Cost of Living Cooking Classes Using Air Fryers Are “Life Changing”

Cost of Living Cooking Classes Using Air Fryers Are “Life Changing”

  • Written by Sam Reed
  • BBC News, Buckinghamshire

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Classrooms used air fryers or slow cookers to save on energy costs

The coming months could be the toughest for some families since cost of living pressures began, a group that helps people cook on a budget said.

MK Melting Pot runs cooking classes using air fryers and slow cookers in Milton Keynes.

Co-CEO Adewunmi Jade Jaiyeola said January and February could be the toughest months due to cold weather and a “tough economy”.

One person who attended the sessions said the lessons were “life-changing.”

Sarina Saatchi, 20, is one of more than 1,200 people who have joined the class in just over 12 months.

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Sarina Saatchi lives with her mother in Milton Keynes

“(Classes) can change your life, and it happened to me,” she said, before explaining that it helped her “save my budget” and “live a healthy life.”

The sessions focus on meals that can be prepared using air fryers or slow cookers, which are cheaper to operate than traditional ovens.

“Some people don’t even have potatoes or rice (at home),” said Teresa Dadzi, one of the teachers in the project.

“Some of them don’t know how to budget.”

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Adewunmi Jade Jaiyeola wanted to encourage families to cook together

The classes, held above a sports pavilion, showed participants how to prepare stews and soups in slow cookers that can be portioned and frozen for eating over several days.

Families with just one income have particularly benefited from the project, but “people with average wages, middle wages, are still struggling,” Ms. Gaiola said.

Classes also encourage families to share assignments.

“Cook together, your children are learning skills, and you are also learning about the challenges they are going through,” she said.

Another class participant, Jennifer Aboy, is a single mother and said her attendance has made a big difference.

“I learned a lot about how to spend and how to stay healthy,” she said.

Top tips

Ms. Gaiola has three top tips for eating healthy on a budget:

  • Plan and cook the batch: Strategically plan your meals throughout the week, buy ingredients in bulk, and cook them in batches to save time and money. This also helps reduce food waste
  • Embrace affordable proteinChoose budget-friendly protein sources such as beans, lentils, eggs, and canned tuna
  • Buy seasonal and frozen products: Choose seasonal fruits and vegetables as they tend to be more affordable or frozen produce which is often more cost effective

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