Each of these influencers is about to have their work cut out for them.

With inflation in the news and a renewed bout of publicity for the £10-a-week food blogger Jack Monroe, which other foodie influencers are waiting in the wings to guide Brits through what is tipped to be the biggest cost of living rise for 30 years?

These UK-based bloggers, vloggers and foodie influencers are showcasing the best of cheap cooking for those looking to tighten their belts or feeling the pinch. 

As supermarket prices climb, there’s a growing appetite for budget food blogs, but increasingly the content is more short-form and picture or video-led as platforms like Instagram Reels and TikTok surge in popularity.

From frugal family tips to value vegan meals, there’s something for everyone

Chef Ash Hamilton

During lockdown, professional chef Ash Hamilton (boss at The Curious Kitchen in Brixham) decided to use the enforced closure of his restaurant to challenge himself and help out those on a budget, by creating a cooking YouTube series in which he stretches a £25 budget to cover five days worth of family meals.

Follow his journey from searching out the best offers in the aisles of Lidl to the tips in kitchen, somewhat reminiscent of a lone Hairy Biker.

The series has had to take a back seat since his restaurant reopened, but there remains plenty of great inspiration on how to look at supermarket offers through the eyes of a chef. The lesson? Imagination is key.



Meals By Mitch

@mealsbymitch Reply to @mitch027612 Sausage Casserole for under a fiver 😳#sausagecasserole#onepanmeal#onepotmeal#onepotwonder#onepot#sausage#casserole#fyp♬ original sound - Mitch 🥘

Content warning: language

Mitch doesn’t do meals by halves and he’s always excited by food. Among his favourite catchphrases are “look at the state of that”, “proper filthy”, and “bon appetit”. 

Mitch showcases meals liked and loathed by his kids, as well as a series of indulgent dishes for under a fiver, complete with Aldi receipt as proof. He’s not shy about his determination to keep things simple either, with plenty of one-pot dishes featuring on his page.

His TikTok channel has soared in popularity to more than half a million followers thanks to his approachable style, quick meals and ability to replicate high street favourites like KFC with common kitchen staple ingredients.


Thrifty Lesley

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A post shared by Thrifty Lesley (@thriftylesley)

Thrifty Lesley has been in the budget food blogging game for years. Her medium remains primarily her website, on which she documents meals at less than 50p per serving.

From savoury leek crumble and sweet parsnip cake, she’s not afraid to try something new in the kitchen.

In addition to recipes, her site contains handy conversion charts for measurements, hints on how best to use seasonings and herbs, as well as meal plans. Nor does she stop at food – she recognises there is plenty more to the weekly shop with a dedicated section on how to save money on beauty and toiletry products.


Full Time Meals

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You’d be forgiven for thinking an Instagram page by chef Tom Kerridge and England striker Marcus Rashford had its fill of celebrities with just those two. But no, there are appearances from actress Dawn French, comedian Russell Brand and Team GB sprinter Dina Asher-Smith among others, all determined to cook up a storm on a budget in pursuit of ending child food poverty in the UK.

Becoming the face of Full Time Meals was the logical next step for Rashford, who received an MBE for his dedication to keeping underprivileged kids well-fed throughout the pandemic after sharing his own stories of using food banks growing up.

Rashford and Kerridge are on a mission to prove that cheap and cheerful can also equate to healthy and wholesome. The pair also provide nuggets of food education, focusing on ingredients, nutrition and how to get the most out of meals.


Poor London Vegan

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As the name suggests, Meg/Poor London Vegan is on a tight budget. Her feed shows how to skirt the pricey branded vegan products that have sprung up over the past few years while still making easy and tasty plant-based food.

When she posts one of her own creations on her Instagram account, she includes a handy estimate of the cost per portion as well as the supermarket she bought the ingredients from. Even when the recipes aren’t strictly hers, she has been known to veganise other recipes and post the colourful results on her page.


The Starving Student

@thestarvingstudent Budgeting tips 💪🏼 FOLLOW for more ➡️ #studentfood#budgeting#budgetingforbeginners#savemoney#savemoneytips#moneytips#ukinfluencer#foodshop♬ original sound - Lauren Leyva

Not even the broccoli stalks go to waste when The Starving Student AKA Lauren Leyva is in the kitchen. 

She’s been on a mission to bring down the cost of living for students by exchanging takeaways for fakeaways, searching out bargains and equipping her audience with the basic cooking skills they will need to start enjoying their time in the kitchen and keep the savings rolling in.

As well as recipes for a variation of diets and dietary restrictions, she dishes out plenty of sustainable tips and tricks for frugal and seasonal eats.


Jack Monroe

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A post shared by Jack Monroe (@jack_monroe)

The original, inimitable Jack Monroe still posts regularly about cheap eats on Instagram and on her website in addition to her activism and work as an author. The dip pictured above cost just 11p to put together.

Her blog takes into account that those feeling the pinch might not have the full range of cooking equipment available, so she has dedicated sections for microwave recipes.

Since the days of cooking for herself and her son on the tightest of budgets and becoming familiar with the inner workings of food banks, she has released a cookbook to guide others through tough times.

Recently, she went viral with a series of tweets detailing an assertion that inflation will hit the poorest hardest, she’s become a poster child for campaigning against food poverty along with Marcus Rashford.

Which celebrities are adding star power to food and drink?