Are you spending way too much on food?

We are now saving $20,000 a year by getting our food spending under control.

Not to mention a big change to our health as a result of eating the right food.

And this is how we did it:

1) Get organised

You might say that you don’t have time to spend on meal planning or prepping, but what if I told you that you could make $100 an hour! That’s equivalent to a $208,000 salary a year…more if you consider the tax you pay.

Well, you can generate at least a $100 savings each week if you take time to plan your meals each week.

For my family, its at least $300 a week that we are saving. That’s $15,000 a year!! That’s the cost of a new car or a fantastic overseas holiday!

With 2 x working parents, 3 children (all in outside school activities) we hardly get a moment to think.

When dinner time rolled around, sometimes we had nothing organised and no time to prepare it, so we would simply get takeaway. This was costing us between $50-$100 per meal. Over a week we would spend at least $300 a week on takeaway.

I can’t remember the last time we ate takeaway, and not only is our piggy bank thanking us for it but so are my thighs.

Now that we are in the groove of things, it takes minimal planning for dinner.

Sometimes, I will simply choose our protein and then decide what meals to make based on what is on special.

2) Shop around

I previously used to be a Woolworths and Coles girl. This was mostly because Coles allowed for online ordering and Woolworths was close to home.

But I have now officially converted to Aldi. All my friends used to rave about Aldi and I just didn’t see what the fuss was about.

I did shop there a couple of times, but I found that they didn’t always have the things that I needed.

But now that I have worked out the layout of the store, I find that I can get most of my items there.

This alone has saved us $50-$100 a week I’m sure.

Sometimes their items are half the price of the other stores.

It’s worth spending the time to read the catalogues and suss out the specials.

However, if you are going to shop at Aldi… steer clear of the middle isles. You can easily spend your savings (and then some) on the specials that they frequently run. Mind you… I did manage to snag $12 school shoes for my kids… so maybe it’s not all that bad.

3) Buy pre-prepared meats or meals

I used to spend quite a bit of time marinating and preparing the meat to ensure that we had yummy meals. These days, I have realised that it pretty well the same price to buy the marinated chicken as it is to be the plain chicken.

So when I’m wanting to mix things up, I will opt for the pre-marinated meats. This means that we can still have something yummy and different without having to spend hours preparing the meat.

I will also take advantage of the frozen meat pies and pizzas. But I am very health conscious and will spend extra to get the higher quality items, or may only get these items as a backup on a night when I only have 15 minutes available to prepare dinner.

4) Make tasty meals 

I always make an effort to ensure our meals aren’t your stock standard frozen pie or plain toasted sandwich (although I am definitely a fan of both of those). If we do have something like a pie, I always try to add to it to spruce it up.

For example, I may add some peas to the pie and make some gravy.

It’s amazing how little things can really bring a meal to life. Even my kids know how to make a nice white sauce to add to the steam vegetables.

5) Enjoy your treats

Whilst we are now eating healthier, we still make sure that we indulge. It helps us to stay in balance and avoid the midnight runs to the servo for some snacks.

For $4, I can get a 4L tub of vanilla ice cream from Aldi that lasts us the whole week. How crazy is that! You could easily spend $4 at the servo picking up one ice cream let alone treating a family of 6 for a whole week.

Sometimes when I’m feeling adventurous, I will spend 20¢ more and buy the Neapolitan to mix it up a little.

Here are a few meals we have prepared as examples:

Marinated Beef with brown rice and salad

The meat comes from Woolies premarinated. It’s about $10 a pack and each pack feeds about 4 people

All in all, about $3-4 per person

Wagyu Meatballs and Mash and Dianne Sauce

Meatballs are about $10. Enough to feed 8 ppl. Whole meal was about $15-$20. So about $2-3 each and very delicious.