It’s time for me to construct the family weekly meal plan and as social media would lead me to believe, today is blue Monday.

First thing this morning the boiler was as dead as a dodo. PANIC. After a few minutes of both Mr Vista and I standing there, pressing buttons and scratching our heads we realised something vital… the washing powder box had the pressed the boiler switch on the wall to off.


We may be dummies but the point that I’m making is this: things aren’t always as bad as they first seem. When faced with certain peril, stop. Take a deep breath and like the kids of ‘Bear Hunt’ figure out a way to go through it. There is always a way – sometime it is as simple as turning the switch to on.

It’s blue Monday. It’s wet. The toddler has a snotty nose and we’re skint. But I will SMILE. We have a lot to be grateful for. Read more

Slimming World Fathers Day Feast for Less Than Forty Quid

I like cooking and these days I would much rather entertain than go out for a meal, for a few reasons:

1. It’s cheaper
2. You can take as long as you like to eat
3. You can add and remove as much fat as you like
4. Home cooked food is less likely to make my gallstones angry

This evening I have my Dad, both of my brothers, Mr Vista, Little Miss Vista and myself to cook for. We’ve all got big appetites and we’re all looking after ourselves at the moment in anticipation of my brother’s wedding in October.

The spec is this- Low Fat and Tasty. Read more


If you read my blog regularly then you’ll know that I’ve been on the slimming world programme now for nine weeks.

With my tenth weigh in looming I’m hoping for my third certificate (that’s a stone and a half) soon.

I’ve been making plenty of use of out of the recipe booklet that came in my pack and I’ve been having a good look on Pinterest too, but now that I’m getting into it I’m learning more about what is ‘FREE’ and what is ‘syn’ed.

So, I’ve created two quick and easy soups that are tasty and totally SYN FREE!

Chicken Noodle Soup 

20150822_122003 Read more

How to feed a family on a budget: Part One

How to feed a family on a budget: Part One by katie haydock for life on vista street

My mum did a pretty good job of preparing me for life as a grown up an adult by teaching me the ways of the world:
  1. How to clean your house so it looks clean with minimal effort
  2. How to stick up for yourself
  3. How to pay all of the bills that you can go to jail for not paying first
  4. How to eat properly and have a balanced diet
  5. How to buy lots and lots and lots of tins and dried good on your ‘big shop’ just in case
In honesty, it is the last two of those points that has pulled us out of the rotters a few times whilst I have been on maternity leave.

After paying our bills and ensuring the baby is provided for and that we can get to work and back, there really isn’t a huge budget left for food shopping.

How To Feed A Family On A Budget

Having a small food budget is how I got the idea to start the series ‘my kitchen and I are waiting for pay day‘. Nutritious meals on a tight budget.

When I was a child, my parents lead me to believe that we were poor. I say ‘lead me to believe’ because I didn’t ever notice that we were poor. There was always food on the table. There was always pudding after a roast on Sunday. We always got what we had asked for from Father Christmas… in my eyes we were RICH!

One of my earliest childhood memories is of going into Liverpool city centre with my mum, grandmother and two brothers. I remember going to The Albert Docks and being in a cafe for lunch… and I also remember being absolutely wingey and bratty horrified when my mum served us all one quarter of a packaged sandwich each for lunch (my grandmother not included – I remember her having soup?).

In the mind of a small child this behaviour is absolutely warranted. I mean, how dare she? Serve me! A sandwich that isn’t whole!

Now, as an adult (or as close to as you can get), I completely understand. She had to feed all three of us and herself but she was totally skint.

Now that I have fed my family on less than the breadline… I get it! 

What I don’t get, is this:
christina briggs, katy hopkins, this morning, benefits, frugal, living cheaply, meal planning, shopping, budget,
*Sourced from google*
Some of you may recognise this woman as the ‘one that Katy Hopkins was nice to’ on This Morning a few weeks ago.
Meet Christina Briggs, the woman that says she isn’t fat through any fault of her own. According to Christina, she is tipping the scales at 26 stones because she doesn’t get enough benefits to be able to afford a healthy lifestyle…
christina briggs, katy hopkins, this morning, benefits, frugal, living cheaply, meal planning, shopping, budget,
*Sourced from google*

Since then, her face has popped up in my news feed more than once on facebook and twitter.

I did a bit of a saddo task and took it upon myself to add up the price of the groceries in Christina’s cupboard in the photo above:

Snacks & Sweets Price in £
Rich Tea Biscuits (300g)
Walkers Crisps – Classic Variety (14x25g)
Barny Sponge Bear Biscuits – Chocolate (5 per pack – 150g)
Cadbury Fingers – Milk Chocolate (114g)
Cadbury Dairy Milk – Chips Ahoy (120g)
Cadbury Heroes Tub (760g)
Tins, Jars & Cooking
ASDA Smartprice Tomato Ketchup (550g)
Princes Hot Dogs in Brine Jumbo (6 per pack – 560g)
Packets & Cereals
Kellogg’s Pop Tarts Chocotastic (8x50g)
4x ASDA Chicken Flavour Instant Noodles (85g)
2x Lyle’s Golden Syrup Breakfast (340g)
2x Disney Pixar Monsters University Cup Cake Kit (181g)
 Lemon Layered Slices (6)

Total – £22.23

These prices are based on shopping at Asda, so things could have been purchased a little cheaper from Aldi or Home and Bargains. But still…

More than £22 worth of junk food – and that is what we can see in the picture. I want to know what is in the fridge…

Looking at the contents of the cupboard, I doubt (at least I hope) that this isn’t what this individual is feeding her children. Maybe she was just talking about herself and she cooks magnificently healthy food for her kids?

But in the event that Christina is feeding her children minute noodles and hot dogs, I thought that it might be helpful to see what balanced meal plan I could put together for £22.23 for a week for a family of three.

I intend to come up with a detailed meal plan including breakfast, lunch and dinner for seven days. Once I’ve published I’ll put the link in here!

I can’t help but think that what Christina is saying has been taken out of context a little and the media have tried to turn this story into a bit of a witch hunt by suggesting Christina has asked the government to give her £1 for every 1 pound in weight she loses amongst other things.

I wasn’t there so I don’t know if this is true. The government can do so much for people like Christina. In my opinion, one of the biggest problem with families not being able to live on a budget is that an awful lot of them can’t cook.
One of my favourite food and frugality blogs has hit the nail on the head here and has been running classes in her area actually teaching adults to cook.

How would you do a meal plan for twenty quid a week? 

Do you think that the government should incentivise weight loss?

Thanks so much for reading: How to feed a family on a budget: Part One



Linking up with:

Mami 2 Five

How does your garden grow?

Our back yard is very small but it is perfectly formed and is a beautiful place to sit in the sunshine with the baby and the cat and chill out.

How does your garden grow? written by katie haydock for lie on vista street.
Mummy, baby, kitty and lappy!

Read more