With the price of groceries continually on the rise, it’s getting more and more difficult to keep your shopping within budget.
But there is hope and help… with one smart stay-at-home mum promising that you can feed your family for just $50 a week.
Jody Allen has made a career out of saving money, first through necessity and second for her business and website Stay-at-home Mum.
“You can actually do it every week, we actually did it for four years,” Ms Allen said.
How is it possible?
“The whole concept of $50 a week is going through your pantry and your fridge and using just the basics to create really, really simple meals,” Ms Allen said.
She said the biggest mistake most people made was starting their weekly grocery shop with a list… she said you always start in your pantry.
“The most imperative part is having a really organised pantry,” she said.
“So with my pantry I keep it to different zones.
“The most important part is the perishables basket, I have one in my pantry and one in my fridge and it’s for the all the items that are about to go out of date and need be used so before I cook a meal this is the first port of call I take.”
Ms Allen said too many pantries were like black holes where tins of food disappear for years.
“When you have a look at most people pantries it’s full of stuff they never use, I like to have a high rotation pantry, so keep things like olives and anchovies, things that add flavours to foods,” she said.
“You should always have things in your pantry that add flavour and you can make a meal out of nothing.”
She said easy dishes like a Spaghetti alla puttanesca could be thrown together with ease — pasta, olives and tomato sauce.
“It’s simple, delicious but full of flavour… the Italians had it right with their simple but lovely food,” Ms Allen explained.
To stay on track at $50 a week you need to find recipes that work.
Ms Allen said she had to do some historical research to find ideas she could turn into cheap but tasty meals for her new book – collecting CWA cook books and creating her own variations of recipes.
With just eggs, cheese, fresh fruit and vegetables, milk, yoghurt and meat, chicken mince and tuna Ms Allen can cook five dinners with often enough left over for lunch.
She said to always look for the cheaper alternatives, for example choosing chicken drumsticks ($3 to $4 a kilo) over chicken breast ($12 a kilo).
Ms Allen said the key was to work with what you already had and use versatile ingredients that can be changed by simply changing the flavours.