Many families have found their budgets under pressure as the climate of economic crisis goes on and on. In the UK food prices have risen 12% in real terms over the past five years and last year the average household weekly spend on food was £54.80.
So how can households lacking money save on essential groceries at the supermarket?
In this short BBC clip, from the Inside Out series, we meet Tina Jefferies, a single mother of seven children from Telford, who has mastered the art of shopping for less by careful management of what she spends on family meals. She challenges Claire Bache from Birmingham, another single mother of seven, to reduce her weekly food expenditure and produce a very cheap meal.
Watch the four-minute video clip and say whether the statements below are true or false.
The activity is suitable for intermediate students.
1 Claire spends more than 200 pound on food every week.
2 Tina challanges Claire to get a meal for the whole family for 5 pound.
3 Tina and Claire walk to the second supermarket.
4 Tina advises viewers to cook the food before freezing it.
5 There is no problem in filling cupboards with food you don't need.
6 Supermarket staff are helpful in telling you what you can find in their store.
7 Claire thinks she will manage to cook her meal with that money because she has some ingredients at home.
8 The new products in the freezer should be put on top.
It’s shopping day for Claire, and Tina has arrived to talk about what she found.
Hi, I’m Tina.
I’ve come to see if I can help you.
Ok, come on in.
What exactly was your weekly budget again?
About 150 to 200 pound a week.
Right. And on your menus do you have a set menu plan with a fixed price per head?
Oh, it’s fixed menu plan but not the price.
There is only one way to test Claire’s resolve, by setting her a challenge to shop for tonight’s dinner, Tina-style.
I would like to set you a challenge. I would like to take you to a supermarket. I’m going to give you a five-pound note and I want to see if you can get a meal for the whole family for a fiver. Do you think you can do it?
That’d be hard!
Well, hopefully with some of my tips you’ll get there.
Ok, guys, come on!
The ladies head straight to the reduced section to see what’s available in this store.
We’ve got some ham here. These aren’t necessarily of the best tip time of the day for the reductions.
There’s not many there, so they probably would’ve been gone by then
It looks like their pickings are a bit slim in this supermarket, but that doesn’t faze Tina, who simply heads to another store.
It doesn’t seem as if we’re gonna get anything here tonight. How far is our next supermarket?
It’s about two miles from here.
Ok, let’s hope in the car and go and see what we can get.
So it’s off to the next supermarket. It may be more legwork than Claire is used to, but with only five pounds in a family of seven to feed she needs the best deals.
Right, let’s go and see what we can find.
So while they are busy shopping for reductions, we’ll recap Tina’s top tips to reducing your grocery bills.
When living on a budget your freezer is your best friend. If you can buy reduced items, especially your meat, poultry, fish, any of those, you can freeze them on the day and they will remain fresh. If you’ve got something and you’re not sure whether it can be frozen, cook it, make it into a meal, and then freeze it, because if you’ve got a full freezer, you’ll never be without a meal.
When looking at your dried goods and tinned foods, the best time to get them is when they are on special offers or multi-buys. Stock up, fill your shelves. They are a great additive to any meal, and they’ll certainly fill up those teenagers, they won’t go hungry.
If you’re all new to this and you’re starting up looking for the reduced stuff, the easiest way to do it in any supermarket is to go and ask. Don’t be embarrassed. They will take you to where it is or they will tell you where it is.
Tina and Claire have reemerged from the shop, but have they managed to find a meal for their five pounds budget?
I’ve got two packs of veal mince and I’ve also got a packet of potatoes all of which should’ve been five pound and I’ve also saved a further pound at the till. I’m gonna make a moussaka with aubergine and layered potatoes and a mince all in one because I’ve got 50% of ingredients at home I can, I can do it for that price basically.
She needs then now sort her freezer out, get everything in order and start using old stock first, and then replenish it with good quality, good value reductions.
1F 2T 3F 4F (only food you're not sure it can be frozen) 5T 6T 7T 8F