Mum reveals easy changes including batch cooking that save her £250 a month

The cost of living crisis means millions of families across the UK are looking to cut back on their supermarket spend.

Food bills are estimated to rise by as much as £180 this year, according to consulting company Kantar.

But one mum has explained how she saves £250 each month by making simple changes to her lifestyle - and her frugal ways mean she has been able to afford a new bed.

Lorraine Smith, 52, a mum of two from Berkshire, batch cooks her meals, upcycles furniture instead of buying new, and bargain hunts in pound shops and charity shops.

The money-saver shares her tips to help you if you're struggling to make ends meet.

Lorraine told : “My money saving started at the beginning of last year.

"The reason I started to save was I needed a new bed and I didn't have the funds so I got myself a disposal saving tin.

“With every upcycle I did I put the money in the tin instead of buying a new item. I got my new bed and I'm now saving for a rainy day.”

Lorraine says she batch cooks all her family favourites to save money - including dishes like chicken curry, savoury mince, pastry, lasagne, spaghetti bolognese and pizza.

She buys all her ingredients in bigger packets and spends a day cooking.

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"In the long run, with each dish I save around £30 as I've made enough dishes to last a few months,” said Lorraine.

“For example, I cook up savoury mince with peas, onions and carrots for shepherd's pie, then in a different saucepan I add peppers and chillies for spaghetti bolognese.

"With the mince and veg I get six shepherd's pie fillings and six spaghetti bolognese portions.

Mum reveals easy changes including batch cooking that save her £250 a month

"Also I've started to make my own jam as it tastes so much nicer than shop-bought.

"I use fruit from the yellow sticker part in my local store and I pick blackberries which I then freeze.

"I make my own Chinese takeaway too, as it saves me over £20 when I make it instead of ordering one.

"I would say my batch cooking saves me around £150 a month on my shopping bill.”

Other small tweaks Lorraine has made to save money include making her own Christmas cards using a free app and my printer.

When it comes to upcycling, the money-saving mum estimates she has saved over £400 this year instead of buying brand new.

Lorraine also saves money when upcycling by picking up DIY goods from her nearest pound shop.

“I have just sanded things down then either painted them by hand or used spray paint from my local £1 shop,” she said.

"A friend of mine was decorating her bedroom and had some old bedside units which were very old and worn out.

"I sanded them down and used black spray from the £1 shop. On the shelf I covered it in pink glitter sticky vinyl again from the £1 shop.

"I had some left over so I used it to cover two coasters. All together, it cost me £3 and saved my friend over £100 as she didn't need to buy new.

"A lot of things I upcycle cost very little as I bargain hunt in pound shops and charity shops.

"I also make birthday cakes for the local old people's birthdays and coffee mornings which saves them money.

“All together, with all these savings every month I must save around £250.”

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