A mum-of-three has revealed her savvy spending tricks for saving over £300 every month on her food shop.
Ruth Weeks, 33, a charity worker, from Kent regularly uploads pictures of her supermarket shops, which often consist of yellow sticker products, to help those who may be feeling the pinch of increasing living costs.
With three children, George 10, Jessica, nine and Jasmine, seven, Weeks has mastered the practice of budgeted shopping using some super saving tricks which have seen her cut her monthly spend from £600 to £300.
“I have a monthly budget of £300," Weeks explains. "I spend £100 at the local butchers every six weeks, and then I do a supermarket shop, usually at Asda, and a B&M shop for cupboard foods and cleaning products, which comes to around £80 a month."
With the remaining money, Weeks says she'll then shop around for yellow sticker items.
"Sometimes I use the Too Good To Go app but it can be a bit hit and miss, sometimes you can get a mass of food which is great, but for me the yellow sticker products are better," she says.
Weeks recommends Morrisons and Asda as the some of the best stores for yellow sticker shopping.
“The other day I only went in to Morrisons for some coriander, and I came out with £84 worth of food for £24," she says.
“For £24 I bought two turkey roast joints, two packs of tuna steaks, a vegetarian sandwich platter, some pots of edamame beans and a punnet of raspberries."
In terms of what yellow sticker products she buys, Weeks says she gets all perishable foods, which will usually be fruit and veg, as well as cold meats, sandwich fillings, cheeses and yogurts.
“Last week I also bought some of the Best Before boxes from Lidl," she continues.
"I bought four boxes for £6, and what I got in them was amazing, they had carrots, Brussels sprouts, bananas and strawberries.
"From the left overs I made a summer fruits crumble."
As well as saving on the monthly shopping spend, Weeks' thrifty tips also tap into a desire to avoid food waste.
“I hate food waste; I will only ever buy what I need," she explains. "People get over excited and always buy too much and then throw it away which is such a waste, especially as people are struggling for money at the minute."
Weeks says she loves seeing how far she can make her budget stretch and credits freezing food as one of her biggest tricks.
“I actually have three freezers and I’ve learnt a lot of ways to make my food go further with freezing it, for example I buy the wonky peppers from Morrisons for 28p, chop them up and then freeze them, I can easily add them to a chilli, bolognese or fajitas.
"Freezing also helps me to keep track of the dinners I have left as well."
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Having shopped smart for years, Weeks is able to feed her family on a budget each week whilst knowing they are eating healthily.
“I am proud that I can make my children fresh and nutritious meals every day," she explains.
“I think it is really important to show my children that they can eat well.
“They love helping me meal plan each week, so then I know exactly what to look for in the yellow sticker sections.
"Yellow sticker shopping means I am able to make fresh food all of the time."
Spending just £300 a month on groceries means the family are also now able to cope with the rising living costs.
“I have never been this good at saving," the mum-of-three continues. "I have learnt some tough lessons, especially when the pandemic hit and money became tight.
"It made me learn how to be strict with meals and shopping. I had to work through the lockdown and it took its toll."
Weeks hopes that by sharing some of her tips for saving money on the food shop will help others who might be feeling the pinch.
“So many people don’t know how to budget which really scares me, especially because the cost of everything is rising," she says.
"I would love to help and inspire people who want to try and cut down on their food shopping.
"We should all have the chance to buy discounted food."
Additional reporting Caters.