If you are stuggling with rising food costs, there is a range of support available.
Cheap or free food
Iceland is offering customers over the age of 60 a discount of 10% on their groceries every Tuesday. There is no minimum spend and you just need to show valid ID at the checkout to prove your age.
Lidl offers "Too Good to Waste" boxes filled with imperfect fruit and vegetables which are still good to use but would have otherwise been thrown away. It is £1.50 for a 5kg box. Boxes are up for grabs from opening till midday.
Please also visit Money Saving Expert website for supermarket coupons and deals. Supermarket coupons UK - MoneySavingExpert
Try food sharing apps
- TooGoodtoGo is an app that aims to reduce the food waste by connecting you to local cafes, bakeries and restaurants that have leftover food and lets you buy it at a reduced price.
- Olio is another app that offers left over food and household items for free.
Community fridges and pantries
Community fridges and pantries are run by community groups across the UK redistributing surplus or donated food, reducing food waste and improving access to food in the community.
To find your local community fridge, please click here Community Fridge Network (hubbub.org.uk)
Here are some local community fridges/pantries:
Langney Community Centre, Etchingham Road, Eastbourne. Phone: 01323 763762. Community Fridge and Larder - Tuesday and Wednesday, 10am to 1pm. £2 for up to 10 items, everyone is welcome to become a member, one visit per household.
Seaside Community Hub, 125 Seaside Road, Eastbourne. Telephone: 01323 371322. Community Fridge and Larder. Wednesday and Friday, 10am to 1pm. £2 per visit for up to 10 items, everyone is welcome to become a member.
Old Town Community Fridge, Victoria Baptist Church, Eldon Road (opposite Cavendish School), Eastbourne, 01323 737974. Community Fridge and some pantry items. Wednesdays, 8.30am-10.00am. £2 per visit for up to 10 items, everyone is welcome.
Hastings Food Pantry, 4-6 Dorset Place, Hastings, East Sussex, TN34 1LG, Open every Tuesday 10am - 12noon and Friday 10am - 2pm.
Heathfield Community Fridge, Union Church, Heathfield, High Street, Heathfield, East Sussex, TN21 8LB, open Sunday to Thursday, 9:30am to around 11am
Newhaven Community Supermarket (SCDA). Mondays 11am to 3pm. Pay As You Feel. Denton Island Community Centre, Newhaven, BN9 9BA Surplus food, membership required. Phone: 01273 516032 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Crowborough Community Fridge, St Richards Church Hall Fermor Road TN6 3AP. Tuesdays: 10am to 11am at All Saints Church, Chapel Green TN6 1ED. Saturdays: 10.30am to 11.30am, phone: 07517 414010.
SEA Community Larder Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays 10am to 1pm. Old Natwest Bank, Clinton Place, Seaford. Surplus food, available for anyone to collect. Email: email@example.com
The Ascension Food Larder, The Ascension Church, 110 Vale Road, Haywards Heath, RH16 4JS. Tuesday 9.30am to 11.30am and Thursday 12pm to 2pm. Phone: 01444 415229.
- The Marketplace - Freedom Church Bexhill. The Marketplace is a community food larder ran by Freedom Church. It is open every Tuesday from 10am to 12 noon.
You will usually need a referral to use a foodbank. Please read more on food voucher referrals on CAB website https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/benefits/help-if-on-a-low-income/using-a-food-bank/.
Once you have been given a voucher, you can exchange it for a minimum of three day's emergency food. Some food banks might be able to deliver your parcel, please contact your local food bank to check if they can deliver.
You might be able to get help with food costs from your local council through the Household Support Fund. Check with your local council to find out what support is available.
Tips on how to make food go further
Making food go further is an important aspect of budgeting and can help stretch your food budget. Here are some tips to help you do so:
- Plan your meals in advance: Planning your meals for the week and making a grocery list can help you avoid impulse purchases and waste.
Use leftovers: Making larger portions and saving leftovers for later can help you save money and time.
Lidl has put together some tips on how to make your vegetables and fruit go further: https://www.lidl.co.uk/our-products/fruit-veg/waste-not
You might be throwing some edible food away. Money Saving Expert explains the difference between "use by" and "best before" dates.
Eating well on a budget can be challenging if you lack cooking skills. There are some local schemes that offer low-cost cooking courses.
Community chef is a Lewes based initiative that offers some very low cost cookery courses (£1-£5.99) both in Lewes and Newhaven. Their Eat Well for Less course is a five week cookery course focussing on low cost, delicious meals, suitable for anyone who wants to learn to cook and prepare healthy and delicious meals on a budget.
They also offer an award winning Man with a Pan course for older men to learn to cook, meet new people, build self-confidence and eat delicious food. Students learn how to prepare delicious, stress-free, affordable and healthy meals in fun and supportive environment. The men share a meal and take extra meals home.
For more information and to book you place, please visit https://communitychef.org.uk/
Brighton & Hove Food Partnership
BHFP offers low cost cookery courses in Brighton. Their low energy cooking class will share cooking methods and tasty recipes which save time and avoid the costs of using your oven. They also offer food foundations course to learn essential cookery skills and gain confidence.
For more information, please visit What’s on – Brighton and Hove Food Partnership (bhfood.org.uk)