The next blogger in my guest post series is the lovely Laura one half of the team over at Savings 4 Savvy Mums. Their blog is packed full of parenting giggles, penny-pinching advice and money-making ideas and certainly worth a visits!
You can also find Laura here:
How to Eat Healthy as a Family on a Budget
Can you really eat healthy on a budget? We all know that feeding a family is expensive, but you really can have your cake and eat it for almost no money at all. So if expense is the only thing discouraging you from trying to help your family make healthier choices, then this post is for you.
Two years ago, I managed to cut my weekly shopping bill in half from £110 to just £50. That’s right, for £50 a week I can feed four people. I swear there’s nothing strange going on, that includes nappies most weeks and yes, sometimes I do go a bit over but sometimes I’m also under too.
So here are my top tips on how to feed your family healthily for less.
Quite controversial, I know, and I guess you have to weigh up how far away your local Aldi or Lidl is to you too. We swapped from Asda to Aldi and saw an instant fall in our weekly shop. From British grown meat and fresh fruit and vegetables, the rise of the discount supermarket is here. Over the Christmas period, we had eleven people for dinner, only three of them were kids. Our shop for that week including turkey? £92. We had wine, we had a full Christmas dinner and desserts all around with snacks later on. Give it a go and let your taste buds be the judge, not the label.
Write a List and Meal Plan
I can’t recommend this enough. Meal planning stops you having to think about what’s for dinner after another exhausting day with the kids and a set shopping list stops you from going crazy down the aisles.
Write up what you need for the week ahead and “try” to stick to it.
Cut Down Waste
Now, this I find hard. My kids are picky eaters and seem to hate anything that isn’t beige, hence, a lot of waste. To cut down, I freeze any unused food I can. Bread; I leave half a loaf out a freeze the rest. Slow cooking; I make a little more to use the next day. Ripe fruit; gets turned into smoothies or muffins.
I can’t think to far ahead, plus, my kids go through so many food fads, that I don’t know what they will like from one meal to the next. Shopping weekly not only lets me “change things” up, but also keeps me reigned in budget wise.
I love leftovers! There’s nothing easier than pulling something pre-made out the fridge or freezer when you’re mega busy. I try to cook extra, then me and the kids will either have it the next day for lunch or as a frozen healthy ready meal some other time.
Frozen fruit and vegetables are so underrated. Pre-cut, cheaper and picked at their peak of freshness, these little gems are packed full of nutrients and can be used a handful at a time.
Buy Cheaper Cuts
Slow cooking gradually breaks down the fibres in cheaper cuts, giving a great taste at a lower cost. Trust me, when it comes to curries or Spaghetti Bolognese you really can’t tell the difference. There have been some weeks where I know money is going to be tight, so I buy a gammon joint and we eat that four or five different ways all week. Yep, we’re all sick of gammon by Friday, but I still have cash in the bank.
Look up Low-cost Recipes
Cheap doesn’t mean gross. There are hundreds of websites (like me) offering low-cost family friendly recipes. Googling “leftover meals” or “cheap eats” will get you to the right place and give you bags of new meal ideas.
Cook from Scratch
Don’t kill the messenger here, but I swear it saves money and tastes better. Yep, it takes time and sometimes can feel like you’re feeding the bin, but if you freeze as well then it can save you some serious cash. Sauces, pizza, hunters chicken, you name it you can make it!
Compare Pre-packed with Loose
Sometimes fruit and vegetables cost more pre-packed than loose. Check the weight versus the pounds. Don’t overthink it. If you plan on only using two carrots this week, only buy two unless you plan on adding carrots to everything. Only buy what you need.
Beware of BOGOF Offers
Shiny buy one get one free offer are very tempting, but be careful, because they aren’t always the cheaper option.
Discounts on perishables at the end of the shopping day are another way to bag a saving. Anything that can be frozen or that you will use that day is worth grabbing.
Hopefully, I’ve given you a few ideas to help shave a few pounds off your weekly shop. Like I said, some weeks for us are better than others, but these small changes really did make a huge difference to my bank account!
Don’t forget to pop over and visit Laura’s blog Savings 4 Savvy Mums to see how else she can save your pennies!