Posted in Events, News, Residents

Healthy Eating on a Budget

It might seem like your money doesn’t stretch that far these days, but healthy eating doesn’t have to be expensive. By making some savvy swaps and even growing your own fruit and veg you can make some healthy and tasty meals and save money.

Here’s our guide to healthy eating on a budget.

Make a meal plan

Planning your meals will help make healthy eating on a budget easy, and it will save you money. It’s easier to include a variety of different foods in your diet when you make a plan and you can think about what you’ll do with your leftovers to make your money go further too.

Stock up on staple foods

Pasta, rice, and oats are cheap, full of nutrients, and they’ll keep you feeling full for longer. Beans and lentils are also cheap and full of protein and they can be added to recipes to make your meals go further. Other good staple options for healthy eating on a budget include sweet potatoes, onions, bananas, and frozen peas.

Buy your fruit and veg from the market

Locally-grown fruit and veg is cheaper than supermarket produce because it doesn’t come with the plastic packaging and it hasn’t been flown halfway across the world. Because it hasn’t been sitting on a supermarket shelf for weeks, it’ll contain more nutrients too.

Opt for supermarket own brand goods

Most branded goods are no different from supermarket own brand items, but they cost more because there’s a lot of clever marketing behind them. You can save a lot of money and still get all of the health benefits by swapping big brands for the supermarket’s own.

Recipes for healthy eating on a budget

If you want some ideas for healthy budget-friendly recipes, our lovely Ali has some inspiration.

Bread

There’s always plenty of bread available for you to take away at our #ReduceWaste food project. Bread is suitable for freezing and it can be used to make fresh breadcrumbs. Stale bread is best, though any bread is perfectly fine. Just put it in a food processor or blender and whizz it up into breadcrumbs.

Use it to coat chicken, fish, or mushrooms for a vegetarian option then shallow fry to make your own ‘Fakeaway’ food. Check out this recipe for chicken goujons from Sainsbury’s.

https://recipes.sainsburys.co.uk/recipes/chicken-goujons

Another favourite in my house is bread pudding. It can be eaten warm with ice cream or cold in a lunchbox or picnic. It’s really moreish and it’s a great option for families who want to eat well on a budget.

Potatoes - Loaded Skins

Bake jacket potato sized spuds in the microwave or oven.  Cut spud in half, (carefully as it will be very hot). Scoop out the potato into a bowl. Leave the skin to one side.

Mash the potato with butter. Add your filling of choice, it could be leftover chicken, spag bol,  beans ,curry. I like cooked bacon and cheese. Stir into potato. Scoop mash mix into skins. Add grated cheese and chopped spring onion (optional). Place 'skins' on to a heatproof dish and put under the grill until golden brown.

This is another quick, cheap, and healthy option that can be used as a main meal if you bulk it up with veg or salad. They can also be eaten cold at summer picnics or added to a lunchbox.

Here’s a recipe I love from Tesco.

https://realfood.tesco.com/recipes/loaded-potato-skins.html

Reduce Waste Great Taste Cooking Session

If you want to get the kids interested in healthy eating, come along to my cooking session on Wednesday 2nd June from 12:30-1:45pm. We will be making Pan Pizzas using food items from SPTM Big Local's Reduce Waste Food Project.

Contact Ali on 07864721616 to book

Parents/carers supervision required. £1.50 per child  £4.00 per family (3 plus kids)

All money raised goes back into Big Local projects.

Ever wanted to grow your own fruit and veg

This is the ultimate way to eat healthily on a budget. If you grow your own fruit and veg, you’ll know that it hasn’t been sprayed with any questionable pesticides. It can also be really rewarding to include things you’ve grown with your own hands in your recipes.

But where do you start?

If you are just thinking about venturing into growing your own produce, we recommend starting off with things that don’t need a lot of maintenance, are ready to harvest in a short time, and that aren’t prone to pests and diseases.

Why not try?…

Salad leaves: Grow rocket and oak-leaf lettuce for your summer side salads. They can be sown in pots and you can sew a few different varieties together so you can make some colourful salads.

Bush tomatoes: These are easy to grow in hanging baskets, pots, or indoor/outdoor greenhouses. Add them to sauces, make a salsa, or chop them up to add some sweetness to your summer salad.

