Savvy mum shares how she feeds her family of four for just £47 a month

A savvy mum has revealed how she manages to cook a month-worth of meals and snacks for her family-of-four for just £47.

Mary Bells, from Torquay, Devon, posted a picture to Extreme Couponing and Bargains UK Facebook Group and showed off her impressive array of batch cooked dinners which feed her husband and two children, who she says all have ‘very different dietary requirements’.

The snap included the likes of lasagne, curry, Bombay potatoes, chicken and chorizo pasta and kofta kebabs, all of which can be frozen and reheated.

‘All made with bargain meat and veg brought from the bargain isle so a grand total of £47 this will feed four of us for at least 30 days,’ she wrote on the post accompanying the photo. 

Mary Bells, from Torquay, Devon, posted a picture to Extreme Couponing and Bargains UK Facebook Group (pictured) and showed off her very impressive array of batch cooked dinners which feed her husband and two children, who she says all have 'very different dietary requirements'

Mary Bells, from Torquay, Devon, posted a picture to Extreme Couponing and Bargains UK Facebook Group (pictured) and showed off her very impressive array of batch cooked dinners which feed her husband and two children, who she says all have ‘very different dietary requirements’

‘That’s September sorted, sorry kitchen but I won’t be back for some time,’ she added to the post, which has now been liked more than 5,600 times.

The post quickly gathered the attention of thousands of bargain hunters who were quick to comment on the savvy mother’s handy hacks. 

Mary’s month of meals and snacks serves four people for £47 total

  • Pork and asparagus 5 spice
  • Chicken and chorizo pasta x3
  • Lasagne x2
  • Lemon chicken 
  • Bolognese x3
  • Kofta kebabs
  • Cottage pie
  • Cottage hot pot
  • Cowboy hot pot
  • Roasted veg x12 portions
  • Pre-made roast pots x4 portions
  • Hummus x 4
  • 3 mixed soups

  •  Chicken curry x2
  • Mushy pea curry x4
  • Bombay potatoes x 2
  • Mild chicken curry x4
  • Mushroom curry x2
  •  Thai red curry x2
  • 2 gluten free banana and choc cakes
  • 2 normal banana cakes
  • Carrot cake
  • Lotus cheesecake
  • Breakfast granola bars 

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‘Wow this is great super woman,’ wrote one.

‘Incredible!! You are one amazing woman!’ added another.

‘Can I come and live with you?’ asked a third. 

‘When you have two kids with different dietary requirements, you’re on a diet and both you and your husband are off to uni/college next week, it’s time to batch cook the hell out of life,’ Mary explained, adding she wouldn’t be doing any cooking for a month. 

The snap included the likes of lasagne, curry, Bombay potatoes, chicken and chorizo pasta and kofta kebabs, all of which can be frozen and reheated (pictured)

The snap included the likes of lasagne, curry, Bombay potatoes, chicken and chorizo pasta and kofta kebabs, all of which can be frozen and reheated (pictured)

The post quickly gathered the attention of thousands of bargain hunters who were quick to comment on Mary's photo

The post quickly gathered the attention of thousands of bargain hunters who were quick to comment on Mary’s photo

Mary also revealed that all of her dishes are Pyrex, the lids from IKEA and the range, and she has two freezers for storage.   

‘All made with bargain meat and veg brought from the bargain aisle so a grand total of £47 this will feed four of us for at least 30 days,’ she explained.

After her post went viral, she started her own group called Batch Cook With Me, which has garnered more than 2, 000 members in less than 24 hours. 

Other busy parents were keen to learn her techniques to save time and money in the kitchen.  

Mary’s budget recipes for batch cooking

Mushy pea curry

Blend 3 tins of mushy peas with curry powder, ginger, garlic, chilli and some paprika.

In another pan soften onions and any other veg of your choice.

Add the peas, a tin of chopped tomatoes, 1 tin of lentils and a large table spoon of tomato purée. 

You can add meat if you like but we prefer veggie.

Chorizo and chicken pasta bake

I add the pasta when we eat it so I just make the sauce.

In a pan cook chopped chorizo with onion, garlic and chilli, add chicken, seal and add veg of choice.

Then tin of chopped tomatoes, tomatoes purée, and chicken stock.

Thai red curry

Add chicken, onions, red chillies, garlic, lemongrass, ginger to a pan.

When cooked add any veg, tin of tomatoes and then a tin of coconut milk.

 Five spice pork and asparagus

In a dish marinate the pork with 2 tbls of cornflour, 2 tsp of 5 spice, soy sauce to liking – marinate for 2 hours.

In a pan add onions and another teaspoon of 5 spice, add pork and cook: add asparagus, and 200ml of pork stock simmer till it produces a thick sauce. 

Cowboy hot pot

Chop a back of bacon and approx 6-8 sausages into chunks.

Brown off with onion, smoked paprika and paprika (to taste).

Add any veg, 2 tins of beans, tomatoes purée (1 tsp) and serve with potatoes

Lemon chicken

Squeeze 2 lemons (keep hold of the lemon) add the rind of half a lemon, light soy sauce, 250ml of chicken stock and 2tsp of cornflour.

Cook chicken with chilli, ginger and garlic, add all the sauce and 2 left over lemon, simmer till thickened.

Remove the lemons and add spring onions.

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