When you first start having to do your own food shop it can be quite an exciting prospect, until you realise how much things cost! I vividly remember being at University, having to save money and hunting the shelves for the cheapest products that I knew would last. Hello bags of pasta!
I knew that there were ways to save money on food, I just needed to find them.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, which means, at no cost to you, I may receive a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
Save money before you hit the shops
- Write a shopping list before going shopping – the worse time to go is when you’re hungry as you’ll add anything you fancy to your trolley. The majority of these things will not be bits that you need.
- Work out how much you can actually afford to spend and stick to this budget. You can plan your basket online before you leave home to check you can get what you need and adjust if needed.
- Check cashback apps to see if there are any free or heavily discounted items available. CheckoutSmrt, Shopmium and GreenJinn are my favourites.
Save over £100 by downloading and shopping with Shopmium now – use code AKUFFAHY for an extra free tub of Nutella
Save money at the shop
- Swap to value or ‘own brands’ instead of splashing out on branded items. Shop Well for Less is a big advocate of this, the majority of people can’t tell any difference in taste either. A lot of these items are often actually made in the same factories with a different label put on them.
- Buy reduced and short dated products. All stores will reduced items as they become close to their ‘display till’ or ‘best before’ date, normally at different rates depending on the time. Tesco for example, does 3 markdowns, each time with the prices getting cheaper the closer they get to the end of the day. All of these foods are normally absolutely fine to eat still, especially if you are eating them the day you buy them. If not, most foods are freezable and will last another month or so!
- Get frozen veg instead of fresh, its cheaper and lasts longer! You can get a 1kg bag of most frozen veg for around £1 each. Pop it in a pan of boiling water as you would with fresh veg and you’ve got a healthy meal half ready. Extra bonus that you don’t have to chop or peel anything!!
- ‘Discount’ food shops such as Aldi and Lidl are becoming more popular all the time. This is simply because they sell products at a fraction of the price of the branded equivalents. Plus the middle isles can sometimes include other bargains as well – although if it’s not the list… don’t buy it!
Save money at home
- Batch cook. Instead of throwing away leftovers pop them in a plastic container and freeze them for another day. I quite often do this and have my leftovers for lunch at work the following day. Saves money, cuts down on waste and saves time! Win win!!
- Make packed lunch or take food out with you when you leave the house instead of buying it elsewhere. It is always cheaper to take 5 minutes making a sandwich than buying one from a shop.
- Meal plan, this ties in with writing a shopping list really. Once you get home look at all the food you have and plan what meals you can make. This will help you to use up the food in your cupboards and freezer. Having meals planned also means you’ll spend less time deciding what to eat and less likely to ‘just get a takeaway.’
You can get some really nice meal planner boards that will make this task a bit more engaging. Kids will love it to and why not let them pick a meal! Here’s a couple of boards I’ve found that would make a lovely addition to your kitchen!
How to save money ready for Christmas