AS the cost of living continues to skyrocket, many of us are looking for ways we can cut back and save money.
Luckily, one savvy mum from Melbourne, Australia has revealed her top money-saving tips.
Alison Said revealed that two years ago, she started meal prepping to try and cut back on food waste, and has since been able to save thousands of pounds a year.
Since she started becoming more strict with her spending, the mum has discovered a new “way of life”.
Not only this, but this new lifestyle has allowed her family to save a massive $15,000 AUD (around £8,500) a year.
Alison told news.com.au: “I started meal prepping back in 2020 when I was on maternity leave.
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“I was really motivated to become a better cook for my kids, provide them with meals they would actually eat, while saving money for my family.
“It’s become a way of life and has helped us save around $15,000 yearly.”
Prior to her meal planning and prepping, Alison explained that she would spend at least $250 (£141) a week on food shopping, together with another $150 (£85) a week on takeaways.
But now the mum only spends around $100 (around £56) a week on food, which means she saves up to $15,000 (£8,500) a year.
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The savings see Alison spend only $14.20 (£8) a day on feeding her family, which means her meals come in at around $3.57 (£2) per head.
Alison explained that she started making huge savings when she started shopping at Aldi.
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According to Alison, Aldi offers some of the most reasonable deals in comparison to other supermarkets.
If you want to start making savings, Alison recommends scouring catalogues for bargains, shopping for seasonal produce at markets and buying in bulk to save money.
Alison also highlights the importance of freezing goods – as this is not only good for saving money, but it can also be a life-saver too.
She continued: “If you have unused bread approaching the expiry date, freeze it. Use for lunch box sandwiches or toasties.
“I organise my pantry, fridge and freezer regularly, so we create more space for bulk-buys and can easily see what we already have and don’t waste food.
“Chop fruit and vegetables ahead of time, it will help avoid the temptation of ordering takeaway.”
Alison also said she makes sure her family meals are always no-fuss and don't go over her budget.
Alison’s top tips for the ultimate budget shop
1. If you can manage it – never pay full price. Just wait until items are on special offer
2. Fill your freezers with certain items like meat when they're on offer so you save in the long-run
3. To get the best deals on fruit and vegetables head to your local green grocers
4. Invest in a vacuum machine to help food stay fresher for longer
5. Whatever you do – never hit the supermarket when you're hungry
As well as this, she'll even prep meals in advance to help her save time and money.
Some of her favourite family dishes that Alison can make cheaply include spaghetti Bolognese, pasta bakes and nachos.
She also often cooks an entire roast chicken and uses the meat for multiple days.
Alison advises using leftovers to bulk up kids' lunchboxes, saving you time and preventing food waste.
If you're a parent and are trying to cut back on spending, Alison's top tips are pretty straight forward.
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She added: “Never go shopping when you’re hungry and try to leave the kids at home if you can.
“It’s better not to be rushed and distracted, as it will save you from throwing whatever you can in the trolley just to get out quickly with your screaming toddler.”
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