A MUM has revealed how she saves thousands on her food shopping, including prepping her Christmas dinner months in advance.
Kimberley Kinghorn, 27, a mum of three from Edinburgh, has a series of genius money-saving tricks up her sleeve.
Hunting for bargains has become a family game for Kimberley and her kids – and it’s a game that’s not just fun, but that teaches her children vital money-saving skills.
Kimberley told money-saving community LatestDeals.co.uk: "I had my first son when I was only 14.
"At that time I was homeless and wasn't old enough to claim for any financial support.
“At the time I depended on help from my support workers at the time so from then I began to learn about shops reducing items and making my own budget meals.
“We are a low income family but I am able to provide decent quality meals to my children because of yellow sticker shopping.
“We also get the chance to try items we maybe would never have before due to the price.
“My favourite place to go is Marks and Spencer as after 9pm they reduce so many items.
"I have picked up full beef roasts for 20p before and most of the items are freezable.
"I invested in a chest freezer so I either just freeze items as they are until we use them or I batch cook meals and then freeze them in tubs.
“They are like homemade ready meals for my children but I have cooked them!
“I've been doing this ever since I was young."
Kimberley hunts out reduced items, and knows every trick in the book when it comes to finding yellow sticker deals.
She continues: "I also watch a lot of yellow sticker hauls and budget meal ideas on YouTube and get loads of tips from there.
“That was how I found out about M&S reducing food after 9pm.
“The most common meats I find reduced are mince and steak or beef chunks.
“Big superstores always normally have fruit and veg reduced later on in the evening, so I normally go at the weekends when the kids are off school for a late night yellow sticker haul shop.
"Most items are great for the slow cooker too. I make things like a beef stew, which was £3.89 from Asda, but reduced to 90p.
“I bought a bag of carrots which was £1.20 down to 20p, and the potatoes were £2 down to 48p.
“The meal fed four of us twice over!
“We also made a cheap and easy flat bread to go with it.
"I also use the yellow sticker mince to make burgers, spaghetti bolognese and cottage pies.
“Another meal I made was steak with mash and veggies.
"The steak was 70p down from £3.40, the veggies were all between 20 and 40p each and the mash was £1 down to 40p.
"If we find yellow sticker cake mix, baking stuff or eggs, we make tin can cake because it's cheaper and easier to do than buying expensive baking tins."
And when it comes to Christmas there's no 'dash the expense' attitude in Kimberley's house with, the mum being just as frugal.
“I have also done our Christmas dinners almost completely reduced," she says.
“The meat we have is just a stuffed roast in a tray.
"I try to find the meat reduced in October and freeze it and go looking for the veggies and any other Christmas food treats a few days before Christmas.
“You always find a box of stuffing mix or sauce if you know where to look.
"I aim to do the same this year, leaving any spare pennies to get presents for the kids.
“I’ve managed to pay under £5 for the main Christmas meal for five people when it could have easily cost £30 or more."
And Kimberley even takes her money-saving hacks on holiday with her.
“We also go to Blackpool once a year and they have a huge Sainsbury's at the train station," she says.
“I go there when we are down there because they always have reduced sandwiches or bread.
“They are great for packed lunches and saves us so much money when we are down there.
“I also pre-pack sweetie bags filled with sweets and candy floss to avoid buying for more expensive when we are there."
Kimberley says her thrifty approach to food shopping is now a family activity that teaches her kids valuable budgeting life lessons.
"I’d say we have saved thousands over the years on food,” Kimberley adds.
"It's not just reduced food I look out for – I often find discounted household items or clothing too.
"The best time for yellow stickers in supermarkets is to go after 7pm.
“My top tip would be to invest in a big freezer because this will help you keep all your yellow sticker items fresh for longer and you can buy bits and bobs and save them for when you need them.
"Batch cook! It saves you a lot of time if you have a big family and can be great for your own homemade convenience meals.
“It’s great if you have a busy family.
"The kids also love to get involved.
“They love going and hunting for the yellow stickers especially when they find cakes or desserts or fizzy juice.
“It’s like a game for them, and it's teaching them budgeting and food prep which are vital skills for life!”
Tom Church, co-founder of LatestDeals.co.uk, comments: “I’m always keen to hear amazing budgeting tips, and Kimberley has plenty!
“I love the fact that she’s teaching her kids about buying, planning and making food on a budget, because it’s such an important skill that many children aren’t taught at a young age.
“It’s also amazing that she managed to do her Christmas meal for £5 – what a bargain!
“It’s worth getting to know when your local supermarket discounts items, and stocking up on yellow sticker bargains.
“As Kimberley says, you can batch cook them or freeze them and have lots of discounted meals ready for the next few weeks or even months.”
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