ON CHRISTMAS Eve most mums will be settling down in front of the telly, a big box of Quality Streets open in front of them.
Not so mum-of-two Emma Cusden, 32, from Midhurst, West Sussex.
Emma, mum to Freddie, three, and newborn Sailor, who owns her own marketing company, will instead be scouring the aisles of her local supermarket.
Because every December 24 she visits the aisles of her local shops and bulk buys all their meats – so she can cook roasts until the end of Februay.
It means she has saved thousands through yellow sticker shopping – and with the cash saved she has managed to treat her family to fancy trips to South Africa where they went on safari and Mexico.
Now she speaks to Fabulous:
On Christmas Eve I won’t be curled up on the sofa – instead I’ll be in the bargain aisle of my local supermarket, butchers and fishmongers stocking up for the next month – as I am every year.
I know that’s the time you get the greatest bargains and I’ll make sure I’m there, with the best of them, grabbing goodies off the shelf.
They’re closed for the next couple of days after the 24th, and the food doesn’t keep, so they get rid of it – and it goes straight into my freezer.
So, I’ll spend about £150 on meat and fish but then I won’t buy anymore for the next few months.
And I get decent stuff too including in the past a whole seabass for 20p, down from £3, and a huge chuck of beef for £10, down from £40.
With what I’ve bought I make and freeze dishes like fish pie for lunch and make two months worth of Sunday roast – so we’re good until the end of February.
My husband, fireman, Jonny, 34, and son, Freddie, three, love it. I expect my daughter, Sailor, 14 weeks, will too when she’s old enough to try it.
My obsession with bargain shopping is so great I’ve had to buy two freezers to store all my finds.
But I’ve saved so much cash over the years (I never buy anything full price) we’ve put it towards brilliant holidays including a trip to Mexico for all the family and a safari in South Africa where we saw lions.
There’s no way we could have done that if we spent the normal amount on food.
However, it isn’t just Christmas I stock up on bargains. I’m always in our local Sainsbury’s buying cut-price food.
I hate waste and love that I can get an organic chicken for next to nothing.
We spend around £40 a week now on all our food – and Jonny, who I met seven years ago through friends, eats a lot.
I go to the shops most days, in the evening when they’re reducing prices. I usually visit the mid-sized Tesco and the Sainsbury’s and head straight to the cheap aisle… I know exactly where they are.
I never buy full price for anything and have managed to grab packages of sausages for 20p or less.
Meanwhile, I’ve scored peppers for pennies which I’ve cut up and chucked in a spaghetti bolognese.
I’ve had huge slabs of salmon for pounds which I cook up… it’s dead easy to do – and really healthy.
Meanwhile other dishes I’ve made include duck ragu – I got the duck for less than a pound. It should have cost £9.
Me freezer is jam-packed with bargain bits and in total I feed my family of four around £5.70 a day – including our Sunday roast.
My mates are always really impressed. They always really laugh although they’re always stunned I find the time. But I love it and I’m proof you can buy things cheap and still have fancy meals.
Meanwhile, a busy mum-of-four shares her VERY organised meal-prep system which helps her plan food for six weeks
Plus we shared how a mum-of-three reduces weekly food bill to just £30 thanks to batch cooking – here’s how she did it.
And a mum feeds her family-of-four for £1.50 each a day and shares her monthly meal plan so you can too.
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