The weekly food shop has become the main expense for a lot of people during lockdown.

Over the past few weeks, it may have been difficult to get to your regular supermarket, or you may have been buying more than usual so you don't have to go as often.

Thankfully, one generous mum-of-three has shared how she manages to batch cook 26 meals for her family with just £20.

Cheryl Anderson, who works in homeless hostels for young people, has been cooking meals for her partner Darren's grandparents during this difficult time.

Cheryl began to bulk cook meals after finding out her partner's grandparents were living off expensive ready meals

The 39-year-old decided to start batch cooking for them after finding out that his grandad had been nipping to their local Tesco Express and buying ready meals.

She told money-saving community LatestDeals.co.uk: "They are quite independent and active and used to have day trips to the markets and with COVID-19 they obviously haven’t been.

"I have been with Darren for seven years and have three children with my previous partner.

"Darren's grandparents have never missed their birthday or Christmas and included them straight away - no questions, we all became part of their family.

"His grandma is 83 and his grandad is 81 and still drives, so this lockdown is hard for them.

"I cook a lot for family gatherings and I wanted to make sure that they knew I valued them, so decided to make them some food they could freeze.”

Cheryl headed to Aldi to stock up on ingredients for the batch cooking session.

"I bought frozen chicken breasts, fresh mince, sausages and then ‘wonky’ veg that takes a bit more time to prepare, but is still decent quality," Cheryl explains. "I bought the tubs from Home Bargains cheaply too.

"I made shepherds pie, spaghetti bolognese, sausage and mash, stew and dumplings, chicken casserole and chicken curry.

"I know they like those things, and they are easy dishes to make and can be bulked out to make cheaply with plenty of vegetables.

Cheryl bulks out the meals with plenty of vegetables

"They were very happy - my partner dropped them off and we stayed in the car and they both came to the front door to shout thank you!"

Cheryl explains that she's saved them a "fortune" after the elderly couple were buying two meals for £5.

She continues: “My main advice to those looking to do the same is to plan and look at what’s on offer and what’s cheap.

"Buy the ‘wonky’ veg, it might take longer to prep, but it’s all good food.

"We were coping really well in lockdown as I was still going to work every day, however we are now in two weeks of isolation as my youngest daughter is showing symptoms.

"Food shopping isn’t an issue though, as I have lots of meals prepped and well stocked freezers!”

“Cheryl’s 26 meals for £20 is really inspiring and shows that as long as you plan meals carefully and shop for only the ingredients you need, you can feed the whole family for less.

"Other tips include using this supermarket price comparison tool and sticking with the home brand labels."

Cheryl's Shopping List

Frozen chicken breasts £3.50

Mince £3.50

Sausages £1.29

Potatoes £1

Carrots 60p

Swede 80p

Onions 80p x2 £1.60

Tinned Tomatoes x5 28p each £1.40

Peppers £1.45

Parsnips 50p

Gravy granules, beef and chicken £1.40

Chicken and beef stock £1.60

Mixed veg frozen £1

Dumplings 49p

(Herbs, spices, and salt and pepper she already had)

Total: £20.13