Cost of living support and advice

Help with food

Different types of support is available for anyone in Portsmouth having difficulties affording food and essentials. Read on to find food support for parents and pets owners, and ways to save money on your food bill. You can also use our convenient map to find food support in Portsmouth.

 

Find food banks, community pantries and larders, and other places that will provide a supply of food to anyone who is struggling.

  • Food banks provide around 3 days food for your whole household if you can’t afford to buy food. Some food banks need a referral, and some can help you without being referred. Find out how you can get a referral.
  • Free school meals – find out if you are eligible and apply.
  • Community meals – Anyone who needs a hot meal can visit any of the services included in the Community Meals list. You don’t need a referral
  • Community pantries and larders give you the option to pay a small fee to join, then buy weekly groceries at a reduced price.
  • Special store offers – some stores are running campaigns to reduce food poverty, period poverty and food waste. Campaigns are usually advertised in store so look out for signs. Lidl offers a Too Good To Waste box for £1.50. A 5kg box filled with fruit and vegetables which are still good to use, but would have otherwise been thrown away. Ask in store or visit the Less Waste website to find out about this, and loads of other great ways to save money and waste less.

 

Support for parents

Support for pet owners

Our pets are part of our families but caring for a pet can be costly, and at a time that many people are having to make difficult decisions about how they spend money.

Ways to save money on your food bill

There are simple ways to help you reduce the cost of feeding yourself and your family. With just a few changes to your buying and cooking habits, you can save money and still keep the flavour and nutritional value of your food. Here are some ideas:

  • Plan your meals: Create a meal plan for the week ahead, and make a shopping list based on the ingredients you’ll need. Don’t shop for food when you’re hungry. This will help you avoid those impulse buys that really add up, and reduce food waste.
  • Shop smart: Look for sales, buy generic value ranges, use coupons and store loyalty cards and buy in bulk when you can.
  • Cook at home: Eating out can be expensive, so try to cook most of your meals at home. This will also give you more control over the ingredients you use, which can help you eat healthier.
  • Avoid processed and convenience foods: This type of food is often more expensive and less healthy than whole foods. Cooking from scratch is cheaper, healthier and the whole family can help out.
  • Use leftovers: Don’t let leftovers go to waste. Use them to make new meals or take to work or school for lunch the next day.
  • Freeze food: If you have food left over or you’ve bought more than you need, freeze it for later.
  • Grow your own food. If you have a garden, balcony or window sill, you can grow things to eat. Get tips on growing your own food, find community allotments and more.

Read more about saving money on your food shop and ways to eat healthy on a budget:

Essentials

Find ways to cover the costs of some of life’s essentials, everything from school uniform and school meals to household items and repairs of things like bicycles and electrical appliances.

  • Free furniture and household items – Find places in Portsmouth where you can get free furniture and household items.
  • Paulsgrove Bathroom Bank provides essential bathroom items; everything from shampoo to sanitary products, all donated by local people. It’s based at St Michael and All Angels Church, Hempsted Road, Paulsgrove, PO6 4AS. Open every Thursday 2pm to 5pm and Friday & Saturday morning from 9am to 12pm Everyone welcome. No booking, referral or voucher necessary. Call 023 9238 7339 or email fatherhugodeadman5@gmail.com for more information.
  • Repair items for free – The Repair Café is a free monthly pop-up social event where you can learn how to repair and mend your things with the help of friendly volunteers, including broken appliances, stuck zips, rusty tools, old bicycles and clothing.
  • Borrow useful items – The Portsmouth Library of Things is a community project where you can borrow items that you don’t use often, like DIY tools, kitchen appliances, camping gear, party supplies, sports equipment and more.
  • There are a number of grants available to help those facing financial hardship
  • Get a free TV licence if you’re over 75 and on pension credit.
  • Money Saving Expert is a great place to find deals and tips on how to save money on your shopping.