FEEDING your family can certainly be expensive, but it doesn't have to be.
This thrifty shopper manages to feed her family of five £2 meals every single day, and they NEVER double up during the week.
Gemma Brooks, 32 from Hertfordshire has three kids aged nine, five and two and spends about £50 a week on groceries.
But in order to get the most out of her shop, the mum-of-three plans her meals in advance and makes sure they come in under £2.
She told money-saving community LatestDeals.co.uk: "It’s easy if you plan your meals in advance – I write mine up on a whiteboard in the kitchen.
FABULOUS BINGO: GET A £5 FREE BONUS WITH NO DEPOSIT REQUIRED
"I do my weekly shop at Tesco – I have tried other supermarkets but have found that Tesco works out cheaper while keeping a certain quality to the food.
"I meal plan and put a list together in my online basket and adjust depending on what I already have in the house. I find that taking the time to plan saves loads of cash in the long run.
"‘Essentially the pattern is that I only need to spend a couple of pounds per recipe while making use of existing supplies in the food cupboard and freezer.
"In total I only spent around £30 for my food shop including basics such as cereals and bread. I then had £20 to carry over for the next week or spend on a value pack of meat in the future."
Another way she saves on groceries is to buy meat in bulk when she can.
Any money leftover from her weekly food budget she will save and put towards buying in bulk.
"I will order a bulk load of meat from Best Meat as they have some amazing deals and the quality is really good," she said.
"For example, they do a week’s worth of meat for meals for £30 which I can make stretch even further. It will also free up some of the budget for weeks after as I don't need to buy meat in the shop."
The money-saving mum doesn't rely on yellow-sticker deals either and you "can't guarantee when and what will be available."
So she budgets for full-priced items and if she does pick up something that's discounted she will make an easy swap.
"You can't reliably feed your family on discounts as you really can't guarantee when and what is going to be available and what is may not always be suitable for your household," she said.
"If you plan ahead and get creative you can make food stretch. For example, I recently made homemade burgers and chips for dinner. One pack of mince makes seven burgers, and I could probably get eight if I went slightly smaller on all of them. 500g of mince is £1.49 from Tesco and a pack of oven chips is £1 from Iceland. I had some 70p Tesco rolls frozen. So the meal cost me £3.19 and each portion was only around 60p.
"I will also try to put aside one morning a week to use up anything I may have that is reaching its use by date and cook/bake to all be placed into the freezer ready for a quicker hassle free meal another time," she said.
"Almost anything can be frozen if you do it correctly and I hate waste so it works on both reducing food waste and keeping within my budget.
"The other morning I focused on food prep and made a banana and cinnamon loaf, fruit and nut breakfast bars and pancakes.
"All destined for the freezer for when I want to give the kids something more than cereal or toast for breakfast but don't have the time.
"Also a good way to use up the leftover bananas and milk I had before shopping the next day."
Surprisingly, the thrifty mum said you don't have to avoid pricer ingredients, such as fish, as you can still whip up a meal for cheap.
She added: "I recently prepared baked salmon with lemon, new potatoes, peas and green beans.
"Frozen salmon fillets are a great way to be able to get salmon into your diet while sticking to your budget.
"A pack of frozen fillets costs me £3.30 in Tesco but buying similar amounts in the chilled section easily costs a couple of pounds more.
"I always know what meals I am buying for ahead of time so I can find the cheapest options"
What a week of meals looks like:
Saturday – Risotto
Sunday – Sausages, roast potatoes and vegetables
Monday – Cheese and onion pie, mash and beans
Tuesday – Gammon, potatoes and cabbage
Wednesday – Lasagne, garlic bread and salad
Thursday – Southern fried chicken, chips and vegetables
Friday – Curry and rice
Using these meals as an example, Gemma explained: "First up, risotto. 500g of risotto rice from Tesco is £1.75 but 1kg of a different variety is just 25p more.
"Buying a single portion of pre-made risotto costs £2.50 on average – I have all the other ingredients at home already so I only need to spend £2 to create a full meal for the whole family.
"I can pick up 14 pork sausages for £2 in Iceland, and I have potatoes and veggies in the freezer. As for the cheese and onion pie, I can pick up cheddar and eggs to make it from scratch – I already have onion, butter and flour to complete the recipe."
Tom Church, Co-Founder of LatestDeals.co.uk, said: "Gemma is clearly a pro at making her money – and food shopping – stretch to feed her family. She proves that you don’t need to find yellow sticker bargains to make some great savings. Her sample meal plan looks great, I might have to try it out myself!"
Meanwhile, this thrifty Aldi shopper shares how she makes a £137 shopping trip last three months – with meals for her partner too.
Meanwhile, this mum reveals hack that means she can fill her WHOLE freezer with meatballs, chicken and sausages for just 20p.
Plus Aldi shoppers are raving about the clever ‘adult fruit box’ hack which creates a yummy cocktail in seconds.
Source: Read Full Article