Trick behind bargain grocery bill
AN AUSSIE mum has revealed how she spends just $80 per week to feed her family of four as well as their two pets.
Kylie Gough, from Adelaide, posted receipts from her fortnightly shop on a popular savings forum this week, revealing how her grocery bill came to just $161.44.
In the post, Kylie explained she shopped fortnightly for herself, her husband, their two children, aged six and three, as well as the family cat and dog.
For just $161, Kylie purchased enough food to prepare and make all her own breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks for two weeks.
"Will need to top up milk and bread only next week, maybe another $10," she wrote.
"Pretty happy with my effort."
The post generated a lot of support from other mums who claimed they wished they could stop themselves from spending more on their grocery shop.
"That's impressive. I'm $500-$600 a fortnight with 2 adults and 1-year-old and 4-year-old," one woman wrote.
"Hubby and I are trying so hard to reduce food bill but failing miserably."
Speaking to news.com.au, Kylie said she began planning and budgeting two years ago after the household income reduced dramatically.
"I took about a $100k pay cut when I moved jobs, so I had no choice but to make changes to the way I was spending," Kylie said.
"I just tried to budget our life to suit the amount of money that was coming into it."
The mum-of-two has since changed jobs but says she still loves the challenge of saving money for her family each fortnight.
"I spend between $150 and $180 on groceries, depending on what is needed," she said.
Most of the comments on the post were from mums asking how she had managed to spend so little to feed such a big family.
"Wow! I'm doing something wrong," one mum wrote.
"That's me for two days at our local Foodland (supermarket)," another woman lamented.
Shaving the dollars off her grocery bill has given Kylie a huge thrill because that cash can be spent on her two kids down the track.
MAKE A PLAN
Each fortnight, Kylie sits down to create a dinner meal plan for her family.
"For instance, I plan to make a lasagne so there will be enough for two meals and lunches as well the following day," she said.
"If I buy a roast chook, I use the leftovers to create a brand new meal, and I account for that in my meal plan as well."
She also bakes muffins and cakes for her children's school lunches.
BUY IN BULK
Kylie says "buying in bulk is an important part of budgeting" successfully.
Her receipts show she purchases lots of frozen vegetables to be added to most meals throughout the fortnight.
Most of the ingredients she buys are the cheaper Coles brand.
She will search for cheaper cuts of meat, like a 1kg BBQ pack, or cuts that are on sale that week.
"I buy lots of vegetables that are in season, as they are always cheaper," she said.
Kylie also lives near a Bellis food factory outlet, which she says is a perfect place for her to stock up on cheap snacks for her kids.
"I go out there and spend next to nothing stocking up on snack foods like dried fruits, nuts and bars," she said.
COOK AND STORE
Kylie said she did a lot of her own cooking to save on costs and packaging, which is harmful for the environment.
"I bake things like rice bubble slices or Weet-Bix slices for the kids to snack on," she said.
"It's cheap and easy to do."
She also said having a "meat-free meal each week" is a great way to cut costs.
Kylie grows some of her own vegetables at home, which cuts down on costs.
"I also have meat, corn, potatoes, sweet potato, pumpkin and carrots in the freezer and pantry to use when I need," she said.
One mum said she was seriously impressed by Kylie's resourcefulness.
"I think your meal plan is very varied, and the fact that you grow your own veg is awesome. Well done mate!" the mum wrote.
Simplifying meals also helps save money, and your sanity, instead of following complicated recipes each mealtime.
"You don't need to buy from scratch every single week, build on what you already have," Kylie said.