Eat Well for Less: Everything you need to know about this year’s show

We love Eat Well for Less on BBC One, which is why we couldn’t be happier about it coming back for its eighth series this summer.

In the same mould as previous series, celeb foodie Gregg Wallace will team up with Chris Bavin (a greengrocer, who recently swapped his town centre shop for a direct delivery fruit and veg box service) to help everyday families to cut their weekly and monthly food shop bills – and we couldn’t be more impressed.

In fact, it’s actually unbelievable how much money you can save on your food bill just by swapping from brands to budget or pre-prepared foods to fresh.

It’s said that an average family of four will spend at least £225 a month on food (according to Office for National Statistics). That’s a staggering £2,700 a year – and that doesn’t even include special occasions like birthdays or Christmas, not to mention the six-week school holidays!

Here’s everything you need to know about this year’s show.

Eat Well For Less presenters

Image: BBC

Gregg Wallace and Chris Bavin are back for another series of Eat for Less, helping families make smarter decisions when it comes to their food shop and save their pennies as a result. They’ve been presenting the show together since 2013, but how much do you know about them?

Who is Gregg Wallace?

You probably know Gregg Wallace because of his other TV presenting gig as BBC’s MasterChef host, which he’s had since 2005. He’s also been a contestant on Strictly Come Dancing in 2014, and has been a judge on MasterChef: The Professionals too.

Who is Chris Bavin?

Chris Bavin has been working in the fruit and veg market for 18 years, and opened his business, high street greengrocers The Naked, in 2009.

As well as presenting Eat Well for Less with Gregg, Chris has also fronted Food: Truth Or Scare, with Gloria Hunniford, and Tomorrow’s Food, with Dara O Briain, Angela Hartnett and Dr Shini Somara.

Eat Well For Less recipes

So, what kind of things will Gregg and Chris be rustling up for families this year? A very good question. The duo are keen to show delicious dinners don’t have to cost the earth, so they’ll be focusing on cheap recipes that are filling and taste fantastic too.

Ideas in the past have included things such as making your own fridge-favourites like coleslaw and filling family meals like big bowls of delicious pasta with sauces made from scratch.

Eat Well For Less episode 1 recipes

In the first episode of the 2017 series of Eat Well For Less Chris and Gregg will be challenged by the Rielly family who all like to eat different meals. Dad Adam is partial to a takeaway, while mum Stacy keeps herself busy every evening by making three different meals for her and the kids!

12-year-old Izzy lives on tomato soup and pasta, while eight-year-old Harry has type 1 diabetes, which means mum Stacy must count all the carbs he’s eating in every meal. Just to make things trickier Harry likes to keep mum busy, and snacks up to eight times a day and is always hungry.

To help cut down the family’s food bill Chris and Gregg look at the way the family shop, which includes plenty of top-up shops and big-brand convenience food.

The famous duo come up with solution in the way of a delicious dish of rainbow noodles to appeal to the big and little members of the Rielly family, as well as a grown-up dish of roasted tomato cod with Mediterranean vegetables.

Eat Well For Less episode 2 recipes

For the second episode of the series, Chris and Gregg will be helping a family from Glasgow, the Caans, who are hooked on convenience food and spend £80 a week on takeaway. Mum and dad Tina and Ryan run a business from home and claim this makes it easier because they don’t have much time.

Their weekly food shop bill comes up to £200, as dad Ryan is often seduced by bargain deals and buys food that usually ends up in the bin.

So Chris and Gregg’s approach will certainly be to show the Canns how they can cook homemade meals quickly – even in just 15 mins – which will not waste their time but save them a lot of money. Maybe a cheese, spinach and walnut pasta bake that’s ready in just half an hour or crispy fish tacos with coleslaw that take only 16 mins to whip up?

Eat Well For Less episode 3 recipes

 In the third episode of Eat Well for Less, Gregg and Chris help the Brook family, from Nottingham, who rely a bit too much on sugary treats.

