Meet the Plymouth mum using TikTok to share cost-saving family recipes

Heidi Ondrak has thousands of followers online thanks to her cost-saving videos Credit: Heidi Ondrak

A mother-of-two from Plymouth has gathered thousands of followers online after posting videos showing how to make budget-friendly family meals.

Heidi Onik, 51, goes by the name 'Duchess of Thrift' and started blogging at the start of the year when she decided to save money and be more sustainable.

She set up a TikTok account where she shares recipes and meal plans after she saw her bills skyrocket.

So far she has more than 30,000 followers and many of her videos have accumulated more than half a million views.

Speaking to ITV News West Country, Heidi said: "I think the videos are relatable as I authentically share what I am trying and the videos are not super slick, I am just a mum on a budget and I am genuinely sharing what I am doing.

  • Watch some of Heidi's TikTok meal tips

"I never imagined that my content would be so popular and I have had lots of ideas picked up by the national press but if it’s even helping a bit I am happy to share it as wide as possible."

Heidi has shared lots of tips on how to save money as people struggle to make ends meet because of the cost of living crisis.

She said: "I start by auditing my cupboard, fridge and freezer, whatever is leftover from previous weeks gets used if still edible so there’s no waste.

"I plan meals around using the leftover stuff first. I plan in advance and depending on how much the budget is, decide on how many meat-free days there will be as it's much cheaper with less meat on the menu.

Heidi has been sharing her tips on Tik Tok and Instagram Credit: Duchess of thrift

"Then for meals, I either make stuff up, use old fashioned recipes from the 70s when I grew up and we were all more thrifty.

"I google new ideas that I can adapt, I switch out more expensive ingredients for cheaper options and improvise a lot, I even searched wartime recipes as that’s a time when people were feeding families on a budget."

Heidi said she was spurred on to make savings when she saw her bills more than double.

She says bills increased from £98 a month to £265 and the weekly food shop including cleaning, washing and pet food went from £70 or £80 a week to £140.

She said: "I used to be able to fill an Aldi trolley for £70, now that’s £140.

"I switched to Sainsbury’s and use the scan and shop and go with a list, I weigh loose veg and stick to the meal plan and list.

"I have reduced this to £110 per week for everything, this is for four of us and includes three cats and two teens.

"I managed to reduce my energy consumption by switching appliances and introducing changes in how we do things."

Heidi also posts about being more sustainable with her fashion choices on her Instagram account.

She shares tips on styling second-hand clothes and vintage items.