Mum of four reveals how she got £157 Waitrose shop for just £24
- Louise Smith, 40, got a £157 Waitrose shop for £24
- Louise meal preps to save money on cooking for her family
- Louise offers tips to do the same
If food seems to be vanishing out of your fridge at a rapid rate, and your weekly shop is costing more than ever, take advice from this savvy mum.
Louise Smith*, 40, a prison officer, and her husband Mark, 42, a police officer, are both key workers so their kids have been self-isolating with their other parents during the lockdown.
Louise, from Kent, has been making each meal last as long as possible under the lockdown, and has even managed to find yellow sticker shops during the lockdown.
"Lockdown is hard as we are both key workers, so we haven’t seen our four children since before the lockdown to keep them safe,” Louise told money-saving community LatestDeals.co.uk.
"The kids are eight, 13, 17 and 21, and have been isolating with their other parents.
“I managed to get a yellow sticker shop in Waitrose because I happened to be there at the right time!
"Because of the panic buying, shops had ordered more and now it’s slowed down and not so many are going to the shops people, there are a lot of reduced items.
"It cost £24 and should have been £157!
"I have two large freezers and a full store cupboard all the time. If I see things reduced I buy and freeze and meal plan around this.”
Louise says she has lots of tips and tricks up her sleeve when it comes to saving on cooking for her big family.
“My top tips are meal planning, as it saves a fortune,” she adds. "Some weeks I don’t really have to shop at all.
"Make an inventory of what you have and use that to create meals.
“Use Facebook groups to help inspire you. I run a Facebook group called Slow Cooker Recipes for the Opinionated and it’s extremely supportive and has a vast selection of recipes.
"The members are extremely helpful - if you post what ingredients you have, they suggest meals to make.
"Batch cooking also saves a lot of money: make a large chilli, for instance, bulked out with cheap items like baked beans and tinned tomatoes and then portion and freeze.
“It can be used for things like jacket potato topping, tacos, Mexican bake and burritos.
"I’ve found Facebook groups like my cooking group, craft group and book club really helpful to chat and get and give support.
"I also volunteer in my village to do shopping for those who can’t get out and pick up medicines, and I have a table outside my house with books and jigsaws and board games on where people can help themselves while out on their daily exercise.
"I also have been using the House Party app to stay in touch with friends and family and play quizzes etc with them!”
Tom Church, co-founder of LatestDeals.co.uk, comments: “Anyone who’s stood in an endless supermarket queue during the pandemic will know how difficult it is to even get every time on your shopping list, let alone discounted items.
“However Louise’s amazing Waitrose shop proves that even in these scary times, it’s possible to bag a hugely discounted yellow sticker shop.
“To grab your own yellow sticker items, speak to staff at your local supermarket to see when they reduce items, as some do it in the morning and some do it in the evening - and leave lots of space in your freezer so you can bulk cook and meal prep like Louise!"
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