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How To Save Money By Bulk Buying And Batch Cooking

Posted on January 6, 2017 in Saving Money
How To Save Money By Bulk Buying And Batch Cooking

Some people enjoy colouring for mindfulness and relaxation, but not me. One of my favourite things in life is cooking. I really enjoy spending a Sunday, in peace, chopping, slicing and dicing. The therapeutic benefits are great, but the money saving efforts of a batch cooking day are even better! If you’ve read my LiveLean review, you’ll know that I love buying big batches of Chicken online and making the majority of my lunches ahead. But it’s not just chicken and lunches. I love buying my food in bulk and batch cooking it all, a fridge freezer full of Tupperware and prepped food is one happy fridge freezer. So today I want to show you how you could save loads of money by doing the same.

Benefits of Bulk Buying:

Benefits of bulk buying

Less packaging waste:

Do you ever spend ages after a supermarket shop disposing of plastic wrappers, there are loads, right? Well with bulk buying you’ll have so much less packaging which means it’s both good for your bin men, and great for the environment.

Time saving:

Buying more items in one shop is so much more time saving than going to a supermarket every day or two to buy the exact same thing. Shopping itself is a pretty time-consuming activity so minimising time spent is beneficial to your other activities.

You will probably eat healthier:

When you bulk buy foods it’s highly likely that most of the food you’ll be bulking is whole foods like rice, grains, pasta, cereal, meats, etc…. So it’s unlikely to be processed, unhealthy food, which is not only good for your bank balance but for your waistline too.

Budget saver or money drainer:

Bulk buying can be a real budget saver, but make sure you follow our mini guide below to ensure it stays that way. Buying the incorrect products or going about it wrongly can make bulk buying a real money drainer.

How To Get Started Bulk Buying:

How to get started bulk buying

Buy what you need:

Make a list of meals you want to plan and what you need to buy. Going in blind could lead you into unnecessary spending, which is completely counter-productive. Only buy what you need, when you need it.

Online Meat Retailers:

While most people still prefer to buy in shops, there is an ever increasing trend of online shopping. Modern society has made it so easy to research and compare deals online. For the last few months, I’ve always bought my meat online as I’ve been able to thoroughly research the companies out there and their prices. I’ve found that LiveLean are one of the most competitively priced companies but there are plenty of others out there, and you can even buy Costco products online too.

Costco and similar

Speaking of Costco, if you are still a bit more old fashioned and prefer shopping in a real supermarket then see if you’re eligible for a membership card for shops like Costco or Bookers. I have a Costco card and it’s saved me loads of money over Christmas as I was able to bulk buy the majority of our non-perishable food.

Stock up on the right things

It’s important to know what you can and can’t stock up on. I once bought too much lettuce and thought I could freeze it, baring in mind it’s mostly made of water, once it defrosted it became a pile of slodge. Not cool. Don’t bulk buy fresh products that can’t be frozen or made into a meal to be frozen. You will absolutely be wasting your money if you do this.

Work by price per unit price

If you see 20 tins of beans in a pack and the price per unit is 50p each, but you could buy them separately for 49p each then don’t bulk buy it. That’s just common sense. Always check the price-per-unit to ensure you’re actually getting a reasonable price for the product you want to buy. If you don’t feel the price is right, then don’t get it.

Make sure you know the product

If you’ve never tried quinoa before, don’t go buying 5kg of it. If it turns out you hate it, you have completely wasted your money. Make sure you’re not buying products to sample in bulk. Many companies can send you sample products if you contact them beforehand and ask – do that instead.

How To Get Started Batch Cooking:

How to get started batch cooking

Utilise your Tupperware and freezer bags

The first thing you want to do is make sure you have the necessary tools to store your foods. Tupperware, sandwich and freezer bags are great. Always make sure you have enough of them and a sharpie pen to write on bags and lids.

Clear out the cupboards, freezer and fridge

Do you know all the food products you currently have in your house? I didn’t think so. Have a look through your fridge, freezer and cupboards and utilise everything you can. Give them a good clear out and make some space for all your bulk buys and see if you can make any batched meals with what you already have.

