A personal trainer and mother-of-four has revealed the 12 things that help her to keep her weekly grocery bill down, after she discovered that the majority of her clients spend a staggering $500-$700 per week.
Sophie Guidolin, from Queensland, said she knows how quickly the grocery bill can spiral out of control, especially when you’re feeding multiple children and also trying to get your hands on healthy, nutrient-dense foods.
‘I have found that doing these 12 things really keeps the cost of my groceries down,’ Sophie wrote on her website.
So what does the mum-of-four swear by?
A personal trainer and mother-of-four has revealed the 12 things that help her to keep her weekly grocery bill down (Sophie Guidolin pictured)
Sophie Guidolin (pictured) said she knows how quickly the grocery bill can spiral out of control, especially when you’re feeding multiple children and trying to buy healthy produce
1. Meal plan
Sophie’s first tip is a staple for good budget keepers the world over: she plans out the week of meals before she goes to the supermarket.
‘I use a family diary and I have everything in there,’ she said.
Typically, the Guidolin family eats out twice a week – which she budgets for in the diary – but otherwise she opts for large dishes that can double up as lunches for the next day in her meal plans.
Typical dishes include healthy tuna bake and lasagne.
2. Make ‘base’ dishes
One of the easiest ways that Sophie saves money is by making ‘base’ dishes that can be used for other things later in the week.
‘I have a bunch of base dishes like my savoury mince dish that I use for other dishes like nachos, stuffed potatoes, lasagne and pasta bake later in the week,’ she said.
This also means she needs to spend less time in the kitchen after a busy day at work and can just augment the mince with whatever it needs.
Some of Sophie’s tips include bulking out meat dishes with vegetables and also making ‘base’ meals of mince that can be used for lasagne and nachos later in the week as this saves time
3. ‘Bulk’ out your meals
Just because you’re making a spaghetti bolognese for six like Sophie, that doesn’t mean you need endless portions of expensive mince.
Instead, the mum-of-four said you could just ‘bulk’ out your mince with a cheaper vegetable, like lentils.
Sophie turns a four-person dish into a meal for eight people by using foods like lentils, eggplant, tofu and crushed tomatoes.
She said it saves her hundreds in the supermarket.
4. Buy in season
Buying in season fruit and vegetables has also saved Sophie ‘hundreds’, she said, and it’s a good idea as it encourages you to buy foods you wouldn’t normally consider.
Sophie said she has recently been buying peaches and expanding her children’s tastebuds, so it’s worth looking up what is on special that week and consider adding it to your weekly meals.
Sophie (pictured) said she always snaps up foods in bulk she knows she’ll use including meat, milk and tinned foods
5. Buy in bulk
Buying bulk food is one of the quickest ways to save money.
Sophie said she always snaps up her ‘favourite’ oat milk when she sees it for half price, and buys two or three weeks’ worth before storing it at home ready to drink.
Sophie said her favourite things to buy in bulk are oat milk (which has a long expiration date), rice and tinned goods.
The mum also always buys meat in bulk and freezes it, so she’s never caught without.
6. Buy local
If you can avoid the big supermarkets, Sophie said you’ll pocked precious dollars by going to local stores.
She often tries to get fresh eggs, produce and honey from local stores – and said she finds better bargains there.
7. Add a side
If you’re eating an expensive meal, one of the easiest ways to bulk it out without spending big is by adding a side like vegetables, rice or salad.
The side also will add a side of health and variety to your diet, meaning you never get bored.
8. Shop the specials
Taking the time to check catalogues and the internet before you go out to the supermarket means you’ll know where you’re likely to get the best deals.
‘I will often go between Coles and Woolworths with what we usually buy, depending on what is on sale,’ Sophie said.
It might take longer, but it works out cheaper.
The 30-year-old (pictured) is a big fan of her Thermomix, which she has used every day in some way for the past six years, and she said it has saved her money
9. Use a Thermomix
The 30-year-old is a big fan of her Thermomix, which she has used every day in some way for the past six years.
‘I am often asked if I have any affiliation and the answer is no, but I do think it has been worth the money,’ Sophie said.
‘It allows those who perhaps don’t have the confidence to cook to make things from scratch so quickly and easily.’
She said cooking from scratch will always save you cash, so she has easily made up the $2,000 she spent on the device in 2014.
10. Go to local farms
In the same way that she is a big fan of shopping local, so too does Sophie take the time to visit farms that are close to her home in Queensland – where she buys fruit and vegetables.
Recently, she said she picked up a giant tray of fruit for $25 – a fraction of what she would have paid in the supermarkets.
11. Make your own
While she used to buy pre-made snacks to save time, Sophie said she has since realised the value of making your own.
She now spends a lot of Sunday pre-preparing food and snacks for her family for the week, and said it pays dividends financially.
Finally, the busy mum said you should ‘experiment’ as much as possible in the kitchen – as this is where you expand your repertoire.
Sophie said she regularly subs out pricey foods for cheaper in-season vegetables, and none of her family notice the difference.