I need help with food costs at home
If your baby is in neonatal care it can impact on your finances. You might be doing long days in hospital, or caring for other children or family members, and this can all impact on the time you have to shop for food and cook.
You might be finding you are having to buy food on the go a lot more which can often be expensive. Thinking about food costs can feel like an extra pressure.
Find out more below or take a step back to explore other food and accommodation issues.
How can I save on money on food at home?
If you are finding yourself unable to shop or cook as normal, you might need a bit of extra support with food at home whilst your baby is in hospital.
There are a few options available, and what is suitable for you will depend on your personal circumstances.
You may also be able to access support from a food bank, which are available in most areas. There is some more information available on food banks provided by the Trussell Trust below. The Trussell Trust manages lots of foodbanks across the country, but there are often other local providers, for example local churches or charities. You can ask any of the staff on the unit to help find out what is available.
Some pregnant people and those with children under the age of four could be able to receive a Healthy Start card. The NHS scheme aims to help those who receive qualifying benefits to buy healthy food and drink and to get free vitamins. For more information or to apply, visit the NHS Healthy Start website.
You could sign up to Your Local Pantry if there is one close to you. This is a member-led community offering access to food you choose for a small monthly subscription, which could help you save money on food shopping. Find a pantry close to you and how to sign up on the Your Local Pantry website.
People you know might want to provide support for you while your baby is in hospital and it may be that you would be able to ask them to set up a meal train for you. A meal train is where people take turns to deliver meals to your family while your baby is in hospital so you don't have to think about food shopping, cooking and meal prep. You might want to ask a friend to organise this for you by using the Meal Train website.
Support might come from family members, friends or members of your community like your faith group. It's ok to ask for support like this - people often don't know what you need most and are grateful that you've given them something supportive and practical that they can do.
What you ask for help with from friends and family is up to you. It's very individual and personal so don't worry if this doesn't feel comfortable as an option for you.
Cooking on a budget
There are some useful websites with budget meals and meal plans available on them which can help keep costs down. You might try easy to use meal plans that provide budget meals.
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