A personal trainer and mother of four revealed the 12 things that help keep her weekly grocery bill down after she found that the majority of her customers spend a whopping $ 500- $ 700 a week.
Queensland’s Sophie Guidolin said she knows how quickly the grocery bill can get out of hand, especially if you are feeding several children and also trying to get healthy, nutritious foods.
“I’ve noticed that doing these 12 things keeps the cost of my groceries really low,” Sophie wrote of her website.
So what does the mother of four swear by?
A personal trainer and mom of four revealed the 12 things that help keep her weekly grocery bill low (Sophie Guidolin shown)
Sophie Guidolin (pictured) said she knows how quickly the grocery bill can get out of hand, especially if you’re feeding multiple kids and trying to buy healthy products
1. Meal plan
Sophie’s first tip is a staple of good budget keepers around the world: she plans the week of meals before going to the supermarket.
“I use a family diary and I have everything in it,” she said.
Usually the Guidolin family eats twice a week – for which they budget in the diary – but otherwise she opts for large dishes that can serve as lunch for the next day in her meal plans.
Typical dishes include healthy tuna baking and lasagna.
2. Make ‘basic’ dishes
One of the easiest ways Sophie saves money is to create ‘basic’ dishes that can be used for other things later in the week.
“I have a lot of staples like my savory minced meat dish that I use later in the week for other dishes like nachos, stuffed potatoes, lasagna, and pasta cakes,” she said.
This also means that after a busy day at work, she has to spend less time in the kitchen and can replenish the ground beef with whatever it needs.
Some of Sophie’s tips include bulging meat dishes with vegetables and also making ‘basic’ ground meat meals that can be used for lasagna and nachos later in the week as it saves time
3. ‘Bulk’ your meals
Just because you make a spaghetti bolognese for six like Sophie doesn’t mean you need endless servings of expensive ground beef.
Instead, the mom of four said you could just ‘stuff’ your ground beef with a cheaper vegetable, such as lentils.
Sophie turns a four-person dish into a meal for eight people, using lentils, aubergines, tofu and crushed tomatoes.
She said it will save her hundreds in the supermarket.
4. Buy in season
Buying seasonal greens and vegetables has also saved Sophie ‘hundreds’, she said, and it’s a good idea because it encourages you to buy foods you wouldn’t normally consider.
Sophie said she recently bought peaches and expanded her children’s taste buds, so it’s worth looking up what’s special that week and consider adding it to your weekly meals.
Sophie (photo) said she always takes in bulk foods she knows she will use, including meat, milk and canned foods
Buy in bulk
Buying bulk food is one of the fastest ways to save money.
Sophie said she always picks up her ‘favorite’ oat milk when she sees it at half price, and she buys two or three weeks before storing it ready to drink at home.
Sophie said her favorite things to buy in bulk are oat milk (with a long shelf life), rice, and canned foods.
The mother also always buys meat in bulk and freezes it so that she is never packed without it.
6. Buy locally
If you can avoid the big supermarkets, Sophie said you grabbed precious dollars by going to local stores.
She often tries to get fresh eggs, produce, and honey from local stores – and said she finds better bargains there.
7. Add a side
If you’re eating an expensive meal, one of the easiest ways to unwrap it without spending a lot of money is to add a side like vegetables, rice, or salad.
The side also adds a side of health and variety to your diet, meaning you’ll never be bored.
8. Shop the specials
If you take the time to check catalogs and the internet before going to the supermarket, you will know where you are likely to get the best deals.
“I often go between Coles and Woolworths with what we usually buy depending on what is on sale,” said Sophie.
It may take longer, but it works cheaper.
The 30-year-old (pictured) is a big fan of her Thermomix, which she’s used in some way every day for the past six years, and said it saved her money
9. Use a Thermomix
The 30-year-old is a big fan of her Thermomix, which she’s used in one way or another every day for the past six years.
“I’m often asked if I have an affiliate and the answer is no, but I think it’s worth the money,” said Sophie.
“It allows those who may not have the confidence to cook to make things all over again so quickly and easily.”
She said cooking all over again will always save you money, so she easily made up for the $ 2,000 she spent on the device in 2014.
10. Go to local farms
In the same way that she is a big fan of local shopping, Sophie also takes the time to visit farms that are close to her home in Queensland – where she buys fruits and vegetables.
Recently, she said she picked up a giant tray of fruit for $ 25 – a fraction of what she would have paid in supermarkets.
11. Make your own
While she used to buy ready-made snacks to save time, Sophie said she’s realized the value of making it herself since.
She now spends a lot of Sunday preparing food and snacks for her family for the week and said it will pay out the financial dividend.
Finally, the busy mother said that you should ‘experiment’ in the kitchen as much as possible – here you expand your repertoire.
Sophie said she regularly trades expensive food for cheaper seasonal vegetables, and none of her family notice the difference.