s learnt to her friends and family. She added: “I have been trying to encourage the people that I know with children about the benefits of using fresh produce and cooking in bulk.”
The participants also produced recipe books to take home so they can rustle up some mouth watering meals for their families.
Sue Sutton, director of customer and neighbourhood services at Salix Homes, said: “We are thrilled at the success of these cooking courses and will be looking at holding more in the future.
“Owing to the Government-imposed Welfare Reforms money is now tighter than ever, so we’ve been looking at ways of helping our tenants save money. With the cost of food rising it can be difficult to produce nutritious and hearty meals for the family when money is already tight, but we have been able to show people that it is possible to eat healthily while living on a budget.”