Hayley, Austin and Barry from Hampshire UK
MEAL PACKS FEATURE
We’ve long been singing the praises of our cooking app, Meal Packs. But we wanted to see how it helps regular normals cook delicious, budget-friendly meals as part of their daily routine.
We checked in with SORTEDfood’s own Barry Taylor to find out how he uses Meal Packs to cook quick, balanced meals to fit in with his busy lifestyle, while still remaining as pretentious as he wants to be!
Baz (34) and Austin (2 nearly 3)
Meet the Taylors
Baz lives with his wife Hayley and 3-year-old son Austin in Hampshire. Though food has always been important to them, Barry says that cooking has become even more important since the pandemic: ‘It’s a great way to be present and switch off at the end of the day, especially when you’re working from home.’
They both have busy lives, so quick cooks are a must. The Meal Packs app is the perfect tool for cooking for 2 people, with enough left over for Austin too.
Refilling the store cupboard
Buying fresh online
Buying meat locally
Saving money, living the dream
Meal Packs has fitted seamlessly into Barry’s life, enabling him to cook delicious meals for the family while also helping him save money and cut down on food waste.
He emphasises that because the meal plans on the app are so flexible, there have been no sacrifices for him. He still does his food shop online once a week, and adds the ingredients for his Meal Pack to the shopping list.
‘The cool thing about Meal Packs is you can do your shopping wherever you want, so we get most of our shopping online and then buy our meat in the local farm shop. By saving on other ingredients, we can afford to spend a bit more on good quality meat.’
Picking Austin up from nursery school
A day in the life of Barry: ‘No day is the same’
A normal day in the life of Barry Taylor? With a mixture of working from home and going into the SORTEDfood studio, he is keen to stress that ‘no day is the same’. If he or Hayley are working from home, they’ll go to pick up Austin from nursery on the bikes. Then it’s playtime before they start cooking for the evening.
So what does Baz look for when he’s choosing a Meal Pack? Spoiler: it’s not always the most pretentious one! With both Barry and Hayley working, one of his top priorities is speed: ‘When I’ve finished work I make time to play with Austin, so the cooking can’t really take more than half an hour.’
The nursery bike journey home
Prepping the fresh veg
Using store cupboard ingredients
Big flavour, little cooking time
The Taylors know that all the Meal Packs will work with their budget – 3 meals for the 2 of them will cost them less than £20! But with speed being one of their top priorities, they check out the new Club Menu each week for quick cooks or use the search function to find Meal Packs in their library with the ‘Under 30 mins’ tag.
Barry also says that since having Austin, they have both become more conscious of keeping things nutritious: ‘I’ll normally pick something that’s high in nutrients and well balanced with a bit of green in there.’
Chicken, carrots + harissa yoghurt
Green lentil shakshuka
Spiced prawn + edamame rice bowl
This week Baz has gone for ‘Lighten Up’, a balanced Meal Pack that delivers a real punch of flavour. With smoky harissa running through the Meal Pack and cumin and ginger cropping up in some of the meals, it’s a great choice for someone with an interest in exploring recipes and flavours from other cultures.
On the menu are healthy, nutrient-dense meals, from steamed chicken with harissa yoghurt to a spiced green lentil shakshuka. It’s the perfect way to keep things interesting in the evenings.
Ingredients shared in the Lighten Up Meal Pack
Pretentious as ever
So has Meal Packs brought Barry back down to earth? Not quite. By saving on his weekly food shop, Baz can afford to live the lifestyle he wants to lead – which means he can splash out on those pretentious ingredients too!
And it doesn’t mean that the Taylors have cut things out either. With the money they’ve saved by cooking with Meal Packs, they can afford to eat out, get takeaway and have the odd treat too.
They love the flexibility of it too: ‘As humans we need routine, and Meal Packs is a really great way of creating a routine around food. But it’s so flexible and the meals are so varied that you don’t get bored either!’
Has Barry finally met his match with the Meal Packs app? He just might have done.
Fancy trying ‘Lighten Up’ and loads more for free?
Special treat nights…
Austin’s fave juice!