I like to consider myself savvy. I’m a money saver. Always thinking about how I can save a bit here and there. Yes you’ll find me shopping for those yellow stickered items. Yes I love a supermarket own brand. Yes I seek out the soft launches and restaurant deals.

I like to take lunch in for the most part of the week, when I get chance to cook ahead to save some extra pennies. But you know, it doesn’t always happen. And I definitely didn’t think about quite how much I could actually be saving!

Batch Cooking, Tomato Sauce Recipe, John Lewis

John Lewis has calculated that, by taking in lunch, you could on average save a HUGE £1,493.89 a year. That’s like at least two holidays. A shiny new camera. Or a large chunk towards the mortgage I’m forever saving for.

So I’ve started planning more. Because planning is key. Making time to whip up lunches for the week, and trading meals with Alex so we get to shake it up a bit.

Batch Cooking, Tomato Sauce Recipe, John Lewis

I don’t cook the same meals week in week out but there is one thing which serves as the base to most dishes. A simple tomato and basil sauce.

It can be used for pasta (one of the simplest meals for batch cooking), risotto, a simplified ratatouille, and plenty more.

Batch Cooking, Tomato Sauce Recipe, John Lewis

Add a few extra ingredients and it can be transformed into the sauce for a pizza base for midweek meals, or Shakshuka for those weekend brunches. It’s so versatile. It’s super simple to make too.

Batch Cooking, Tomato Sauce Recipe, John Lewis

To help you save money on lunches too, below is my simple tomato & basil sauce recipe. I hope you enjoy.

What’s your go-to lunch? Do you batch cook or do you buy something daily dependent on your mood?

Chloe xx

Simple Tomato & Basil Sauce

A versatile sauce ideal for batch cooking recipes

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes


  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp Very Lazy chopped garlic
  • 1 small handful fresh basil
  • 1/2 tsp Very Lazy chopped chilli
  • 400 g plum tomatoes (one tin)
  • salt & pepper to season


  1. Heat the oil in a small saucepan. Fry the garlic for a minute or two, stirring regularly. Be careful not to burn it.

  2. Roughly chop the basil and add to the frying pan. Add the chilli and fry for a further a minute.

  3. Add the plum tomatoes to the pan, bring to boil. Reduce to simmer and cover with a lid. Continue to cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to avoid it sticking to the bottom of the pan.

  4. Stir into cooked pasta or risotto rice. If you prefer a smoother sauce, blend before stirring in. 

Batch Cooking, Tomato Sauce Recipe, John Lewis Batch Cooking, Tomato Sauce Recipe, John Lewis

*This post is in collaboration with John Lewis