Mum Janine quit sugar two years ago, but her husband Paul and their two girls, Rosie and Sophia prefer to snack on sweet stuff to following a healthy diet.

The two girls are fussy eaters, so Janine relies on ‘quick teas’, and makes a different dinner for her and Paul, which means cooking twice every night.

With Janine suffering from secondary breast cancer and potentially having to self-fund her treatment in the future, Gregg and Chris’ help is essential in helping this family save every penny they can, as well as having a healthier diet and spending more time together eating as a family.

Something like Fearne Cotton’s colourful vegan stew could work as a family meal – with kidney beans and kale, it’s super healthy and looks like a rainbow in a bowl!

For a funner meal, we bet the girls would also love having chicken taquitos for dinner and assembling them could be an enjoyable way to spend meal time together as a family!

When is Eat Well For Less on?

Eat Well For Less will air at 8pm Wednesday 7th June, and will be on BBC 1 for eight weeks.

What are the things I can learn from Eat Well For Less?

Eat Well For Less has really opened our eyes up to the possibility of us actually cutting our food shop bill – sounds appealing, doesn’t it?

Here are nine things we’ve learnt from the show in previous years and would now like to pass on to you… Happy saving!

1. A list will change everything

Did you know you can slash your food bill by 50% just by planning ahead and ditching impulse buys? Writing a shopping list and planning your meals for the week before you head to your local supermarket or start clicking on products online will save you money in minutes. You’ll stick to the list, use it to guide you around the aisle and you won’t overbuy.

2. A last-minute cupboard check works wonders

Check what you already have in the cupboards before you head out, even before you start writing your list. If you’ve got enough to last you another week, there’s no point buying more. Use up what you’ve already got and make meals from it!

3. Offers are sometimes deceiving

So, your local supermarket is offering buy one get one free on your favourite brand of baked beans. But hold on a minute, the brand next to it is far cheaper and costs less for two tins anyway? Some offers are not offers at all, and just encourage you to buy more.

4. A monthly bulk buy goes a long way

Cans, pasta, rice – the products that you know will last and you have room for in your cupboards are best bought in bulk. This only has to be a one off every month and then you’re set for 4-6 weeks. ‘Mega packs’ of products are often much cheaper per 100g than smaller packs, so keep an eye out for those!

5. Cheap cuts of meat will save you pounds

Swapping chicken breast for chicken thigh and swapping leg of lamb for lamb shank will save you more than 50%. You’re still getting the same weight and quantity of meat, its just much cheaper because it’s considered not as favourable.

6. Frozen food is cheap and easy to cook with

Stock your freezer up with frozen vegetables or frozen meat or fish and you’ll be surprised how much you can save. Frozen food is so easy to cook with, too! Defrost meat overnight in the fridge or add frozen veg straight into a dish when cooking. Frozen food is just as good quality as fresh, it’s only cheaper!

7. Swap takeaway lunches for homemade instead

According to the BBC, a working couple can spend over £40 each week on takeaway lunches and snacks – that’s a whopping £4,000 a year so you should really think before you start buying pre-made sarnies or your favourite latte everyday – it could be eating a hole in your wallet! It’s time to start making healthy homemade lunches instead…

8. There’s so much more to leftovers than meets the eye

Most leftovers can be transformed into a completely new meal or if you’ve made too much of your favourite spaghetti Bolognese, there’s no need to bin it. Just pop into a Tupperware and store in the fridge to have the next day or freeze and eat within a month – they’ll be no waste here thank you very much.

9. Compare brand vs supermarket own and you could save

Yes, you may have a favourite ketchup that you just have to buy every month, or a particular brand of yogurt your little ones want in their packed lunch. Either way, if you look around at supermarket versions you’ll be surprised by how much you could save if you swapped, and even think about which products are cheaper in the pound shop. Try them one week and see if anyone spots the difference! Your purse definitely will.

Do you have any top tips when it comes to saving money on your food bill? What have you learnt from Eat Well For Less? Comment below