The $50 Weekly Shop

Put your hand up if your grocery bill is getting out of control? Is your hand up? Mine certainly is. We’re a family of two adults and two kids with a cat and the number that comes up at the end of a weekly shop is starting to get a little scary.

So when Jody Allen, better known as The Stay At Home Mum, asked if I’d like to read her new book, The $50 Weekly Shop, I jumped at the chance. Jody was made redundant in 2009, while on maternity leave and pregnant with her second child and after sitting down and calculating how much money the family had left over after bills, she was left with $50! So after freaking out for a while, she then started to look at ways to cut down her food bill. And she did it! And now she’s sharing her best tips in this new book.

Now, to be fair, the $50 is just for food. What you need for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks for a week, and if you’re not willing to give up the weekend take-away or start cooking more things from scratch, then it’s unlikely you’ll every get near the $50 mark, however this book still has some great tips that you can implement to reduce your food bill, even if you don’t want to go the full frugal $50 route.

Including things like meal planning, how to shop, stretching your meals and growing your own food, it is a wealth of little ideas that can reduce your bill. However my favourite chapter was Avoiding Waste. Australians waste 25% of the food they buy and with some of the tips in this chapter alone, your food wastage could reduce and money saved. Did you know if you wash celery and wrap it in aluminium foil it can last up to 6 weeks? I’m definitely trying that trick.

Jody also includes over 200 of her ‘frugal recipes’. Everything from main meals, soups and snacks to sweet stuff. The tuna melts were rather yummy and this week I’m going to try out the slow-cooker lasagne. I’ve never done a lasagne in a slow cooker before, what could possibly go wrong? 😉

If you’re looking for ways to reduce that grocery bill (and who isn’t), then this book is definitely worth a read. I doubt I’m going to get down to the $50 food bill next week, but I will certainly be trying to implement a few things to get that number at the end of my weekly shop a little less scary.

Jody Allen’s book, The $50 Weekly Shop, is out now.