Savvy mother reveals how she saves £420 a month by spending 3 hours a week prepping meals and snacks for her household of six for as little as 86p per person
- Bakery operative Carrie Durbridge, 40, of Mitcham, spends £45 on weekly shop
- Spends 3 hours cooking on Saturday filling 66 tubs with seven different meals
- Says she saves £420 per months and managed to save £5,000 in one year
A thrifty mother has revealed how she saves £420 per month on food shopping thanks to savvy meal prepping.
Carrie Durbridge, 40, from Mitcham, Surrey, used to fork out £150 per week on food for her family but she’s now slashed her spend to just £45 for herself, her husband and the four of her five children who still live at home.
The bakery operative fills 66 tubs with seven different meals every Saturday, ready for the week ahead.
She spend three hours preparing food and always has two or three dishes bubbling away at the same time.
Her efforts have paid off, saving the savvy mum almost £5,000 over the course of a year by checking the freezer ahead of shopping on a Friday to see what she already has and making sure it gets used, thus saving on her groceries.
Carrie Durbridge, a savvy mother-of-five from Mitcham, Surry, 40, revealed she saves £420 on food per months thanks to meal prepping (pictured: some of the meals she makes in batches for her hungry family)
Carrie has stopped spending on takeaways and makes her own at home, like these burgers, fries and beans
Carrie’s meals cost as litte as 86p per person
Each of the meals below were cooked for three adults and three children.
- Pepper pasta
- Hasselback pizzas
- Tuscan chicken
- Jackets & chilli con Carney
- chicken lasagna
- Beef quesadillas
Total ingredients cost: £42, £1 per person per meal
- Chicken Pesto Pasta bake
- Garlic butter baked salmon with Potatoes Mousseline, grilled courgette & citrus sauce
- Butternut Squash Risotto
- Mustard Chicken & Dauphinoise
- Buttermilk chicken burger, bbq beans, rustic chips, onion rings
- Slow-cooked Sausage casserole & creamy mash
- Chicken & chorizo paella
Total ingredients cost: £36.12 for all meals, 86p per person
- Bacon quiche
- Chicken masala
- Chicken & veg pie
- Beef quesadillas
Total ingredients cost: £48.20. £1.30 per person per meal
- Veggie Bolognese
- Pepperoni calzones
- Hunters chicken Chicken lattice
- Coconut & squash dhanksa
Total cost: £43.20, £1 per person per meal
Carrie said: ‘I couldn’t go back to cooking daily again.
‘At one point, I was making three dinners per day because my children Jordan, 21, Summer, 13, Annaliese, 11, Gabrielle, three, all have different schedules.
‘One of my sons Tommy, 19, doesn’t live at home so I cook for three adults and three kids.
‘But now I spend three hours on a Saturday in the kitchen and have plenty of spare time during the week.
Pictured: tubs with the meals for the family including courgette pasta with meat balls and curries
Carrie spends three hours every Saturday making seven different dishes and filling 66 tubs, pictured
‘I used to spend £130 to £150 per week on food and my kids were always raiding the cupboards.
‘But now, I check the freezer ahead of shopping on a Friday and make a list of what I already have.
‘I then base my menu on whatever we already have to ensure it gets used and to save money on the food shop.
‘Now, I spend £40 to £50 and we are all satisfied.
‘We even make our snacks such as homemade biscuits or cakes, which is much better because they are healthier.
The savvy mother, pictured with Summer, 13, Elise, 11 and Gabriel, three, said she took her weekly shop from £150 to £45
Pictured: Carrie and her husband Matthew 37, cooking together in the kitchen. The mother makes sure the family eats something different every day
‘Being on a budget doesn’t have to be repetitive either – we eat something different daily.’
Carrie loads containers with chicken curries, jacket potatoes, cottage pie and many more delicious meals to feed the family.
She is helped in the kitchen by her daughters Summer, Annaliese and even son Gabriel helps out.
She adds: ‘My menu before used to be burgers, chips and chicken nuggets.
‘But after 14 months of batch cooking, I have about 100 meals that everyone likes.
The savvy mum said her husband and older children can just grab a meal from the freezer when they come home
Thanks to the meal prepping, pictured, Carrie revealed the family has been able to pay off some credit card debt
‘It’s perfect because the kids and my husband Matthew, 37, can just get their lunch and dinner out of the freezer when they are back from school or work.
‘Sometimes Matthew, who is a fire and leak technician, used to come in from work at 9pm, so I would be in the kitchen making him dinner at that time.
‘But now I work nights so it is much better for everyone.’
Carrie has not only seen an improvement in her bank account but in her kids too.
Pictured: some of the meals prepared by Carrie. She said she rotates about 100 meals everyone in the family likes. This batch cost £36.12 for all meals, 86p per person per per meal
The lengthy cooking sessions, pictured, mean that Carrie and Matthew have been able to take the kids bowling and other fun family activities
Pictured: Pepper pasta, Hassleback pizzas, Tuscan chicken, Jackets & chilli con-carne, chicken lasagna, meatloaf Beef, quesadillas. This batch cooking cost 42, and £1 per person per meal
She adds: ‘There are so many benefits such as saving time and money.
‘We have managed to pay off some credit card debts and now we have extra cash to go bowling or to the cinema with the children.
‘They are much happier and less grumpy.
‘They aren’t coming down off sugar highs anymore and they are snacking less. I would recommend this for other mums.
‘Every family has different tastes and budgets, but after time, you will find something that is suitable for you.
‘I started with lunches and worked to my own pace.
‘I would advise other people to start doubling up and putting half of a meal in the freezer.’
Pictured: Preparing pasta, broccoli and chicken for one of her meals. Carrie said her children snack less since she’s started meal prepping
The mother-of-five also makes homemade treats, pictured, for her children. She said they are healthier as well than store-bought treats
Bagel sandwiches with grapes and raisin snacks as well as orange slices that Carrie prepared for her school kids
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