Label your food

Sharpies are a must. Some food frozen looks the same. Trying to distinguish between a spag bol and chilli con carne when frozen can be a nightmare. Write on the label what it is, portion size and if you like to track your foods the ingredients are a must.

Make the most of yellow labels

When you’re in a supermarket and you see the yellow label discounts, if it’s an item that can be worked into your meal prepping or can be frozen, then buy it. But, only if you think you can work it in. Don’t buy crap that you’ll likely have to bin, and don’t buy fresh produce that can’t be frozen. I’ve written a guide on saving money in supermarkets that may be able to help you with yellow label shops.

Easy Batch Cooking Meals:

Batch cooking meals

There are loads of meals to choose from when batch cooking but here are some of my favourites:

  • Spaghetti bolognese
  • Chilli con Carne
  • Sausage hot pot
  • Cottage pie
  • Lasagne
  • Chicken pasta
  • Beef or Chicken pie
  • Chicken curry
  • Jacket potato and sandwich fillings
  • Chicken or beef stews and casseroles
  • Soups
  • Ratatouille

Batch cooking and bulk buying

Have you tried any of these meals for yourself? And do you have any other batch cooking and bulk buying tips? Let me know in the comments below 🙂

How To Hit Fitness Goals Without Spending A Small Fortune

Posted on December 21, 2016 in Saving Money
fitness equipment

January is one of the most popular times of year for people attending the gym. With new year’s resolutions in full force and a Christmas gut to work off, it’s clear to see why. But, attending the gym and getting fit and healthy can be a costly experience. I have loads of friends who spend between £40 – £100 a month on their health and fitness bills, which is absolutely mental.

I wanted to make a guide, on how to hit your fitness goals without spending a fortune on unnecessary bills such as protein, supplements, fitness accessories, gym memberships, class memberships and clothing. 

fitness

But how can you hit your fitness goals without spending all your hard earned dollar?

You don’t need protein powder:

protein powder fitness goals

If you’re paying close attention to your nutrition and how much you eat there’s no need for you to load up on expensive protein powder and other supplements. Your diet should give you the required daily recommended allowances, and if it doesn’t then you should probably change it. Supplements are just that. They are a product used to supplement missing nutrients from your diet. Stock up on Lean Meats like chicken and fish. Companies like LiveLean consistently have offers on their chicken and lean meat hampers, and you can even use our exclusive discount code. If you’d rather buy your meat in the store, then have a read of our guide to lowering your shopping costs to make sure you get the best deals possible.

Fitness accessories are overpriced and inaccurate:

Fitness Accessories

I have a FitBit, it was bought for me as a Christmas present a couple of years ago and admittedly I would feel lost without it. But, it’s not necessary – just because I wear a watch, it doesn’t make me run any faster or work any harder. It is essentially just a marketing ploy to make consumers spend waaaaay too much money. Like seriously, they are ridiculously expensive. It’s also been proven that they don’t improve users fitness, and research shows they can be up to 40% inaccurate. That’s a lot of money to spend on something that could be entirely wrong.  

We all know how important it is for your heart to get its much-needed exercise. The British Heart Foundation recommends 10,000 steps per day as the adequate amount. Which is probably why fitness trackers have gained so much popularity. But if you really need to track your step goals then pick up a pedometer online or from a sports shop. They can be easily picked up for around £5.

If you really are desperate for a FitBit or other expensive fitness tracker, then why not consider requesting it as a Christmas, birthday or another present.

Do you really need the gym:

home-fitness-equipmen

Signing up for a gym membership can be one of life’s biggest expenses (that’s if you don’t pay rent or bills). When I was 16 years old I signed up for a years leisure club membership as it was cheaper to be locked in than to pay a monthly rolling contract. What a massive mistake that was. I attended, maybe 5 times? Yet I paid around £200. I’m so glad I’ve learned over the years how to be more money savvy. The gym is a great way to meet fitness goals. But, depending on what those goals are, is it really necessary?

outdoor fitness

If you’re already slender and want to participate in bodybuilding contests, then yes it’s totally necessary. If you’re a bit porky and want to just use cardio machines then no it’s not. Get a sports bra, throw on some sweats and go for a jog around the block. Stream some High-Intensity workouts from Youtube. Even spend money on a fitness DVD but signing up for a gym contract could cost you a small fortune. Assess your goals and plan your strategy.