Peas: These can be added to soups and curries and they’re easy to grow. Varieties like ‘Half Pint’ don’t need stalking and can be grown in a container.

If you don’t have space to grow your own fruit and veg at home, there’s space in the greenhouses and raised beds in the Tewkesbury Road Rest Garden. If you haven’t been along, we’d love you to get involved.

Come and see what it’s all about!

Whether you’ve never been along to the Rest Garden before or you’re a regular, we’d love you to come to our open day on Friday 4th June from 12-4pm.

It’s going to be an open afternoon of gardening activities, wildlife talks, a plant sale, and crafts for the community to enjoy. We hope to see you there!

Posted in News, Residents

Space to Thrive: The Benefits of Spending Time in Green Spaces

Photograph of Elmfield Park in Cheltenham.

We are very lucky to have green spaces we can enjoy in St. Peters and The Moors, and they have been a lifeline for many local people during the lockdowns.

They’re a place to walk the dog, go for a stroll, play with the kids, or just sit and watch the world go by. Our green spaces are so valuable for our mental health, our physical wellbeing, and for our community.

The benefits of spending time in green spaces

Space to thrive

Back in January last year, researchers from Sheffield Hallam University and The University of Sheffield in partnership with the National Lottery Community Fund, carried out a review of the existing evidence of the benefits parks and green spaces have for people and communities.

They published the Space to Thrive Report, which found that:

  • Access to and use of parks and green spaces enhances physical health, mental wellbeing, and life satisfaction.
  • People need parks close to where they live, but the parks need to be of a good enough quality for them to want to visit regularly. The quality of the parks was found to more important for health than the quantity.
  • Visiting parks can help reduce obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
  • Spending time in green spaces improves mental wellbeing and relieves stress.
  • Parks can bring the community together by getting people involved in events and initiatives to improve and care for their green spaces. This can help to build a sense of pride and encourage people to love where they live.

What the report recommended

Parks should be seen as social, not just physical infrastructure

While it’s important to invest in keeping parks fit for purpose, the main thing is to actually encourage people to use them. Any investment should be focused on community engagement and supporting activities that get people using the parks and caring about them.

Parks should be places where you can be active and feel relaxed

There should be opportunities for people in the community to exercise (like outdoor fitness classes, sports pitches, or outdoor exercise equipment) as well as places where they can relax and enjoy nature.

People should feel safe in parks

Lighting and pathways should be improved so that people feel safe using the parks where they live.

Elmfield Park

Photograph of a small purple wildflower in Elmfield Park, Cheltenham.

The report and its recommendations brings us nicely to our very own Elmfield Park. Many of you will use it whether it’s to walk the dog, exercise, or play with the kids, so we want your feedback on how the park could be improved and whether you agree with the improvements that have been already suggested in the Elmfield Park Masterplan, including the addition of some more wildflower meadows, an all-weather pitch, and improved pathways and lighting.

The park is so important for our wellbeing and our community, but it needs to be fit for purpose, a lovely place to be, and safe so that people feel like they want to spend time there.

We would love to know what you think. Please take a few minutes to complete our survey on what you think would make Elmfield Park a better place.

If you love where you live and you have green fingers (or even if you don’t!) you can join the Friends of Elmfield Park, a group of local residents who volunteer their time to make improvements to Elmfield Park and the Rest Garden on Tewkesbury Rd.

There are plenty of opportunities to get involved. Head over to our Facebook group or contact alison.friendsofelmfieldpark@gmail.com to find out more.

Flyer advertising the community group Friends of Elmfield Park.

Another chance to have your say 

You’ll be getting a booklet through your letterbox soon, and it’s all about The Big Local Community Plan for St. Peter’s and The Moors. Our project is all about investing our funding in the things that matter to you in the community and empowering residents to make a difference and access services, projects, and activities where they live.

In the plan booklet, you’ll be able to read all about what we’ve achieved so far and what we have planned for the future. We’d love your feedback on the community plan; we believe that together, we can make St. Peter’s and The Moors a better place for everyone.

If you’d like to have a sneak preview and leave some feedback now, you can check out the plan here.