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Heathfield cook's thrifty recipe blog shows how to eat handsomely for £1 a day
Could you rustle up a tasty Sunday lunch for less than £1? Meet the woman who can.
Lesley Cooper, 62, from Heathfield, near Eastbourne, has cooked up more than 150 budget recipes that promise to feed two people for no more than £1 a day.
Her favourite discount dishes include a Sunday lunch consisting of a bacon and sweetcorn pie with mash and peas for just 32p, followed by a marmalade baked sponge costing only 13p.
Bargain breakfasts of raisin pancakes can be whipped up for as little as 4p each, while a lentil soup for lunch costs her no more than 16p a serving.
The creative cook started sharing kitchen tips on her internet blog in June last year with the aim of helping struggling families.
But after initially reaching no more than a couple of hundred visitors a month, her blog caught international attention last week when she featured in a national newspaper.
Since then she has been inundated with TV offers from English, Spanish and Russian TV companies and has been coping with endless interview and demonstration requests from across the globe.
The demand crashed her blog – forcing her to buy more server space to cope.
Lesley, who spent four years homeless in the 1970s, credits her cost-conscious cooking to “knowing what it feels like not having money”.
She said: “The memory of not having money never leaves you. But I get a buzz from creating cheap but delicious meals and I started the blog to try to help other people who were struggling financially.
“I was homeless for a period and it has left me with an interest in all things frugal.
“I have been completely overwhelmed with the attention I’ve received these past few days.
“From January 14 to February 14 my blog has had more than 1.5 million hits, which forced me to buy a new server for more space.
“I had a great response from people when I first started but the last few days have been something else.”
For each seven-day meal plan Lesley sets an amount to take to the supermarket along with her shopping list.
The food is then chosen to feed two people for a week, but some of the items are left over.
She spent years designing the meals and says they follow Government guidelines to provide one person’s five-a-day quota.
Lesley added: “I have been cooking since I was very little and I’m just really happy so many people are able to take something positive from the blog.
“Foodbanks are unfortunately becoming more popular as people struggle so I hope I can offer some assistance to families.”
To view Lesley’s blog visit www.thriftylesley.com.