A savvy mother has revealed how she saved a whopping £360 a moth on a food with a simple plan, that still allows her children to enjoy treats and delicious meals.
Vickie Williams, 42, from Sheffield, said she’s wanted to create a meal plan for years but never had time.
But in lockdown, she decided to set about the project in order to make her weekly shop cheaper and her meal times more organised, taking her total monthly bill to around £140.
Speaking to Latest Deals , Vickie, who co-owns a cleaning company and lives with her fiancé Brian, 45, and three of their children explained how she managed to still indulge in takeout once a week, while also cooking up delights including lamb koftas, avocado toast and roast chicken dinners.
‘I found that we had a lot of food waste,’ she explained.
Vickie Williams, 42, from Sheffield, said she always wanted to create a meal plan, has never got around to it. But with more time on her hands in lockdown, she decided to set about the project in order to make her weekly shop cheaper
She also cooks from scratch with her whopping up dishes like pizza topped jacket potatoes for just 75p a head
‘Sticking to a shopping list and not wasting food feels like we’re doing our bit to help tackle the food waste problem.
‘We did our best as a family to take the lockdown rules seriously. We did our best not to make non-essential trips out.
‘Therefore, I knew that what I wanted out of our planner was to be able to do a bulk shop just once a month and then make a quick trip out once a week to get fresh vegetables, salad, fruit and dairy items.
‘We sat down as a family and I asked everybody what their favourite meals were and made sure I included them in the plan.
Vickie, who co-owns a cleaning company and lives with her fiancé Brian, 45, and three of their children explained how she managed to still indulge in takeout once a week, while also cooking up delights including lamb koftas, avocado toast and roast chicken dinners
Vickie’s total cost for a weekly shop is now £140-£150, saving around £360 on what she did before, pictured is here shopping list
‘From there, I devised a shopping list including all the items needed. I’m lucky in the sense that I have a well stocked spice rack as that really helps, along with the fresh items that we grow in the garden – thyme, basil, coriander, parsley, mint and radishes.
‘It wasn’t until I’d completed the first monthly shop that I realised just how little it had actually cost!
Vickie also explained that she has a blended family and she has combined eight children with her partner, who are aged between the ages of 11 and 25.
Vickie also explained that she has a blended family and with her husband she has combined have eight children with her husband, who are aged between the ages of 11 and 25, who enjoy indulge meals like avocado toast
‘At home currently, we have Lenny, 11, Harry, 15, and Ethan, 19,’ she added.
While she’s more particular about what she buys now, Vickie makes sure her children still get treats.
She also cooks from scratch with her whipping up dishes like pizza topped jacket potatoes for just 75p a head.
Vickie, pictured, lives with her partner Brian and three of their children, Lenny, 11, Harry, 15, and Ethan, 19
‘I prefer to cook from scratch so the majority of our family meals are just simple homemade meals that everybody enjoys.
‘The children still have plenty of treats! Lenny is an avid cook and baker. During lockdown we have spent huge amounts of time teaching him as many life skills as possible – cooking is something he loves to do.
‘We can often be found in the kitchen making homemade jam, sponge cakes, scones and savoury pies.’
Noodles are on the menu, as well as a mix of takeaways and indulgent recipes and snacks
Vickie added that she shops in more than one supermarket to make sure she gets the best deals, and gets most of her stuff in bulk, just picking up fresh vegetables when she needs to.
‘I tend to split our grocery shop between Asda and Aldi as l like the quality of the produce that both stores sell.
‘I decided to share my planner online in the hope that in may give meal ideas to other mums and families who were trying to reduce their grocery bill and also their household food waste.
‘Devising a family meal plan with a corresponding shopping list is one of the jobs I had always wanted to get around to doing – but never seemed to have the time!
Room for cake! Vickie also added a delicious mini egg cheesecake to the mix to spoil her kids
‘Obviously being in lockdown meant I was able to reclaim that time and get around to doing it.
‘I didn’t go into the planner for financial reasons. I devised it so that meal times ran more smoothly – although obviously the savings have been great!
‘In the past I have spent well over £100 per week on groceries with little to show for it, and I still had to top up on bits and pieces after a few days.
But after planning, she realised how much money she could save.
Now, the businesswoman spends around £150 a month on food for the family of five, which is around what she spent a month before.
‘I used to spend in the region of £120-£140 a week, so the meal planner saves me over £360 a month.
‘Now the monthly shop and the weekly shop combined is around £150 a month,’ she added.
Planning what’s next, Vickie added: ‘I’m going to switch it up the meal plan as I go. I’m planning on keeping the staple meals but I’d like to come up with ten new recipes a month to keep things fresh and exciting for the children. I’ll look out for foods that are in season to make sure I get the best quality and value.
‘I’m saving up what we have saved and am planning on an extra family holiday.’