For many single parent families, food is one of the biggest weekly expenses. It’s scary to think how much we spend on food, drink, snacks and treats, but is there a way to cut food bills down to size without cutting out your favourite foods?
The answer, of course, is yes. There are lots of ways to reduce weekly food shopping bills, but one of the best money saving tips for single parents involves your trusty freezer. If you’ve got space in your freezer, you could be saving cash. Here’s how:
1. Buy fresh fruit and veg, chop it and freeze it.
One of the best ways to avoid food waste is to buy products like pre-chopped frozen veg, which you can dip into whenever you need it. However, pre-chopped packs of frozen fruits and vegetables aren’t the cheapest. Why not make them yourselves? Look out for bags of things like bell peppers, green beans and carrots that are reduced and super cheap because they’re going out of date, chop them and freeze for later in re-sealable bags. Easy!
2. Freeze leftovers.
When you make something like a soup, casserole or even a lasagne or shepherd’s pie, double the quantity and freeze what you don’t eat that night. It’s cheaper to make a larger batch of something rather than two separate meals, it’ll save busy single parents some valuable time, and you’ll have something to have for dinner later in the week. Make sure to freeze in portions rather than large batches, as each will freeze quicker and be easier to grab when you need it.
3. Buy reduced, freeze for later.
Reduced meat, pizzas and other meals in the supermarket are often reduced in price because they’re going out of date, but people don’t always buy them because the item will go off before they have a chance to eat it. However, if you freeze it as soon as you get home, it makes for a super cheap meal at a later date. You can fill your freezer with reduced price goods that you don’t fancy now but will later – you can even do it with bread, buns and other perishables. If you put in some planning, you’ll hardly ever have to pay full price for your meals.
4. Defrost your freezer.
A frost-filled freezer will need to work harder, using more energy and ramping up your electricity bills. Regularly defrosting your freezer is a great money saving tip, and it’s also a good opportunity to do an inventory of what’s in there. While you’re at it, make sure your fridge is at the correct temperature – this could also be costing you money.
5. Make your own freezable snacks for the kids.
Ice lollies and ice creams can cost a small fortune, but you can save money by making your own. There are lots of recipes online for things like homemade frozen yoghurt buttons, ice lollies made from orange squash and other clever, cheap snack ideas that are a doddle for single parents on a budget.