A BUSY mum-of-four reveals how prioritises three hours a week for meal prep, which has helped her save a whopping £420 a month.
40-year-old Carrie Durbridge, who is a Bakery Operative from Mitcham, Surrey, explains how feeds her family of six for £46 a week.
On Saturdays. Carrie fills 66 tubs with different meals for herself, her husband, and her four children, for the week ahead.
Carrie says she would never go back to daily cooking, especially as she now works nights.
"At one point, I was making three dinners per day because my children Jordan, 21, Summer, 13, Annaliese, 11, Gabrielle, three, all have different schedules," said Carrie.
"I used to spend £130 to £150 per week on food and my kids were always raiding the cupboards. 'Now, I spend £40 to £50 and we are all satisfied." she added.
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The mum has put an emphasis on how prep can save money, and ensure that no food gets wasted.
Carrie also likes that the family now make their own snacks and homemade cakes, which she feels are healthier for her kids.
The mum also admitted that her previous go-to meals were chicken nuggets, chips and burgers but now the family have much more variety in their diet.
"Being on a budget doesn't have to be repetitive either – we eat something different daily. After 14 months of batch cooking, I have about 100 meals that everyone likes" said the mum-of-four.
Carries' children, Summer, Annaliese and Gabriel help out with the batch cooking, when the mum is making curries, cottage pies, or pasta bakes.
Her hubby Mark is a fire and leak technician and is often on call. Therefore it is handy for him to grab his meal from the freezer at a time that is convenient, or have something ready for the kids after school.
"Sometimes Matthew used to come in from work at 9 pm, so I would be in the kitchen making him dinner at that time. But now I work nights so it is much better for everyone" said Carrie.
Apart from saving the mum time,the couple has saved almost 5k in the past year from Carrie's prep and budgeting.
"We have managed to pay off some credit card debts and now we have extra cash to go bowling or to the cinema with the children," said the mum.
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