Most of us are guilty when it comes to overspending on our weekly food shop. Supermarkets are experts at making you spend your hard earned cash on unnecessary items, but with a few techniques you could save £1000’s a year. Enough for a little holiday!
Plan your purchases
Sit down on a Sunday and plan your meals for the coming week. Check what you don’t have already in your cupboards and make a list of ingredients you need. This might seem tedious at first but it will stop you buying items you don’t need and prevent waste.
Don’t waste anything
The average family throws away almost £60 of food every month. Takeaway boxes are perfect to keep hold of to store leftovers and have for lunch the next day. Turn last night’s pasta into today’s salad for lunch. Freezing leftovers is another great habit, giving you a ready meal to hand when you don’t feel like cooking.
Don’t shop whilst hungry
People who shop when hungry are more likely to spend more, especially on less healthy foods, such as high-fat and sugary snacks. Whilst these seem appealing at the time, they won’t fill you up and will chip away at your bank account.
Cook from scratch
Cut back on the takeaways and ready made meals by making the meals yourself. Buying loads of ingredients may seem expensive at first but chances are that bag of pasta won’t all be gone in one meal.
Buy in bulk
Good deals don’t come often, so if you spot them, especially on goods that last a while such as tinned foods, rice and pasta, stock up! This will not only help you save money, but the more you’re stocked up then fewer trips to the supermarket, saving on fuel costs too.
Get the best discounts
Look online for the best deals on products you buy. Comparison website such as
Mysupermarket.com allows you to select a basket of products and find the cheapest supplier. Shopping online also let’s you know how much you’ve spent before getting to the till so you know if you have gone over budget and can remove things without the awkwardness. You can also find millions of coupons online to help keep prices low.
Try cheaper brands
Everyone thinks they can taste the difference between those branded baked beans they grew up on and the shops own brand ones but the truth is there really isn’t much difference, especially for the price. Try gradually switching by swapping some meal ingredients out for cheaper alternatives and watch the pennies pile up!
And lower price supermarkets
Aldi and Lidl, for example, are often much cheaper than other big supermarkets and, despite the usual stereotype, are just as good quality and taste. Try doing your weekly shop at one of these for a month and count the savings at the end of the month.
Try local market stalls
For fruit and veg, local markets are often much cheaper than your local supermarket. They might not have the convenience of a supermarket, but if you’re willing to travel that bit further the savings will be worth it.
Know your dates
Many of us are unaware of the difference between a ‘use-by’ date and a ‘best before’ date, resulting in perfectly edible food being thrown away. Knowing the difference could save you a few quid every week so here is the difference:
‘Use-by date’ – goes in the bin! Especially dairy and meat products, it’s risky to eat these products past their use-by date.
‘Best before’ – Eat it! These dates are usually just the manufacturer advising when the product is past its optimum quality. Often these products are fine to eat after this date.