Mum Saves £3,120 Per Year on Shopping and Reveals All
- Amy Atkinson saves up to £260 per MONTH
- Reduced-to-clear yellow sticker labels, "fakeaways" and more
- Makes “fakeaways” for her family, saving money on takeaways
Amy Atkinson, 31, from Bolton and mum of two, told money saving community LatestDeals.co.uk how she saves up to £260 per month on her shopping by sticking to reduced-to-clear yellow stickers and making "fakeaways".
That's a saving of up to £3,120 a year. Amy is savvy with the ingredients she uses, shopping in the clearance sections to cook great homemade meals. She also showed us a photo of several cupboard items that she managed to pick up for just £6 from Co-op.
“I used to be spending £150 a week on food including a takeaway,” she said. “Now it's around £50 to £60 a week and that's with having a takeaway I make myself. I buy whatever I can on reduced but we eat really well with steaks, curries, fruits, vegetables and treats too.”
Amy treats her families to feasts, cooking up Indian banquets and crispy cakes using the ingredients she picks up at bargain prices: it cost her just £4 to make a huge batch of crispy cakes.
She also whips up what she calls “fakeaways”. She says: “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.”
Amy also recommends choosing the time of your food shop wisely. “I go to the supermarket around 9am as they usually start reducing at 8.30am,” Amy adds. “Sometimes I go later in the day too and they further reduce last things but it's always best in the morning. I also go on Sundays around 4pm as most supermarkets close around 5pm so there are loads of bargains to be found.”
She said, “I never pay full price for anything - I always hunt first. My shopping was £450 a month, and I've now more than halved it to on average between £190 and £220 a month. I bulk buy and freeze as much as possible.”
Posting on the Extreme Couponing and Bargains UK group, Amy shared a photo of an incredible haul from Home Bargains and Morrisons, in which she spent just £5.
Amy, a mum of two, wrote: “I save a bomb doing it this way. I do one monthly online shop for £100 then about 4 times a week I go to Morrisons and Home Bargains and stock up spending between £5 and £7 a day at most. Loads can be frozen and this will save me a lot as [it's] half term.”
She also helpfully provided tips for other shoppers keen to emulate her money-saving ways. She advised: “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, buy to take kids feeding ducks, 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.”
Bargain hunters were seriously impressed by Amy’s skills, with over 200 people liking her post, and others commenting “brilliant” and “well done”.
Tom Church, Co-Founder of LatestDeals.co.uk shared his timeless tips for saving money on food too:
- Aldi, Lidl, Jack's. Switch to Aldi, Lidl and Jack's and you’ll almost halve your food bill on day one. I have their online recipe sections bookmarked on my phone’s homepage so when I’m in the shop I can quickly choose a recipe and buy the ingredients.
- Too Good To Go is a free app in which restaurants and individuals giveaway or sell for cheap leftover food. Last week I got £25 worth of YO! Sushi for £3.99.
- MealPal gets you takeway restaurant food for 40% less at lunchtime. Order on the app, go to the restaurant and pick-up your lunch. If you’re in a city this is the best way to save on lunch.
- One Pound Meals by Miguel Barclay – This man should win an OBE from the Queen. A British recipe book where each portion only costs £1 or less. Admittedly, the portions are a bit small but critics are missing the point: it’s the intent that matters. Learn the general principles and you’ll save loads!
- Soft openings – When new restaurants open they often do a week of half price (or even free) food. This is to promote their restaurant and also train new staff without the pressure of full-paying customers. Search your local newspaper, Twitter, Instagram for new restaurant openings. In London, I actually pay for a website called The Nudge which seems to be the best at finding them. I’m going to restaurants with Michelin Star chefs for the price of a McDonald’s.
- TasteCard for 2-for-1 restaurants across the UK. Compare The Market gives you 2-for-1 cinema and restaurants; you just need to get an insurance quote to be eligible. There are various voucher apps too.