Make sure you don’t fall into the supermarket traps. Here are 10 simple tips to make your food shopping bill more manageable…
1. Make a plan
Plan ahead a week’s worth of dinners, and make a list of all of the ingredients you’ll need for each recipe, before you head to the supermarket. This will stop random purchases, missed items and help you to avoid buying produce that you don’t actually need. Check out my meal planning tips and download my free, printable meal planner to help you to get started.
2. Check your kitchen
It might sound obvious but always check your cupboards, fridge and freezer before you shop – we’ve all come home from the weekly shop to find we already had 6 tins of baked beans / sweetcorn / tuna etc already. Don’t forget to make the most of your leftovers too!
3. Eat first
Never shop when you are hungry. My husband can always tell when I have been ‘hungry shopping’ – we end up with twice as much junk food and spend more than usual. 😂 Definitely, shop on a full stomach – it makes the yummy chocolate bars and isles of offers much less tempting.
4. Boycott brands
Where possible go for the supermarket’s own brand products. Branded items can be ridiculously expensive, and they’re often manufactured in the same factories as the store’s own brands. Be brave; swap and do a taste test on a cheaper alternative – if you can’t taste the difference then make it permanent.
5. Avoid packaged vegetables
By loose to save a lot. For example, if you only need 30g of mushrooms, 1 pepper and 1 red onion for your pasta sauce; don’t buy a bag of onions, a trio of peppers and a large punnet of mushrooms. If you buy all of these items individually, unpackaged, they’ll only cost you pennies and it’ll definitely reduce how much food is thrown away at the end of the week. Avoiding plastic packaging is another win for the planet too!
6. Go frozen
Avoid processed and pre-prepared food. Pre-chopped fruit and vegetables are so much more expensive and they also have a shortened shelf life. If you need to reduce your prep time, go for frozen vegetables. They are just as tasty and nutritious, they’ll keep for a long time in the freezer and they’re always there when you need them. Best of all, you can just use what you need – zero waste!
7. Shop once
Do a big shop to avoid lots of small trips to the supermarket. Top-up shops usually end up much bigger than planned and all of this can make your weekly shopping bill much higher than you think. Do a large shop once a week, then try to get the few fresh bits you need mid-week in one small additional shop if need be.
8. Be smart
Don’t be sucked in by the offers! If the item wasn’t on you list when you entered the store, chances are you don’t need it. Offers like buy one get one free can be tempting – but if you didn’t need one of the item, you probably don’t need two!
9. Visit ‘World Foods’
Try the ‘World Foods’ isle in the bigger supermarkets, such as Sainsbury’s and Tesco. They’ll often have herbs, spices, pulses and lots of other products at a far cheaper price than they would be in the other isles – in the same store! Talk about bonkers! It’s a total no brainer – same item, half the price!
10. Switch supermarket
If you’ve never been to a budget supermarket, like Aldi or Lidl, you’re missing a real trick! The small savings add up really quickly, and saving just £20 a week on your shopping will give you an extra £1040 in the bank at the end of the year – time to book that week away!
Lastly – do your bit for the planet and make sure you avoid plastic where possible by taking your own bags. As Tesco say… Every little helps! 🙂
And, be sure to read my post on leftovers to slash your food costs even more!