Mum-of-four feeds family for £3.09 a week using an anti-food waste app

Single mother-of-four reveals how she feeds entire family for £3.09 a week using anti-food waste apps – and even has enough produce left over to donate to food banks and care homes

  • Kathryn Neale, 37, from Wellingborough, gets Morrisons Too Good To Go boxes
  • She also tracks down wasted food on Olio and shares the food with community
  • Mum-of-four has shared food with care homes, food banks and local church 

A mother-of-four has revealed how she feeds her entire family for just £3.09 a week using two different anti-food waste apps. 

Kathryn Neale, 37, from Wellingborough, is a volunteer food collector, and over lockdown, has used a range of useful food waste-fighting apps such as Too Good To Go and Olio to not only save money on food for her own children, but also to share with her local food banks and care homes.

‘I have four children and I’m a single mum,’ she said, speaking to money-saving community LatestDeals.co.uk. ‘I’m currently a stay at home mum until November.’

‘I get milk vouchers for my little two and I have been getting the government vouchers for the big two, but it’s not been quite enough. I still need to get fresh fruit and veg and keep a good supply of full-fat milk in the fridge for the little ones. 

Kathryn Neale (pictured), 37, from Wellingborough, revealed how she feeds her entire family for just £3.09 a week using two different anti-food waste apps

The mother-of-four is a volunteer food collector, and over lockdown, has used a range of useful food waste-fighting apps such as Too Good To Go and Olio to not only save money on food for her own children, but also to share with her local food banks and care homes. Pictured, some of the bargain items she has bagged

The savvy mother also donated the products to food banks, care homes and a church in Northampton that was doing food boxes as they couldn’t open their cafe. Pictured, some of the items in the boxes

So the savvy mother has been getting a Morrisons box once a week for £3.09 and says that although it is meant to be a veg box, it can consist of anything that is reduced, damaged or otherwise but is always edible and should be up to the value of £10.00.

‘Unfortunately with the demand on food during the lockdown, the Too Good to Go app was not helpful to me as the stores and restaurants that use it were either closed or didn’t do the boxes due to demand in-store,’ she explained. 

‘Instead I used an app called Olio. This is an amazing app with some really truly amazing people – they either give food away from their own homes or collect from businesses such as Costa, Pret, Booker and Tesco to list on the app. 

She continued: ‘I was collecting huge bin bags full of apples, bread, potatoes, eggs and more from a gentleman in Ampthill, Bedford every Sunday to bring over this way to give to food banks, care homes, my village, my parents shielding and a church in Northampton that was doing food boxes as they couldn’t open their cafe.’

Kathryn says that when one doesn’t need certain foods, there’s no need to waste it or throw it away – everything can be frozen or given away using apps like Olio. Pictured, vegetables, potatoes and bread

Kathryn revealed she was collecting huge bin bags full of apples, bread, potatoes, eggs and more from a gentleman in Ampthill, Bedford every Sunday to bring over to her village. Pictured, some of the produce

While Kathryn was able to keep a few items for herself, she knew she could realistically use it to help her family.

‘The church in Northampton was able to give me food items, treats, sausages and pizza for a donation so I have used that facility also,’ she explained. ‘Anything I knew we didn’t like or wouldn’t use I put on Olio and I also set up a crate outside my house so that people walking could pick up some items.

‘All Olio items are free, so it is just the cost of petrol that has to be considered.

She continued: ‘I have recently purchased a compost bin so that I can put any excess food waste in there. I have social anxiety so shopping on my own is a big deal.

The produce Kathryn has picked up for free or for in a £3.09 food box

Bread

Lettuce 

Muffins

Burger buns 

Chillis

Broccoli

Porridge

Tea

Sugar

Pasta sauce   

Fruit bars 

Tinned soup 

Potatoes 

Baps 

Carrots 

Avocado

Melon

Prepared veg

Coffee

Gravy

Tinned goods

Sauces   

Bananas

Cookies

Lollipops 

Strawberries 

Vegetable soup mix

Hot cross buns

Courgettes

Bagels

Cereal

Rice

Bagged salad 

 

‘With Olio, the church boxes and Too Good to Go it lessens the anxiety and as soon as I see what is in the box my brain is already planning what I can make and who will eat what.

It takes the panic away of spending too much money, forgetting something on a list and spending too much time in shops.’

Kathryn says that when one doesn’t need certain foods, there’s no need to waste it or throw it away – everything can be frozen or given away using apps like Olio.

‘My tip for people would be to just have what you can realistically use, and remember that absolutely anything else can be passed on to others,’ she added. ‘There is no need to hoard. That’s when food wastage starts.

The thrifty mum advised that to make food last longer, freeze things. Pictured, a box filled with bread

‘My top tips for buying food under lockdown is to go in the evening when it is quiet, and to do a big shop so that it will last as long as possible and reduces the number of times you have to go out.

‘To make food last longer, freeze things! Cook food into meals and freeze. Use food sparingly and make sure there’s no one picking unless you have something prepared for that.’

Tom Church, co-founder of LatestDeals.co.uk, commented: ‘According to research, UK households waste 4.5m tonnes of food that could be eaten every year.

‘This is a crazy amount of food going in the bin and it’s thanks to people like Kathryn, and apps like Olio and Too Good To Go, that awareness is being raised about this issue.

‘Making sure everyone has enough food has been a particular challenge of lockdown, so I take my hat off to Kathryn and all the other waste warriors who are tracking down food that would otherwise be wasted and making sure care homes and food banks have enough!’

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