Sick of spending all your spare cash on food?
A money-saving mum has explained how she reduced her weekly food shop from £60 to £10.
Kelly Costa, 40, from Essex, used to buy whatever she wanted during her weekly ship, but since leaving her job she’s changed her ways.
The mum-of-two joined budgeting groups on Facebook and started yellow sticker shopping.
She shares her mega hauls on Instagram @yellowstickerkelly.
What are your best money saving hacks? Let us know in the comments section…
Kelly, a full-time carer for her daughter, told money-saving community LatestDeals.co.uk : "Before becoming a mum to Isabella, now eight, I shopped haphazardly with no regard for what I chucked in my supermarket basket.
"I was a successful contract manager on a salary of £32k which was plenty for me and my boy Raphael, now 18."
She continued: "But then Isabella arrived and at two months doctors realised there was something wrong with her.”
The little girl had fluid on the brain and was diagnosed with macrocephaly and developmental delays.
Kelly said: "I continued working for two years but it was too much. The childminder couldn’t deal with Isabella’s extensive needs so I had to leave my job.
"Overnight I went from having plenty of cash to virtually none, surviving on her disability benefit, carer’s allowance and universal credit. Her dad isn’t in the picture and money was really tight.
"But I was desperate to continue to feed my kids healthy meals. I’d grown up near Lisbon, Portugal, before moving to Greys, Essex, for work and I’d loved my traditional food growing up.”
The mum discovered that most supermarkets sold food that was about to go out of date at a discounted rate.
She said: “You can knock 75 per cent off – there are amazing discounts.
“The best I’ve got off is £52.61!
"I know what time the supermarkets knock down the prices and head there then, going straight to the reduced aisle.
“In the past, I’ve got chicken for £1, lamb steaks for 60p, chicken chipolatas for 60p and a smoked steak salmon for £1.”
Kelly doesn’t limit herself to one supermarket, she visits all of the ones in her area.
She commented: “I know exactly where I’m going and have a really keen eye for bargains.
“I don’t buy anything which isn’t on offer now – I can’t afford to.
"Some of it I freeze, but most I eat the same day or over the next few days. In total I spend about £10 a week on food, whereas before I spent about £60.”
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Kelly says that she doesn’t feel guilty about snagging the last things on she shelf.
She loves showing off what she’s bought on social media.
Kelly said: "I always advise to shop around, speak to supermarket workers to find out best times, always go to the last reduced section as it's the biggest and arrive early so you can have a look around before they are repriced down.
“I’d also advise people to cook from scratch. Instead of takeaways make your own fakeaways and get kids involved so they learn from an early age to be sensible."
Kelly also sources free food on Facebook and Olio.
The mum said: “Supermarkets inform you when food is going to be chucked out and let you take 10 per cent.
"It’s similar to a food bank and I’ve had really good finds that way including whole bunches of grapes – I want to make sure Raphael and Isabella eat fruit so that’s brilliant.”
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