How to save money on food

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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

  1. 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.
  2. 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!
  3. 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!!
  4. ‘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

  1. 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!!
  2. 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.
  3. 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!

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  1. I love Saving I use cash app so I save 5% at Whole Foods it use to be 10% max $7.50 cartwheel at Target 🎯 plus my debit target card which I save extra 5% on purchases I was a amateur couponer I need to get back to that. Love your advice especially freezing food and taking lunch I saved so much money this year!

    1. Author

      Cash back apps are really good aren’t they! The fact that you can save money without having to do anything is really good! I try so hard to take lunch with me every day as it saves so much x

  2. I cannot agree with you more! I make a meal list every week before doing my shopping online. This way I literally stick to my list and don’t buy anything that is not on there. I also cook enough to take the leftovers to work for lunch. Fab post!xx

    1. Author

      Thanks! I think meal planning and shopping lists are the way forward nowadays! So many nice meal planner board as well!!!
      Leftover lunches always taste nicer to I find 😋

    1. Author

      Thank you, good luck with the saving!! There always seems to be something to save up for doesn’t there! I find it’s sometimes easier to save when you’ve got something in mind to save for

  3. These are all great tip! I always meal plan and make my grocery list from that. I try to go by the sales flyer when I’m making my list. 😀

    1. Author

      Meal planning can help to save so much, my only struggle is that I often change my mind on what I want to eat

    1. Author

      It all helps doesn’t it!

  4. Having a list works so well to keep you from piling in tempting things you do not need. It is often true stores throw away food that is still good. If you buy something near its ‘sell buy’ date, you are keeping it out of the landfill and using something that is still good.

    I love leftovers!

    1. Author

      Definitely, it’s so easy to add things when you don’t have a list and then realise you’ve already got them in the cupboards at home 🙈
      Too much food gets thrown away just because it’s past the date on the packet!

  5. These are excellent tips. I do pretty much all of these – except use cashback apps and it really does make a big difference in the grocery bills. Meal planning, sticking to a list and going for value brands are by far the things that are the easiest to do. Sometimes I find value brands have more quantity as well, which makes them an even better deal.

    1. Author

      You’re a savvy shopper already 😉 it’s strange isn’t it, I think so many people are put off by the fact they’re value brands but they taste just as nice for a fraction of the price!

  6. These tips are so helpful!! I will definitely keep them in mind while shopping this week 🙂

    Nicolette Muro |

    1. Author

      Thank you! Good luck on cutting down the cost! Would love to know how you get on x

  7. Great post, I need to use some of these tips myself. I should start taking leftovers to work because as a family we waste so much

    1. Author

      Leftovers make fab lunches, and they can taste so much better than a generic sandwich as well

    1. Author

      No worries, anything to save a bit of money can always help

  8. Writing a list and sticking to it is my favourite way to save money when food shopping 🙏 Simple and effective ✨ Great post xxx

    1. Author

      It’s the one thing I always say to others but have to really force myself to remember to do!! 🙈 thank you

  9. Fantastic post! I was just going to post to Instagram the best way to save money on food is to meal plan and look you advise it hear! I agree having a shopping list while shopping is a surefire way not to over spend and pick up things that aren’t on the list.

    1. Author

      Good minds think alike! But I agree a shopping list and meal planning are vital ways to succeed with this 🙂

    1. Author

      I love taking leftovers for lunch! Especially when I’m working a late shift as then I get a proper meal for tea

  10. I think a lot of people forget that smart shopping can actually save them money – finding coupons, getting involved in apps to give them kickbacks, etc. I also used Receipt Hog. It’s super simple, you just take a picture of your receipts and you get points for it. For them, it’s a chance to see what people are buying which is a great marketing tool… points can be redeemed for gift cards at Amazon, etc. You don’t even have to buy specific items or shop at specific stores so it’s just a couple seconds of your time with things you were already purchasing.

    1. Author

      I always use receipt hog! Can’t believe I forgot to put it on here!! There’s also a few other apps that run on the same basis but pay out quicker – shoppix, SnapMyEats and HuYu. I’ll have to do a separate post on them! Thanks

  11. Thanks for the advice. I always end up with wasted food, so I’m going to focus more on meal planning.


    1. Author

      Meal planning is a fab place to start, Pinterest will be your best friend!!

  12. I do meal prep and budget but I never thought about using Cashback apps. I always thought it would be more of a hassle than a help but you may have me reconsidering! How do I know I’m using one that’s legit and not just getting scammed for pennies?
    Great read, thanks for sharing!

    1. Author

      The tend to be quite simple and easy to use. The ones that I mentioned, Shopmium is the best, it’s what I find the majority on and then I would say checkoutsmart followed by GreenJinn, top cashback sometimes have specific food on as well – all of these are genuine ones and I’ve received payouts from them.
      I’m planning to do a separate post on each one shortly so keep an eye out for those as I’ll go into more detail on how to use them and things 🙂

  13. These are brilliant tips! I definitely learnt the hard way that food shopping isn’t as fun or exciting as I’d anticipated hahaha. xx
    El // Welsh Wanderer

    1. Author

      Haha the first time you go you think it’s going to be amazing and then the reality hits!

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