I'm a single mum-of-three and feed my family for £9.90 each a week using Aldi bargains – my tips will save you hundreds

A SINGLE mum-of-three has revealed how she feeds her family for just £9.90 each per week.

Lynn James, 43, from Hertfordshire, is a money-saving blogger and mum to Dylan, 12, Josh, ten, and Jack, seven – who feeds her family for just £1.42 each per day.

Lynn managed to more than slash her £100 weekly shop in half using meal planning, clever use of leftovers and and picking up bargains from Aldi.

Speaking exclusively to Fabulous, Lynn said: "I want to give my children home made balanced meals to give them plenty of energy for their active lives.

"My eldest plays academy football for Cambridge United and nutrition is very much drummed into the boys at training sessions.

"I also want them to have some treat food, you can’t be good all the time!"

Lynn shares her exact weekly meal plan – including Taco Tuesday and a pizza night – and her tips could save you hundreds…

Sunday – £5.90

  • Breakfast – Pancakes – £1.52 for 12 crepes
  • Lunch – Chocolate spread sandwiches, fruit and cheese – 88p
  • Dinner – Roast Chicken, potatoes, veg and gravy – £3.50

The boys love the Nigella Lawson recipe for crepes, and we have them at least once a week.

A super simple recipe is two eggs, 650ml milk and 300g flour.

Mix up a bowl with a whisk and make the pancakes in a large frying pan, makes around 12 pancakes. 

For the traditional Sunday roast dinner, I buy a large Norfolk bred Free range chicken from Aldi, a 1.8kg bird was £6.93.

This chicken will be used for Sunday dinner, plus leftovers for Monday.

I also bought Maris Piper potatoes for roasting in rape seed oil, frozen mixed vegetables and Aldi own brand gravy.

Monday – £7.43

  • Breakfast – Toast with butter – 19p
  • Lunch – Chicken & mayo sandwiches (using leftovers from the roast) – £3.40
  • Dinner – Chicken and veg Pie (using leftovers) – £3.82

As I bought a good quality, large chicken, there are plenty of leftovers, even some for Trev our cat.

Chicken and mayo sandwiches on Best of Both Bread are a tasty lunch.

The remaining third of chicken is turned into pie with frozen vegetables and gravy, with a ready rolled puff pasty topping. Easy.

The pie is served with mashed potato, make up double quantity as you will use this later in the week.

Tuesday – £6.23

  • Breakfast – Cereal and milk – 49p
  • Lunch – Sausage rolls, carrots and cucumber – 85p
  • Dinner – Taco Tuesday with minced meat, salad, cheddar, salsa and guacamole – £4.88

We love Mexican food in our house. Tacos, fajitas, quesadillas, nachos…

The boys love to build their own food and even like to eat all the healthy bits like salsa and smashed avocado too!

The Taco kit is hit and miss in Aldi (Specialbuys only).

So if it’s not available I buy an 8 pack of wraps and bake them in the oven, hanging over the shelf rack until crispy. 

For the meat mix I use the Aldi, beef and pork mince, ensuring I drain off any excess fat after cooking.

I add two teaspoons of Mexican spice mix or Cajun spice while cooking.

We then serve the meat mixture with grated cheddar cheese, salsa, mashed up avocado and salad leaves. It's healthy treat food that everyone loves.

Wednesday – £6.26

  • Breakfast – Toast with butter – 20p
  • Lunch – Chocolate spread sandwiches, fruit and cheese – 88p
  • Dinner – Cottage Pie – £5.18 – (double up on the meat mixture as it will be used for Thursday Bolognese and pasta)

Cottage pie is a firm favourite with boys and me, as it easy to make and leaves leftover that can be frozen.

I make double the mixture using a 750g packet of mince meat, so I can use half for the cottage pie and half for pasta and Bolognese the following day.

Here is my recipe for the meat.

Chop two onions and two cloves of garlic and fry off until soft, add the pork and beef mix, and cook until brown.

Add the mushrooms and stir for two minutes. Add any other vegetables that you like, peppers, carrots if you fancy it, the more the better.

Lynn's top money saving tips

  1. Write a meal plan for your entire week.
  2. Check the freezer for ingredients, and store cupboard to ensure you don’t duplicate buy.
  3. Use a smaller half trolley when shopping, meaning there's less room to fill with stuff you don’t need.
  4. Stick to your list and try to avoid the Specialbuy/offer aisles.
  5. Consider switching to Aldi or Lidl rather than Tesco, Sainsburys, Asda, Morrisons. They are so much cheaper.
  6. Eat less meat, introduce a couple of vegetarian meals per week.
  7. Be sure to check out the reduced cabinets, most things can be frozen, including fruit, veg, milk and cheese.

Add the Worcestershire sauce, balsamic vinegar, herbs, salt, and pepper. Cook for two minutes. Then add the two tins of chopped tomatoes. 

Cook on hob at medium heat for 20 minutes.

You have mashed potato left from Monday. Put half the meat into an oven proof dish then top with mashed potato.

Bake in oven for 20 minutes until the topping is crispy. 

Thursday – £3.37

  • Breakfast – Cereal and milk – 49p 
  • Lunch – Bacon sandwiches – £2.43
  • Dinner – Bolognese – 45p

Make your cheat's Bolognese using the half of the meat mixture from the previous evening.

Serve with your fave pasta, I use fusilli or penne.

Friday – £4.62

  • Breakfast – Cereal and milk – 49p
  • Lunch – Vegetable soup with bread – £1.16
  • Dinner – Sausage, eggs, beans and potato wedges – £2.96

I love to make up a vegetable soup, and the boys eat it by dipping in bread and butter soldiers.

Their favourite soup is roasted sweet potato with onion, with some frozen mixed vegetables added after the roasting.

Pop everything into a pan with some vegetable stock and cook for five minutes. Whizz it up using a hand blender to the thickness you require. 

For a classic easy dinner, make sausages, fried eggs, beans and potato wedges.

Just cut the potatoes (don’t bother peeling) into wedges and roast in over at 200 (fan oven) for 30 to 40 minutes in rapeseed oil.

Saturday – £4.36

  • Breakfast – Repeat of Sunday's pancakes – £1.52 for 12 crepes
  • Lunch – Sausage rolls, carrots, cucumber – 83p
  • Dinner – Homemade pizza with cheese, tomato and ham – £2

Pizza is a perfect treat for Saturday night dinner and fun to make too.

Pizza dough is so easy to make, especially when you can get a packet of bread flour with yeast pre-mixed from Aldi for 99p.

Just add warm water and knead it for at least 15 minutes. 

Toppings can be whatever you want, but I have included prices for tomato puree, cheddar cheese and ham. 

Drinks – £1.46

Apple Juice and Blackcurrant squash for the week.

Total – £39.64

This is a cost of £5.66 per day and £1.42 per person per day.

Lynn Beattie is a personal finance expert at Mrs Mummy Penny.

Her second book, The Money Guide to Transform Your Life, is out September 1 2020 and can be pre-ordered here.

Follow her on Instagram here.

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