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Without a doubt food shopping is one of the biggest weekly expenses - even more so when you've got several mouths to feed.
No one wants their kids to go without, but it can be tricky sticking to a weekly budget sometimes – especially with the extra expenses involved during the (never-ending) summer holidays.
Even if you’ve scoured the supermarket shelves for the best deals, the supermarket bill can still be a bit of shock at times. With the Office of National Statistics reporting that the average weekly food shop for a family regularly tops £60, there’s no doubt that we as a nation allocate a lot of our money to our meals.
So it’s no surprise that one mum-of-two decided to take matters in to her own hands to stop the cost of her food shop from spiralling. Amy Atkinson, a 31-year-old mum to Lewis and Lola, managed to cut her food bill in half, with some very savvy shopping tricks.
So just how did Amy cut her food shopping bill in half?
Amy used to spend a whopping £150 on her weekly supermarket shop, she has managed to cut that cost to just £50/£60 a week.
It means that the Bolton-based mum has saved a whopping £3,120 on average a year(!), just by making a few simple tweaks and changes to her shop, and to the way she eats at home.
Perhaps one of the most important ways Amy has saved money is by making the most of the reduced aisle and finding the perfect time at the supermarket to bag a bargain.
She recommends heading to your local store early in the morning for your food shopping. Amy told Latestdeals.co.uk: ‘I go to the supermarket around 9am as they usually start reducing at 8.30am. Sometimes I go later in the day too and they further reduce last things, but it’s always best in the morning.’
And don’t forget about the weekends! ‘I also go on Sundays around 4pm as most supermarkets close around 5pm so there are loads of bargains to be found.’ Amy explained.
Is there still room for treats within Amy’s budget?
A big part of Amy’s money-saving masterplan has also been to swap out her expensive weekly takeaways for more budget-friendly ‘fakeaways’, which can often cost her a fraction of the prize of a takeout pizza or Chinese.
Admitting something we can probably all relate too, Amy said: ‘I was spending £25 to £30 on one takeaway a week, but I now nip to the supermarket, get trays from the £1 shop and buy ingredients as cheap as I can.
‘For example, the Indian banquet for six cost me £10 and a couple of hours cooking – if I’d got all that as a takeaway we’d be talking £50 or more. I now make fakeaways as I call them for on average £6 for the four of us instead of £25 at a takeaway.’ That’s an amazing £50 saved for her family of four!
Read more: Cheap supermarket and homemade ‘takeaways’
And there’s still room for the nice things too. Trying to budget on your weekly food spend doesn’t mean that you need to forgo sweet treats or your favourite meats, according to Amy: ‘I buy whatever I can on reduced but we eat really well with steaks, curries, fruits, vegetables and treats, too.’
The mum-of-two also spends just £4 whipping up a huge batch of crispy cakes, which will satisfy her little’uns sweet teeth from Monday through to Sunday.
Amy’s top tips for budget food shopping
So what other tricks does Amy have to offer up to busy families wanting to shave some pounds off their weekly food shopping?
- Buy reduced yogurts, add a stick in and freeze – you’ve got lolly yogurts, my kids love them.
- Buy cheap bread to either use within couple days for picnics, freeze, crumble as breadcrumbs and store in a jar – lasts ages.
- Buy cheap reduced fruit, chop up if big pieces, then freeze to add to your gins later.
- Buy cheap meat and freeze – just defrost before use.
We’ll definitely be adding these tips to our weekly shop – will you? Let us know!