If you are a working mum, juggling your time, or a stay-at-home mum, looking after young children, when do you find the time to plan and do your weekly food shop?
Most of us here at Mojomums rely on online shopping, with the convenience of picking a time slot that suits us, along with a ‘favourites’ option that means within minutes we have added our usual must-have items to our basket.
But how often do you take the time to think about the types of food you are buying?
With the average weekly food bill costing £60* it is understandable that parents are looking for more value for their money, but research carried out by Nestlé Cereals reveals that almost half of Brits (44%)** are prioritising cost over nutrition when doing the weekly shop. Do you agree?
Home Economist Rob Morris says you can plan affordable meals without compromising on nutrition starting with the most important meal of the day – breakfast. He says:
“I speak to parents all the time and money is one of their top concerns. We all want to provide a nutritious meal for our family, but many people think healthy food has to be expensive. It doesn’t need to be that way though. If you can shop smarter you can make sure that every meal is packed with the nutrients the whole family needs without breaking the bank. Choosing the right breakfast is an important place to start. Although there are some cheap and quick options available, not all of them provide the nutrition you need so it’s important to look for one that contains whole grain and fortified with essential vitamins and minerals.”
Now, we all agree that breakfast is important, for us as well as our children, and during the week we all need options that are quick and easy to prepare before work and the school run rush – here are Rob Morris’s top five tips
Cheap and easy ways to offer variety – not everyone in the family wants to eat the same thing, but it can be expensive and time consuming to keep everyone happy. Breakfast is a great time to be able to give the kids choice because you can have two or three types of cereal in the cupboard and let them choose themselves. Nestlé Cereals with the green banner are a great option because you know whichever one they have it’s going to be made with whole grain and be a source of at least five vitamins and minerals***
Become a late-night shopper – you can pick up some real bargains after 7 or 8pm when most supermarkets reduce food that’s nearing its sell by date, so it’s a great opportunity to stock up on food which you can freeze and use at a later date. Just make sure you don’t shop on an empty stomach – if you’re hungry you’ll be more tempted to buy things you wouldn’t normally!
Think ‘price per portion’ – Cereals are a great option for breakfast or even snacks in between meals at a cost of just 24p per bowl**** – including the milk. You can even encourage your kids to get creative and create their own flavours by mixing up the varieties
Plan ahead and write a list – planning meals for the week ahead, checking what you already have and writing a list of what you need will ensure you only buy the ingredients you need and prevent overspending or having run out to more expensive convenience shops when you’ve run out at the last minute
Start a recipe scrapbook – tear out and keep recipes to make at home. Simple recipes from your favourite weekly mag are a great way to save yourself a fortune in pre-made food and will help build your kitchen confidence so you can start to learn how to make a delicious and nutritious meal, however bare your cupboards look
So, what do you think Mojomums? We would love to hear your food planning ideas…
* Statistics sourced from Office of National Statistics, Family Spending research, 2013 edition
** ICM interviewed a random sample of 2,049 adults aged 18+ in GB online between 31st January – 2nd February 2014, 788 of which were parents. Surveys were conducted across the country and the results have been weighted to the profile of all adults. ICM is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Further information at www.icmresearch.com
*** All fortified Nestlé Cereals – excludes Nestlé Shredded Wheat.
*** Based on average price of all Nestlé branded cereal not on promotion in IRI total grocery outlets for the 12 week period ending 16th August 2014. Prices taken from IRI. Cost calculated using recommended servings per pack and 125ml of milk, based on average price for 4 pint semi-skimmed milk from major multiples – pricing correct 04.09.2014. Prices are at the sole discretion of the retailer.