If your weekly food bill leaves you in despair, get inspired by this incredibly organised shopper.
Liane Greenly, 38, from Lincoln, decided to get her cupboards in order while preparing for an upcoming shoulder operation.
She spent £137 on a food shop at Aldi – and managed to make the shop stretch an impressive three months by batch cooking.
Liane made everything from cottage pie to cardamom biscuits to ensure that she and her partner would have a delicious home-cooked meal every night while she was recovering, telling LatestDeals.co.uk: ‘With my partner working full-time and doing a science degree on his days off, there was no way he’d manage all that, plus helping me, cooking and cleaning.
‘So I made a list of our favourite meals, a list of the ingredients, and tubs required to house them. Then I bought a chest freezer.
‘Granted I bought one too small – my maths needs work!’
Liane then did what she and her partner call the ‘anti-shopping list’, checking off what they already had in to plan their meals around them. After that, the batch cooking began.
‘I batch cooked the main meal element for our evening meal,’ continues Liane. ‘Any rice, pasta, vegetables and other sides would be bought and cooked as needed.
‘With my wrist still recovering from a previous surgery for carpal tunnel I bought an Aldi special chopper gadget.’
The planned surgery actually ended up being cancelled, but they couple are seeing the benefits of their forethought, using up the meals. Liane also says she’ll continue to bulk buy ahead of the rescheduled operation.
Part of Liane’s success as eking out the ingredients is creating ‘base’ dishes that can be adapted after defrosting.
She says: ‘For example, spaghetti, lasagna and cottage pie are all similar until the last few ingredients. Some pasta sauces could be made in minutes, so I quickly whipped them up in a lunch break.
‘We froze everything. I even pre-made marinated fajita kits frozen raw, ready to defrost and fry up.
‘I also batch baked breads and desserts to share with family and friends, such as bread buns, naan, millionaire cheesecake and cardamom biscuits.’
In the three months since their £137 Aldi shop, Liane and her partner haven’t needed to buy any more food, barring the odd meal out or takeaway as a treat/
Liane says batch cooking is not only cheaper than cooking nightly, but saves her time in the evenings, which she can then spend on more important activities.
Her advice for anyone also planning on batch cooking is to ‘double or triple the reipe’ and ‘buy good quality larger pans and bulk freeze.’
To reduce your food bill further, she recommends checking the ‘£1 to weight ratio on labels’. Granted, the branded stuff might appear cheaper while on offer, but look at the price tag that says ‘XXg per £1’ to ensure it’s not just a smaller package.
Liane is a convert to batch cooking, saying practice has made perfect her ability to reduce waste (her dogs even ate up leftover carrots, so very little goes to the bin).
‘I will most definitely continue batch cooking,’ she says. ‘I have found what recipes batch well and which don’t.
‘It’s so much easier – as well as cheaper – to microwave a healthy tasty meal rather than mass produced bland foods.
‘My current plan is to batch cook every two or three months and to restock the chest freezer.
‘Batch cooking has helped us save at least £30 a week easily on our food shopping!’
Credit: Original article published here.