We love Eat Well for Less on BBC One, which is why we couldn’t be happier about it coming back for its fifth series!
In the same mould as previous series, celeb foodie Gregg Wallace will team up with Chris Bavin (a greengrocer, who swapped his town centre shop for a direct delivery fruit and veg box service) to help everyday families to cut their weekly and monthly food shop bills – and we couldn’t be more impressed.
In fact, it’s actually unbelievable how much money you can save on your food bill just by swapping from brands to budget or pre-prepared foods to fresh.
It’s said that an average family of four will spend at least £232 a month on food (according to Office for National Statistics). That’s a staggering £2,784 a year – and that doesn’t even include special occasions like birthdays or Christmas, not to mention the six-week school holidays!
Here’s everything you need to know about this year’s show.
When is Eat Well For Less on?
Series 5 will air its first episode on Thursday, July 12th at 8pm on BBC One. It’s then on every Thursday at 8pm for the next seven weeks.
Eat Well For Less presenters
Gregg Wallace and Chris Bavin are back for another series of Eat Well for Less, helping families make smarter decisions when it comes to their food shop and save their pennies as a result. They’ve been presenting the show together since 2013, but how much do you know about them?
Who is Gregg Wallace?
You probably know Gregg Wallace because of his other TV presenting gig as BBC’s MasterChef host, which he’s had since 2005. He’s also been a contestant on Strictly Come Dancing in 2014, and has been a judge on MasterChef: The Professionals too.
Who is Chris Bavin?
Chris Bavin has been working in the fruit and veg market for 18 years, and opened his business, high street greengrocers The Naked, in 2009.
As well as presenting Eat Well for Less with Gregg, Chris has also fronted Food: Truth Or Scare, with Gloria Hunniford, and Tomorrow’s Food, with Dara O Briain, Angela Hartnett and Dr Shini Somara.
Eat Well For Less recipes
The duo are always keen to show that delicious dinners don’t have to cost the earth. They focus on cheap recipes that are filling and taste fantastic too.
Eat Well For Less episode 1 series
In the first episode of the 2018 series of Eat Well For Less Chris and Gregg will be challenged by the Atkinson family in Blackpool, who rely on takeaways despite also doing a weekly food shop which means there’s always food in the fridge. Don’t they know there are plenty of cheap takeaway alternatives?
The Atkinsons have the biggest food spend Gregg and Chris have ever seen, and it is up to them to put a stop to it. It is not going to be easy, but can they get the Atkinson men feeding the family, will they try homemade takeaways instead? But most importantly, can they get them to save some much-needed cash?
Eat Well For Less episode 2 series 5
In what could a Eat Well For Less first, Greg and Chris try to encourage the Dye family to spend more on their food shop, not less. Jon and Lisa Dye admit they don’t cook their own dinners and mostly rely on more expensive microwave meals or pricey convenient snacks instead. They’re certainly not making the most of all the healthy homemade microwave recipes you can cook up in a hurry!
Jon is a car specialist who loves a packet of crisps or two while his wife Lisa has a sweet tooth… Are you more of a dessert or starter person? A lack of organisation with their weekly food shop means the Dye family’s shopping bill comes under the national average. Greg and Chris try and up the family’s spending in an attempt to improve their diet, health and nutrition! But will they succeed?
What can I learn from Eat Well For Less?
Eat Well For Less has really opened our eyes up to the possibility of us actually cutting our food shop bill – sounds appealing, doesn’t it?
Here are nine things we’ve learnt from the show in previous years and would now like to pass on to you… Happy saving!
1. A list will change everything
Did you know you can slash your food bill by 50% just by planning ahead and ditching impulse buys? Writing a shopping list and planning your meals for the week before you head to your local supermarket or start clicking on products online will save you money in minutes. You’ll stick to the list, use it to guide you around the aisle and you won’t overbuy.
2. A last-minute cupboard check works wonders
Check what you already have in the cupboards before you head out, even before you start writing your list. If you’ve got enough to last you another week, there’s no point buying more. Use up what you’ve already got and make meals from it!
3. Offers are sometimes deceiving
So, your local supermarket is offering buy one get one free on your favourite brand of baked beans. But hold on a minute, the brand next to it is far cheaper and costs less for two tins anyway? Some offers are not offers at all, and just encourage you to buy more.
4. A monthly bulk buy goes a long way
Cans, pasta, rice – the products that you know will last and you have room for in your cupboards are best bought in bulk. This only has to be a one off every month and then you’re set for 4-6 weeks. ‘Mega packs’ of products are often much cheaper per 100g than smaller packs, so keep an eye out for those!
5. Cheap cuts of meat will save you pounds
Swapping chicken breast for chicken thigh and swapping leg of lamb for lamb shank will save you more than 50%. You’re still getting the same weight and quantity of meat, its just much cheaper because it’s considered not as favourable.
6. Frozen food is cheap and easy to cook with
Stock your freezer up with frozen vegetables or frozen meat or fish and you’ll be surprised how much you can save. Lots of our cheap family meals come in at under £1 per head thanks to frozen veggies! Frozen food is so easy to cook with, too! Defrost meat overnight in the fridge or add frozen veg straight into a dish when cooking. Frozen food is just as good quality as fresh, it’s only cheaper!
7. Swap takeaway lunches for homemade instead
According to the BBC, a working couple can spend over £40 each week on takeaway lunches and snacks – that’s a whopping £4,000 a year so you should really think before you start buying pre-made sarnies or your favourite latte everyday – it could be eating a hole in your wallet! It’s time to start making healthy homemade lunches instead…
8. There’s so much more to leftovers than meets the eye
Most leftovers can be transformed into a completely new meal, like the chicken slaw salad pictured above. Or if you’ve simply made too much of your favourite spaghetti Bolognese, for example, there’s no need to bin it! Just pop into a Tupperware container and store in the fridge to have the next day or try some recipes to make in bulk and freeze. Also make sure you check the list of things you didn’t know you could freeze – they’ll be no waste here thank you very much.
9. Compare brand vs supermarket own and you could save
Yes, you may have a favourite ketchup that you just have to buy every month, or a particular brand of yogurt your little ones want in their packed lunch. Either way, if you look around at supermarket versions you’ll be surprised by how much you could save if you swapped, and even think about which products are cheaper in the pound shop. Try them one week and see if anyone spots the difference! Your purse definitely will.
Other ways to save money
It’s not just cutting down on food shopping that can save you money, there are plenty of other tips and tricks available if you need to tighten your belt. Why not look at the 28 best ways to save money in 2018? Or, if it’s mainly stocking up the fridge that is seeing you out of pocket, did you know there is a way you can save 70% off your food shopping (but it might be out of date)
It can be very expensive to feed a household, the cost of having kids means it can be difficult to save money but you can always try to grow your own fruit and veg, especially in this warm weather it couldn’t be easier and it’s a great way to save some cash.
Do you have any top tips when it comes to saving money on your food bill? What have you learnt from Eat Well For Less? Comment below