Savvy mum reveals how she saves £25 a week by bulk cooking
- Beth Hancock, 34, meal preps for her family every Sunday
- Beth says batch cooking saves her £100 a month
- Beth says meal prepping also saves her lots of time every day
When you’re tired and stressed, it’s so easy to pop to the shops for some unnecessary food, or to splash out on a takeaway.
But one woman has proved that if you’re disciplined and organised with your cooking, you can save up to £100 a month.
Beth Hancock, 34, from South Wales, decided to start meal prepping to ensure her family were eating healthily, but soon found that as well as having health benefits, the cooking technique was saving her a fortune too.
The student nurse and mum of two told money-saving community LatestDeals.co.uk: "I started meal prepping and batch cooking before I started university in September 2019, so not very long ago. I started prepping and freezing to ensure my family had healthy meals through the week when I knew I wouldn't have time to cook from scratch.
"I have a meal planner so everyone knows what we are having and when, and all that needs 'cooking' is rice or potatoes (which even my husband and kids can manage by themselves!).
"I make all sorts, such as soups, casseroles, pasta sauces, shepherd's pies, curries and chilli.”
Beth sets aside part of her Sunday to cook for the rest of the week, which she finds saves her a lot of time later on in the week.
"I always cook on a Sunday,” she adds. “My process when meal prepping is probably very similar to other people. I gather all the ingredients I'll need for each dish, prep any vegetables and then get to work.
"I can spend a few hours in the kitchen for sure but I love it. I usually have about four meals cooking at once which can get confusing but no mistakes have been made so far. Meal prepping saves me up to an hour each night as all I have to do the rest of the week is heat up the food and cook the rice which takes less than 10 minutes, especially when you consider chopping everything, cooking meat, boiling, simmering and so on.
“Life can get busy at times, especially with work and kids. Meal prepping ensures that you're eating healthy and nutritious meals. I'm a student nurse so I have placements, university and essays and exams to contend with as well as running the family home, so I wanted to make sure that the food I fed my family was healthy (that's not to say we don't have the occasional chippy tea!).”
Beth says she easily saves up to £25 a week by bulk cooking, and even more if she buys reduced meat and vegetables.
“Put it this way, I spent around £30 last week and made enough evening meals for two weeks for a family of four adults!” she explains. "I buy reduced meat and vegetables (which I freeze until needed) but if I could hazard a guess, I save easily £25 a week by not buying convenience food.
"I'm not saying it's possible for everyone to do the same but buying reduced food definitely cuts the food bill costs as well as ensuring you’re getting fruit and veg in your diet (okay, sometimes the fruit ends up in a cake but surely that counts as one of your five a day?!).”
Beth has top tips for anyone who wants to copy this savvy trick, including starting off slowly and using Google as an invaluable tool.
“Start off with your favourite dishes and just increase the quantity (I usually double) and invest in some good quality tubs which are suitable for freezing,” she recommends.
"I love cooking, but I don't always have the time during the week so my Sunday cooking sessions feed my passion and I also love knowing that my kids can't say there's nothing to eat in the house - plus, they are eating healthily.
"All my meals can be defrosted and heated in the microwave so basically they are homemade ready meals but without the additives and price tag.
“Don't be afraid to meal prep - I have Googled so many times about what you can and can't freeze, how to defrost and so on but it's all about trial and error and I haven't poisoned anyone yet!”
Tom Church, co-founder of LatestDeals.co.uk, says: “You can’t go wrong with meal-prepping: it’s healthier, time-saving and best of all money-saving too! All you need to get started is a few tubs that you can buy on Amazon, some recipes you can find on Google and some space in your freezer, and the whole family can enjoy homemade food every single day."
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