Feeding a family of five can be an expensive weekly shop.

But a mum-of-three has shared how she relies on a nifty spreadsheet hack, when it comes to her food shop.

Jody Jones, from Bangor in Gwynedd, was growing increasingly anxious about rising bills and affect the cost of living crisis would have on her family.

So the 37-year-old – who works at her local Asda store – came up with a brilliant plan.

Jody created an Excell spreadsheet with four detailed shopping lists and four food plans, as well as her four-week shopping list for cleaning products.

Apart from the cleaning products, all of the items are from Asda’s Just Essentials range, which was introduced earlier this year.

Her handy sheet means Jody now gets her average food shop for around £62 a week – compared to more than £100 previously. A minimum saving of £38 per week – which is around £152 per month.

The mum said: ‘Shopping can get really expensive really quickly. It took a few hours over two weeks to finalise it all.

‘First I got together a list of all the essential items available and the costs. I made a basic meal plan for a week and then costed it. I then did the same for the following weeks.

‘I did it because the cost of living is so high I wanted to see what I could get for my money and to help others. I’ve read so much about people having to choose between food and bills so I wanted to see what the cheapest way I could feed my family would be.

‘It’s not necessarily the healthiest but I’ve done my best to include plenty of fruit and veg where I can and I’ve based it on what my family – with some food fussy kids – would actually eat. At the end of the day, with the cost of living, I see it as them eating something is better than nothing’

Jody says that her growing children – aged seven, 10 and 12 – all have hearty appetites, so she wanted to take control of her food shops – before they spiralled out of control.

Now the mum-of-three hopes her handy spreadsheet might help others who are keen to keep costs low.

She continues: ‘I just hope it helps people who are struggling. I’ve had comments from some people saying it isn’t a healthy balanced diet but I see it as my kids are fed, they have plenty of fruit and there’s veg in there too.

‘And I’d rather they don’t starve and actually have food when money is tight. If it’s a choice between buying expensive “wholesome foods” and not having enough to pay the bills or eat myself, and all of us eating food and managing to pay the bills then for me it’s all about the second option.’

Jody has also started meal planning and choosing the most cost-effective items in store, plus she puts leftovers in the freezer for future dinners.

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