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Mum Of 3 Shares How To Feed 5 For £50 A Week & Create £2 Meals

ImogenGroome
November 8, 2021, 1:00 PM
  • Gemma, 32, shares how she buys groceries for just £50 a week, feeding a family of 5
  • She reveals her top tips for planning the week ahead and how to make meals stretch
  • The mum of 3 shops at Tesco and the Food Warehouse for her bargains
  • She shares a sample meal plan with tricks on how to make massive savings

Sometimes it feels like the price of food is constantly rising, so creating and sticking with a budget can be difficult. However, one savvy mum of 3 has proven it’s possible by sharing how she spends just £50 a week on grocery shopping for a family of 5.

Gemma Brooks, 32 from Hertfordshire with three kids aged 9, 5 and 2 told money-saving community LatestDeals.co.uk: ‘I don’t spend more than £50 a week for all of our shopping needs. It’s easy if you plan your meals in advance - I write mine up on a whiteboard in the kitchen.

‘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 will also occasionally get certain bits from other places too. I find the Food Warehouse good for keeping the "quick fix" meals in the freezer. For example they do staples such as cooked meats, chips and fruit for £1 and under.

‘I also keep any money left over from my budget each week and when there is enough I will order a bulk load of meat from Best Meat as they have some amazing deals and the quality is really good. 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.

‘I don't rely on sticker deals as you can't guarantee when and what will be available so I work my budget around what prices actually are in the shop and if I find anything reduced I can swap it in. 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.

‘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. 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.

‘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. 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.

‘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.

‘You don’t need to avoid items typically seen as pricier, either, such as fish. 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. Here is a sample week:

‘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 cauliflower

‘Friday - Curry and rice

‘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.

‘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.

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!’

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