Eat Shop Save - The Coombers

Our final family taking on the Eat Shop Save challenge this series is the Coombers.

Debbie and Matt live in Derbyshire with their son Lewis and new puppy Lemon. When Ranvir first met the couple, Matt said their eating habits were shocking, and Debbie worried about their future health if they didn’t make some changes. They admitted to not eating fruit or vegetables, and Debbie spent her days sitting at a desk and not getting any exercise which she said was making her feel really tired, unfit and unhealthy. They were also at odds over money matters, with Matt being a saver, and Debbie being a spender, particularly buying lots of skincare products. During their 8 week Eat Shop Save challenge, the family transform their food and finances, making them fitter, healthier and saving £700 along the way!

Embracing Fruit and Veg

Ranvir sends in chef and nutritionist Dale Pinnock, who confronts Matt and Debbie with their typical food choices which were mostly beige processed foods, high in sugar and fat and low in nutrients and fibre. Dale points out that whilst their diets are suffering, they always ensure their son Lewis eats well, and the dog gets healthy batch cooked meals of vegetables and meat for every meal! In an Eat Shop Save first, Dale takes ingredients that usually end up in the dog bowl to make a tasty healthy meal of turkey meatballs with sweet potato wedges. Served with a sneaky hidden veg sauce, it even converts veg-sceptic Matt. 

You can find Dale’s recipe at later today from 7:30pm.

In the weeks that follow, the couple start embracing fruit and veg with healthy batch cooked meals. They find that they have loads more energy, and Debbie says her skin improved meaning that she didn’t feel the need to buy expensive skincare products.

For more information about the benefits of embracing fruit and veg, why not read the Why 5 a Day? page on the NHS website.

Save Money with a Penalty List

To unite the couple with their saving goals, Ranvir sends in money expert Kate Hardcastle. Matt and Debbie dream of a bucket list family holiday to Florida, but they were struggling to save up the £6,000 price tag. Kate gets the couple to create a ‘penalty list’ of rules that they will stick to for their Eat Shop Save challenge. Matt and Debbie pledge to stop impulse buys, bring packed lunches to work, stop food waste, avoid spending on unnecessary car upgrades, and replace pricey day trips with free family days out. 

To help motivate them to stay on track and maximise savings, Kate says that if they break any of their rules, they must pay the penalty by putting £1 in a savings jar. 

Why not try making a penalty list for your family and see if you can stick to it?

Weight and Strength Training

Personal trainer Marvin Ambrosius meets Debbie to tackle her lack of exercise. Debbie tells Marvin that she used to be quite active but as time goes on she has found life gets in the way, and she says she has become lazy. Body composition tests revealed that Debbie’s weight and body mass index were below the healthy range. 

Exercise isn’t always just about losing weight. It’s important to increase bone density, prevent injury and increase energy levels, particularly as we get older. 

To help Debbie to protect her health and increase her strength, Marvin introduces Debbie to weight training with a simple workout that can be done anywhere, using just a set of dumbbells. 

If you don’t have a set of weights, you can instead use a couple of tins of baked beans!You can also find out how to improve your strength and flexibility and learn simple strength exercises on the NHS website.

During her 8 week Eat Shop Save challenge, Debbie manages to fit three 20 minute workouts into her weekly routine each week, quickly noticing a boost in her energy levels and visibly seeing her muscle definition increase. She works up from lifting 2kg weights to lifting 5kg weights and shows off the visibly defined muscle that built up in her arms.