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Live Lagom: Living Lagom with Jan

You don't have to make dramatic changes to improve the wellbeing of yourself, the quality of your life, and ultimately, your world. As Jan found out, the little things can have a big impact too.

Man in blue shirt standing by the stove in his kitchen.
Man in blue shirt standing by the stove in his kitchen.
Before taking part in this project, the only person I'd ever seen using a pressure cooker was my nan.


What does Lagom mean? Lagom comes from the Swedish phrase “Lagom är bäst” (the right amount is best), which we believe is the secret to sustainable living.

Jan lives in a terraced house in Peterborough with two housemates. He’s a Process Developer at IKEA and got involved in Live Lagom after winning a department competition. One of the things he loved about the project was a workshop on how the energy saving VÄRDESÄTTA pressure cooker can cut down cooking time. 

"I previously worked as a chef and I love to batch-cook, so I was keen to learn how to be even more efficient in the kitchen. I saw a pressure cooker used to demonstrate a ‘curry in a hurry’ at one of the Lagom workshops, so I thought I’d give it a go. Because it’s a sealed pot, the pressure allows it to get to a higher temperature faster – saving time, energy and money. I can cook a month’s worth of meals in one afternoon."

"For Live LAGOM, I wanted to see how much food I could make for as little money and in as little time as possible. I’ve produced four weeks’ worth of dinners for £20 in just four hours. But I normally do a week’s worth of lunch and dinner – after all, you might get bored eating the same thing for more than a week. Batch-cooking means I’m saving money on my food shop. I only spend £40 a month, while someone who buys ready meals might spend £200. So that’s £160 extra that I can put towards travelling, which I love."

"Having the pressure cooker gives me different ideas about how to cook things. I do an Aloo Dum (potato curry) in 10 minutes. Quickly fry off some onions and garlic. Add the potatoes – you don’t even have to parboil them first – along with some ginger, chillies, a bit of passata and a little water. Give it a stir and put the lid on. That’s it."

"Some of the ridiculously quick cooking times I’ve come up with wouldn’t have been possible without it!"

"I bought food containers that you can use in the fridge, freezer and microwave. And they’re stackable, so they save on space."

"I did some research and found out that the volume of a stomach is about one litre. So I bought a load of IKEA 365+ containers around this size to make sure everything is portion-controlled. I’ll use a slightly larger tub for my lunch, to see me through the day, and a smaller one for my evening meal. This way, I don’t eat too much, or waste anything."

Bright Idea

"I used to slow-cook pulled pork for about eight hours, but you can do it in the pressure cooker in just two!"

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Real stories and ideas on how to be kinder to the world