‘Irresponsible’ parents who spend £1,260 a month on food discover shop ‘trap’

The Kofi family from London are in desperate need of help to slash their eye-watering costs.

Shereen and Michael, who have recently separated after 13 years of marriage, are now happier as friends and still live together to co-parent their four children.

All six are crammed together living in Michael’s mum’s two-bedroom flat, but despite not paying rent in 12 years they have serious issues with their finances.

The self-confessed shopaholics can’t stop impulse buying and spend a whopping £500 a month on the high street and £260 online.

If that wasn’t bad enough, the Kofis spend a staggering £1,260 a month on food – with £950 of it coming from supermarket trips and the other £310 from expensive takeaway meals.

“For me it sounds irresponsible. It’s not good,” admits Shereen, who gets a shocking reality check when told this is £400 more than the average family of six.

But help is on hand as the How To Save A Grand In 24 Hours have just one day to revolutionise their finances and give some top tips on how to save money.

The How To Save A Grand experts are on hand to give their tips
The How To Save A Grand experts are on hand to give their tips

Presenter Anna Richardson gives the Kofis some tough love by dropping some budgeting bombshells after studying their bank statements.

Then they meet up with renowned restauranteur Gary Usher, who starts torching their food bills and reveals they pop to the shops 43 times a month.

His top tip is to write a shopping list before you head out so that you don’r become a “dangerous browser”.

Giving a warning to the Kofis, he says: “Don’t let the supermarkets trick you. They put the chocolates right next to the till. They put the milk and bread as far away as possible.”

Shereen realises it’s a “trap” used to stay in the store longer and get you to encourage you to buy products you didn’t intend to buy.

One of the other issues they have is brand loyalty, as Michael, who works nights in a children’s care home, has transferred his love for expensive food to the kids.

Gary says it’s better to buy supermarket own brands, with yoghurts, baked beans mayo, coffee pods and energy drinks being his favourites.

When confronted with his eight jars of apple sauce, Michael explains he got them because they were on officer, but Gary explains that things in tiny jars are never truly on offer because the packaging cost loads.

The Kofis spend a staggering amount at the supermarket every month
The Kofis spend a staggering amount at the supermarket every month

He challenges them to only shop once in the next seven days and says going to the wholesalers instead of the supermarket could save up to 25%.

Another trick is to buy turkey leg instead of expensive fried chicken takeaway, which is cheaper and can be tastier when cooked right.

You may think a may be cheaper to grow your own food, but the experts explain that it’s actually a lot more expensive than going to the supermarket due to added costs of fertiliser and gardening tools.

They switch their electric meter from top up to direct debit to save cash and start tracking their spending on digital apps.

The Kofis also get top-notch cleaning tips from expert Peachy Clean, who declutters their home and gets scrubbing in those dirty corners.

And with a bathroom in dire need of repair but no budget to speak of, expert builder Eve Humphreys has her DIY skills properly tested.

The family didn’t have a shower so were using a bucket to bathe the children after being quoted £1,000 to sort out their lacklustre bathroom.

On a budget of just £200, Eve gets rid of the black mould in the tiles and upcycles an old shower she got from a previous job.

Chef Gary Usher imparts his knowledge on the couple
Chef Gary Usher imparts his knowledge on the couple

She shows the Kofis how they can save a lot of money by getting their hands dirty and having a go themselves.

After a week it’s time to find out whether the couple managed to save any money.

They reveal they have signed up to a cash and carry so they can cut costs by bulk buying and they only visit the supermarket once, giving more time to get cleaning.

Incredibly they manage to halve their shopping budget to save a staggering £630, in addition to cutting £310 from their takeaway spend and £380 off of shopping sprees.

In total that means they are now saving £1,320 a month on all their bills, which means they would have an extra £57,600 within just four years to use for a deposit on a family home.

“It’s not even a massive sacrifice,” admits Michael. “I just haven’t been taking accountability and I don’t check my finances.”

Shereen adds: “We want our children to know better so we knew we had to learn.”

*How To Save A Grand In 24 Hours airs tonight on Channel 4 at 8pm

Originally from https://www.mirror.co.uk/tv/tv-news/irresponsible-parents-who-spend-1260-23985105

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