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Thrifty Mum Reveals How To Cut Down On Your Food Shop & Reduce Waste

DebsGC
23rd September 2020, 11:00 AM
  • Becky Stanworth, 29, gets regular Too Good To Go boxes
  • The £3.09 boxes from Morrisons are filled with items that would otherwise be thrown away
  • Becky also encourages only buying what you need and thoroughly planning meals

As Covid-19 restrictions get stricter, stockpiling has been on the rise as families rush to the supermarket to make sure they have everything they need in the event of another lockdown.

But one mum has urged against stockpiling and revealed how you can help the fight against food waste while also being kind to your wallet.

Becky Stanworth, 29, a nurse and mum-of-one, has an excellent food shopping routine that aims not just to cut down on spending, but on food waste.

Becky regularly buys Morrisons “Magic Boxes” - bags of food close to the best before date that would otherwise be thrown away - for £3.09 from the Too Good To Go app, and thoroughly plans each meal to avoid food wastage and maximise each supermarket item she buys.

Becky, who lives with her fiancé and son in Lancashire, told money-saving community LatestDeals.co.uk: "We decided to try the Morrisons boxes as a way to try a different variety of foods that we normally wouldn’t buy. It is also a way of using items that would usually be binned by the supermarkets.

"With today’s wasteful nature just one box bought is a step in the right direction.

"We aim to get a box the day before we do our ‘big shop’, that way we don’t double up on any items and don’t buy things we no longer need.

"We usually spend around £10 per week on fresh fruit and veg, so spending £3.09 on a box from Morrisons can easily half that.

"We’ve had a few boxes now. They do vary in quality but out of my most recent haul all I’ve found was one slightly squishy strawberry. Everything else is in amazing condition and will probably last several days.

"We were lucky enough to get a box the week before last. It had quite a few potatoes which are still going strong now.

“Overall, if we were to buy everything full price it would cost us significantly more. We use it as a way to save a little bit of money but we also love the variety.

"We get veg that we wouldn’t normally buy. We love incorporating those into our meals and trying something a little different at times.

“We are also trying to reduce the amount of waste we have, so saving even one meal from the bin is fantastic.

"Wasting less has been all the more important especially with Covid-19.

"Huge numbers of people were stockpiling food which was later shown in overflowing bins as it had gone well past the ‘eatable’ stage. This just seems ridiculous to us. Every little helps and all that!

"The scheme can save us money in the long run as we’re not buying full priced items. The boxes vary in quality and quantity so some weeks we have to buy more fruit and veg when we go shopping, but that’s just the nature of it.

"The whole idea was to reduce food waste, therefore we should only be getting items that would otherwise have ended up in the bin. I have to admit the scheme doesn’t save me time though. We have supermarkets much closer to home that do not use the scheme.

"When we win a box we have to drive to the next town over to collect it. Luckily I work nearby so can collect on my way home. This detour doesn’t save me any time as I still need to do our full food shop usually at a later date.”

As well as saving money on her food shop by making the most of Morrisons boxes, Becky also recommends taking time to plan each meal to avoid wasting both money and food.

"We made our food last over lockdown by planning more and utilising anything left from the previous day's meals,” she adds. "Nothing was binned unnecessarily.

"My tips for going through food during lockdown would be to plan your meals. Know what you’re eating and stick to it where possible. Buy only what you will use as well.

"Boredom can often lead to eating just for something to do - I’m terrible for doing this. It’s very easy to get through more food that way. Now when I find myself raiding the cupboards I will often ask myself if I'm actually hungry or just eating for the sake of it.

"I would recommend looking in the reduced sections in supermarkets. Not everything will suit you but some things may.

"Last week I bought a large pack of mince in the reduced section. When I came home I split it into two. One half made a bolognese, the other a cottage pie.

"Both meals served two adults and a child plus several servings left over for freezing. I freeze into children’s sized portions for quick healthy homemade teas after school.

"My top tip would be to buy only what you need. Buying things just because they are in the shop doesn’t help anyone. Buy only what you will use and you need!”

Tom Church, co-founder of LatestDeals.co.uk, comments: “Becky’s tips are enormously helpful to families who are trying to combat overspending at a financially stressful time.

“Only buy what you need, plan your meals meticulously and support food waste apps and you’ll not only help the planet - you’ll save money too!”

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