Mum Shares Hacks On How She Feeds Her Family Of 3 For Under £5 A Day

Posted by Zainab Pervez in Life Style On 24th November 2020

Chelsey Batterbee, from North Wales, sticks to a £4.67 daily budget, for her family of 3. She shares her tips and tricks on how she stays within her budget.



With frequent takeaways or dine outs, we often find ourselves out of budget. But this 26-year-old mother of one, from North Wales stays within a budget of £5 with her savvy shopping and meal planning. So take notes and inspiration.

Chelsey Batterbee, who runs her own crafting business has tons of ideas and tips on how she keeps her family well fed and nourished, but also sticks to her budget. That also includes toiletries and a supermarket-bought takeaway.

“My partner Keal and I had our son Shaylon at 18 and moved into our first family home when he was three months old,” she told money-saving community “At the time, it was just my partner who worked while I looked after our son.

“It was very difficult, and I struggled a lot with budgeting. Sometimes, as long as Shaylon had enough, Keal and I would go without. It was a case of us grabbing a piece of toast or fruit and that would be it.


With time she learned to manage her finances better.

“As time passed, I got better at managing the food budget by learning some simple tips and tricks,” she says. “Shaylon is now 7, and I’m budget obsessed. I feel if I haven’t got myself a good deal with the shopping then I have failed, so I simply don’t let that happen.”

Meal planning is the hardest part of budgeting. But it helps her to spend £145 monthly on all meals, snacks, packed lunches and toiletries for herself and her family, which is around £5 a day.

“A typical week’s dinner menu starts with lasagna with garlic bread. Usually there are leftovers, so there’s enough for the following day’s lunch or dinner,” she says. “On other days I may make a chicken korma or a lentil dahl, a pasta bake that provides leftovers for lunch for my partner to take to work, sausages and mash with vegetables, an omelette with a side salad, and seasoned chicken with rice and pitta bread.”

Chelsey cooks from scratch 5 times a weeks, and it is much cheaper and healthier. “I love to cook,” she says. “I'm not against using jars of sauces, but I feel as if using ingredients to cook from scratch is so much cheaper.”

She dedicates £25 to her monthly bulk shopping of all the ingredients she needs to cook.

“With this, I will usually get a large sack of potatoes, vegetables and meats,” she says. “I'm particular about the quality of a selection of the foods we eat. I always get 5% fat beef or lamb mince, for instance, and sausages have to be of a certain quality, yet still on budget. I buy the majority of our meats from Tesco, or the butchers that are local to us who deliver to the door. I then separate it into portions per meal, ready to freeze.”


She also shops at Tesco fortnightly for £60. “I look at my meal plan and how I can buy certain ingredients that suit more than one dish,” she says. “Beef mince, for instance, can be used to make chilli, bolognese, or homemade burgers for our fakeaway night.

“The Tesco shop also helps with keeping on top of items like stock cubes, tinned tomatoes for sauce bases, and pasta. I buy lots of frozen vegetables and fresh veg too, which I will prepare and freeze. I also buy our bread and milk there.”

The family used to spend an extra 10 on takeaway as a treat, but due to pandemic they are turning to homemade treats and its included in the original budget.

“The fakeaway could be a homemade pizza using flour and natural yoghurt to make the dough, with whatever veggie toppings we have at home,” she says. “I don’t purposely look out for yellow sticker items, but if I see any discounted meat or fish I will usually pick these up to freeze.”


Chelsey is now a seasoned budget food shopper and meal planner.

“I've spent so many years budgeting that it just comes naturally to me now,” she says. “It doesn’t matter if our income goes up or down. I stick to the same method of shopping, as I know it works. We are all healthy and get a good balance of everything we need.”

She keeps searching for new tips and tricks on social media to save more.

I recently picked up a great tip from a forum on social media about adding grated carrot to Shepherd's pie to bulk it out,” she says. “It means you're getting one of your five a day without even realizing it.


“Obviously, there are certain things we can’t go without, like a certain coffee we like and some branded toiletries. Plus, I’ve a weakness for Vimto. But I find Amazon Subscribe & Save great for that, as things can sometimes last two months or more when bought in bulk.

“My advice to other families would be to shop around, as shopping in one place can sometimes rack up a larger bill. Also, bear in mind that not all branded products are the best. There are lots of cheaper alternatives out there that taste just as good. Lastly, try to avoid those impulse buys. Create a list and a meal plan and stick to it.”

Chelsey shows that if you stay persistent, and stick to it, you’ll get the flow of it. Then, it will get easier than you think.