Is more expensive sportswear better?:

sportswear

Sportswear has become somewhat of an everyday statement. Instead of being solely used for the gym or exercising, it’s now made it’s way into mainstream fashion. With that, comes a price hike. People who have never worked out a day in their life are now strolling the streets in fancy sports leggings and sweatpants. This means you need to look harder for the best deals. More expensive doesn’t always mean better. Even the more expensive clothes were probably still made in the same factory in Asia. Unless you plan on wearing sportswear every day I’d advise you to head to sports direct and keep the expensive Sweaty Betty gear for birthday treats. There are only 2 items of sportswear I consider spending a bit extra on, and that’s sports bras and trainers. I’d advise you to do the same.

sportswear

 Now you know how to save, it’s time to put it all into action.

DO you know of any other ways to cut fitness costs, without neglecting your goals? Let me know in the comments below.

LiveLean for Slimming World Members

Posted on December 20, 2016 in Saving Money
Owl with Slimming World books and LiveLean meat

Since I wrote my LiveLean review, many of my readers have been asking me if It’s good for slimming world members. So, I’ve decided to write this post to answer all your questions.

LiveLean good for Slimming World

In my review, I touched upon the fact that LiveLean was actually introduced to me via friends who still attend slimming groups like WeightWatchers and Slimming World. As an ex-slimming world group member, I know exactly how the program works and I still actively (but not always strictly) follow it from home. But, as a money-saving blogger, I don’t pay to go to a group or follow the plan online.

So here’s a run through of some of my frequently asked questions.

Is LiveLean good for slimming world members?

One word: YES!
LiveLean has such a varied range of low-fat, high-protein meats and treats to keep slimming worlders satisfied. I’ve loved trying their meats and I know so many of my friends do too. I always check the nutritional information though to ensure that what I’m buying is lean enough to be low syn or syn free though and if I’ve had any queries then my friends who still go to the slimming world group find out for me. LiveLean also has a “Slimming Club” option in their main menu so they definitely know a lot of food optimizers are buying their meats online.

Owl with Slimming World books and LiveLean meat

Hands up if you love LiveLean’s Lean Meats

If you are currently going to group or thinking about joining over the new year, I’m sure you will hear lots of members talking about buying their meat online. I know some people even get theirs delivered to the IMAGE therapy group as they’re not at home to pick it up.

What’s the best LiveLean hamper for Slimming World Members?

LiveLean has a slimming meat hamper aimed specifically for those attending such groups. Every piece of meat in the hamper is SYN FREE or at least really low syn. It contains:
– 2 x 6oz British Rump Steaks – SYN FREE
– 2 x 400g lean beef mince (4% fat) – SYN FREE
– 24 lean steak meatballs – SYN FREE
– 2 x 4oz Chicken burgers – 0.5 SYNS EACH
– 2 x 6oz Hache Steaks – 1 SYN EACH
– 8 x Chicken sausages – 1 SYN for 4 Sausages!
It’s a great hamper to make a whole host of different low syn meals and will keep your plate unique and interesting.

CLICK HERE TO CHECK IT OUT »

My LiveLean Order

I also bought some healthy extras with my hamper

Even better than that, the meat is all British, grass-fed and free-range, which means you’re getting meat from even healthier animals – and of course, that makes you healthier, right?
The sausages are a bonus too, especially if you prefer a meaty sausage as opposed to vegetarian. I found most low syn/syn free sausages are veggie ones and as much as I love Linda Mccartney’s red onion ones, I love meaty ones more.

What Slimming world meals have I made with LiveLean meat?

