Savvy mum saves £2,080 every year using kitchen technique

A savvy batch cooker saves £40 a week on food with batch cooking. Fay Churchward, 52, started cooking in batches and quickly saved money and time.

She saves £40 a week by planning her food purchases carefully. Fay reveals some clever tricks to help you control your grocery store.

Fay told money-saving community “I started cooking in batches when the kids left home. I found I couldn’t stop myself from making meal for four, so it made sense to freeze a few servings to use on another day.

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“It also means I have more time to do the things I love. If I spend a few hours on the weekend cooking in batches, I have more time in the week for what I want to do and I’m less likely to grab takeout instead.

“It has the added benefit of less washing in general too! I want to work smarter, not harder. Sometimes it’s not just about making a meal for four and freezing two servings.

“Batch cooking is all about planning. You have to get the ingredients to do what you want.

“It’s usually cooked as soon as you’ve bought the food, then portioned and frozen, so there’s very little food waste.

“Before you go shopping, be sure to go through all your cupboards, the fridge and the freezer and write down what you already have.”

She added: “Make a meal plan from what you have and then a list of the ingredients you need to buy. But when you get to the supermarket, be a bit fluid, especially if you see something on sale.

“You can always trade something in for a bargain. Make sure you know when food is due to expire and take steps to use it or freeze it for later.

“Adding extra vegetables to a casserole will make it go further and won’t compromise taste. Vegetables can be roasted with garlic and herbs at the start of the week, then added to your meals as you go. need it.

“If something goes wrong, toss it in a big, thick omelette; it makes a great meal with salad or fries, and it’s delicious cold for lunch.

“Write down how much the food actually costs and calculate the cost per serving. You’ll be surprised once you know how much the meal costs, how that might impact your decision to make it again.”

She continued, “Keep lists of what you need and what you plan to cook. That way you won’t forget! Although I’m planning meals, I’m not saying we’ll have this that day. there and that another.

“I know what meals I have on hand, but I choose what I want for the day, so if there are any impromptu plans, I know what I’ll have time to cook.

“Food lasts longer with batch cooking because it’s not left in the fridge waiting to be used, it’s cooked before it has a chance to burn out.

“You just need to make sure you have enough containers and freezer space. Every last bit can be used and the simplest of meat and tomato sauces can be so versatile.

“When the kids were younger, I would make a huge pot of onions, ground beef and passata. Once it was done, it was put into smaller pots.

“In one, I would add a cube of beef oxo, carrots and peas, and make the base for a cottage pie. In another pan, I would add peppers, zucchini and eggplant, basil, balsamic vinegar and this would become my ‘Italian sauce’.

“It could make a lasagna, or pour over cooked spaghetti, it could go into cannelloni tubes with a simple sauce on top and bake.

“Smaller amounts would be delicious on a baked potato, with cheese. For another base sauce, I would add red beans and chili, which could be served with rice, or in a wrap, on baked potatoes, etc. One starter sauce, lots of meals from her.

“Another example is a humble chicken. On the first day it is roasted and served with all the typical roast vegetables, stuffing and Yorkshire pudding.

“On the second day, leftover meat can go into a mushroom or celery soup with carrots and onions and topped with batter and served with potatoes or a salad.

“On the third day, the carcass can be gently simmered with herbs and vegetables to make broth or broth. Add finely chopped vegetables to make soup and have with bread. I also add lentils, different beans and split peas with meals, side dishes When we got married, money was very tight and I had to cook for two adults and a toddler.

“We had child benefit, which was then around £7.50. I remember buying three chicken carcasses from the butcher. They were boiled and what was left of the meat, stripped of the vegetables and made into a stew.

“What was left over made soup. They cost 25p so we ate for two days from there. I don’t need to do that now because I don’t have the money. I do because I get a buzz of making a tasty meal, which feeds us at a good price.

“At the end of the week, I’m glad to know that we ate well and it didn’t cost a fortune. I can spend this money on something else.

“Nothing is wasted. I save time during the week when I work so I can do other things, like walking the dog. If I turn on the oven to cook something, I will use an empty shelf and try to cook something else thing at the same time.

“For example, baked potatoes: I’ll throw them away while the roast cooks. They can be taken out to mash later in the week, or quartered with a gravy on top, or sliced ​​for go into an omelet, or frozen to be thawed and reheated in the microwave for a quick meal another day.

“The problem is I’ve been cooking in batches for so long it’s hard to quantify how much I’ve saved, but I’d say it’s around £30-40 a week on average.”

“Think about what you like to eat, but find different ways to eat it, for example make a sauce but put it on rice, potatoes or pasta,” she adds. “Already keep a list of what you have around the house. Buy what you need, but if something is low and you know you’ll be using it, don’t be afraid to buy it.

“Think about what will motivate you to make this sustainable. This isn’t just a quick fix. It takes time, practice, and a bit of trial and error, so find what motivates you and stick to it!”

Tom Church, co-founder of, comments: “Wow, Fay is an amazing saver. “By taking the time to think carefully about her purchases, her planning and her cooking, she saved herself a lot of money.

“She has also saved time, as there is no need to cook a daily dinner as her freezer is stocked with delicious home-cooked meals. If we all took a leaf from Fay’s book, we would save more time and money and certainly waste less food!

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