A budget-conscious mom has revealed her top tips for feeding her family for just $3.50 a head — and it’s surprisingly easy.
With the cost of living skyrocketing, we’re all looking for those frugal tips and tricks to help us keep a little extra of our hard-earned cash in our pockets.
For mother from Melbourne Alison SaidHer biggest budget reveal came two years ago when she started preparing meals in an effort to save some extra dollars and reduce food waste.
But the reward was so spectacular that it has since become a “way of life” – and now her family is saving a whopping $15,000 a year.
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“I started preparing meals in 2020 when I was on maternity leave,” she said.
“I was really motivated to become a better cook for my kids, give them meals they would actually eat, while saving money for my family.
“It has become a way of life and has helped us save about $15k annually.”
Before she started preparing and planning meals, the mom said she would spend at least $250 a week on groceries and another $150 a week on takeout, bringing her total to $400 a week.
She now only spends $100 a week on food, saving $15k a year.
At just $100 a week, Alison spends $14.20 a day feeding her family, which works out to just under $3.57 a head.
Alison said some of the best savings started when she started shopping at aldi, which she says has some of the best discounts compared to other supermarket chains.
“I always buy what I can at Aldi first, because the prices are always cheaper.
“If you look at the catalogs in advance and make a thorough plan, it can help you a lot.”
The finance professional said it can be easy for anyone to save a little extra cash each week on grocery shopping with a few simple adjustments to their routine.
With these handy hacks, Alison ensures it won’t be long before you start to notice a difference in how much you can save.
“I never pay full price and always loot the catalogs for bargains,” she explained.
“I will always stock up on discounted meat and shop in bulk at the market. We also use a vacuum sealer to keep our meat longer in the freezer.
“Shop at the local fruit and vegetable stores and also buy seasonal products, because it’s much cheaper.”
“If you have unused bread that is approaching its best before date, freeze it. Use for lunchbox sandwiches or toasted sandwiches,” she continued.
“I regularly organize my pantry, fridge and freezer so that we create more space for bulk purchases and can easily see what we already have and not waste food.
“Cut fruits and vegetables ahead of time to avoid being tempted to order takeout.”
The mother also keeps her family meals simple and budget-friendly, often preparing the meals in advance to save time and money later.
Dishes such as spaghetti bolognese, pasta bakes and nachos are always cheap and popular.
“I also like whipping up homemade pies and buying a roast chicken to use for wraps. The leftovers can be saved for future meals.
“Simple sandwiches for the kids to take to school are a great time and money saver, and I’ll also be using leftovers from dinner to fill up their lunch boxes.
“I can still make my kids’ lunches look exciting and colorful on a budget.”
Alison’s last two tips for parents trying to save in stores are simple.
“Never go shopping when you’re hungry and try to leave the kids at home if you can,” she said. “It’s better not to be rushed and distracted, because then you don’t have to throw everything in the trolley to get out quickly with your screaming toddler.”
ALISON’S TOP FIVE TIPS FOR STAYING ON A FOOD BUDGET
1. Don’t buy full price if you can avoid it, always wait for it to be special!
2. Stock up on certain foods like meat when it’s on sale and freeze for later
3. Shop from your local greengrocer for a better deal on fruits and vegetables
4. Invest in a vacuum machine to keep food fresh longer
5. Never go shopping on an empty stomach
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