So after my initial order, I’ve made a few more since and I’ve been trying out loads of new ideas. I have a few of the slimming world books including the Best-Loved Extra Easy Recipes one which is my ultimate favourite cookbook (beats Joe Wicks’ Lean In 15 any day). I’ve mostly been making recipes from that, some that I’ve found online and others from magazines. Here’re my top favs:

Chicken Based

Premium Chicken Fillets LiveLean

Because LiveLean sells 5kg packs of chicken for less than £25 I’ve been able to create a magnitude of chicken meals to keep us going. Chicken breasts are such a lean meat so they are great for extra easy and SP days. My favourites are:

  • Katsu Curry – I make this weekly because I live near an oriental takeaway, this keeps temptation at bay.
  • Pizza Topped Chicken – My ultimate syn free treat meal. I absolutely love pizza so when “dieting I like to have a good replacement, and this is definitely it. I even use LiveLeans high-protein cheese, meaning I can get loads more for my healthy extra.
  • Sticky Chicken – for when I’m feeling sweet. It’s quick, easy and tasty and can easily be thrown together with some veggies, some pasta or a salad.
  • Chicken Chow Mein – for a quick and easy dinner. Normally the rushed Monday night meal, especially if it’s been a rather “synful” weekend.

Mince Based

Lean Minced Beef LiveLean

After searching through loads of supermarkets I really struggled with finding lean mince. Many would say they were lean but would still be over 5% fat, and I know that with slimming world mince needs to be below 5% to be classed as syn free. That’s when I discovered LiveLean’s mince is only 4% fat, which is awesome. I love using Mince for quick and easy dinners as well as more time-consuming meals like burgers – but here are my top 3:

  • Chilli Con Carne – I make this weekly as it’s quick, easy and spicy.
  • Cheese and Bacon burgers – When I have a little extra time on my hands, normally a weekend meal if I can be bothered.
  • Spaghetti bolognese – Because isn’t a spag bol just the easiest of dinners?

Best Of The Rest

LIVELEAN Minute STEAK

With loads of other meats to choose from like steaks and lean meatballs, it’s hard to ignore these in favour of chicken and mince. I’m not too keen on pork, but I tend to tweak some of the pork recipes to use chicken instead. So here’s the best of the rest, all the other slimming world meals I make using LiveLean products:

  • Italian Meatballs in tomato sauce – using LiveLeans tasty meatballs
  • Steak Frites – Obviously with all the fat chopped off
  • Cooked Breakfast – Using Chicken sausages and bacon (with the fat removed)
  • Egg white omelette – using their egg whites, to make it leaner than a normal omelette. I usually make this at the end of the week to use up all the leftovers in the fridge to make way for more.

What are the other benefits to Slimming World Members?

LiveLean has tonnes of other benefits, not just to slimming world members but for people wanting to lead a healthier, low-cost lifestyle. The reason I was so attracted to the idea of LiveLean was because I knew I was getting great quality meat for super low prices – and I LOVE low prices!

Owl with Slimming World books and LiveLean meat

Their website is so easy to use, I have some real technophobe friends and they’ve managed to make orders easily. That’s one thing I find with LiveLean’s competitors, they seem to be filled with junk, adverts and they just look messy, whereas LiveLean’s website looks clean and organised, which reflects so well on them as a company.

Their customer service is great. I’ve phones up to amend my orders and ask for extra details from the team before and they have always been so kind, warm and friendly. Customer service, for me, is one of the main things that would make me return to a business.

Owl with Slimming World books and LiveLean meat

Ordering your meat online is “Extra Easy” – you, see what I did there 😉

They don’t just sell meat either, you can pick up some synful snacks like protein Mars and Snickers bars, as well as zero calorie coffee syrups. They’re so versatile and varied.

How to get started

LiveLean’s website is so easily accessible. As soon as you go to their homepage you will see in the menu the “Slimming Club” option. This will take you straight to their lean meats and lean hampers. You can also go straight there by clicking this link. By heading to the “slimming club” option, you can ensure you’re getting the right meat and don’t end up accidentally buying super fatty cuts.

It’s also a good idea to have a read through my review first so you know the best options. Or head straight to my discount page to pick up your £5 off voucher code (and more).

CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT LIVELEAN YOURSELF »

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