10 Tips to Save Money on Your Food Shop

Supermarkets these days have plenty of sneaky tactics up their sleeves in order to get us to spend more money. The sweets and magazines strategically placed at the till, the alluring offers at eye level and the smell of fresh bread tempting you as you walk in the door are all tricks supermarkets use to get you to spend more money than you need to.

Here are 10 top tips to slash your shopping bill and leave you with some extra pennies and hopefully counteract the above.

1. Batch cook when possible

Batch Cooking We often batch cook meals or make double so there is enough for lunch the next day. It is often cheaper to buy in bulk and making more means you can pop a couple of portions in your freezer for another day when you need a quick meal. A great example is spicy jerk chicken casserole. We pop all of the vegetables we can think of in with my casserole mix and cook a whole pack of chicken to really fill it out. This is a meal that freezes really well and can be defrosted and re-heated in a hurry. Chilli, casserole and soup also freeze well and are great for batch cooking.

 

2. Take advantage of 3 for 2 offers

3 for 2 offersWe're not saying every time something is on offer then buy it, however if an item you use and buy regularly then stock up where you can if you have the space. This may initially make your shopping bill a bit higher but in the long run you will be saving money. Great items to bulk buy when on offer are washing powder, toilet rolls, toiletries and meat that can be stored in the freezer.

 

 

 

3. Opt for supermarket branded items

Non-branded ProductsWhen it comes to the basics we have no problem in buying the more affordable supermarket own-branded items such as pasta, chopped tomatoes, beans and vegetables. You can’t really go wrong with these type of products. A chopped tomato is a chopped tomato regardless of whether it’s a 30p own-branded item or a 60p can from a better known brand, it’s exactly the same on the inside. Just because an item costs more doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s better, check the labels and if the ingredients are the same, downgrade to the cheaper option. Each week try one new supermarket item in place of your usual item, if you can’t taste a difference then stick to the cheaper option!

 

4. Note down what you have, then write a list on what you need

Food PlanningHow many times have you come home with tins of tuna to find out there are already 6 tins in the cupboard. Before you go shopping have a good look through all of your cupboards and fridge so you know what you have. When you’ve written your list make sure you stick to it and don’t buy anything unnecessary that you really don’t need.

 

 

 

5. Freeze food

Freeze food like potatoesThere are so many foods that can be frozen that you probably don’t even know about. One food that always gets frozen before they go bad is potatoes. Slice the potatoes into chips and pop them straight in the freezer so when you fancy some homemade chips all you have to do is pop them straight from the freezer to the oven for 45 minutes. You can also freeze vegetables if you aren’t going to eat them in time, simply blanch them and pop them into a sealed container. This is great for when you can get cheap vegetables near to when the shop closes. You can also freeze fruit before it goes bad, it makes a great smoothie when blended.

 

6. Pick up late night bargains

Pick up those late night bargains!Following on from my last point try and find out when your local supermarket reduces all of their items. A great time to visit is Sunday evening before the shop closes for the night. You can often pick up reduced fruit and vegetables and portions of meat. It’s a bit of trial and error finding out when your local store marks up their reductions, but definitely worth trying to figure out if you can to save some cash.

 

 

 

7. Meat Free Mondays

Meat Free Mondays - Vegetable CurryMeat can often be one of the most expensive aspects of a meal. A great way to save money is by having meat free Mondays. There are plenty of delicious filling recipes available online that do not contain meat and it give you a chance to experiment in the kitchen. Why not try a sweet potato curry or a vegetable lasagne for a change? If you really can’t bring yourself to give up meat then why not make a large casserole or a stew with only half your usual meat portion. Fill the meal out with plenty of potatoes and vegetables and you shouldn’t miss the extra meat, and the portion will last twice as long.

 

8. Grow your own

Grow your own - herbs!If you have a garden or even a small window space then you can grow some of your favourite foods at home. Save money by having your own mini herb garden, you will get a lot more out of growing your own than buying small portions of fresh herbs at the supermarket. Potatoes, courgettes and green beans are also really easy to grow if you have the garden space and always taste a lot nicer than supermarket veg.

 

 

9. Vouchers and store loyalty cards

vouchers and loyalty cardsAlways pick up the free magazines that you can get in various supermarkets as they usually have a few different vouchers available that may be of use to you. Newspapers will often have supermarket vouchers in too so keep your eyes peeled for those. A quick Google search before you do your shopping may also give you some codes and a lot of supermarkets offer great deals for online delivery if it’s your first time ordering with them. Also take advantage of store loyalty cards and build up your points. The more points you get, the more money you build up on your card and you can redeem this in store against your shopping when you’ve built up enough and some stores will send you vouchers when you reach a certain amount of points.
 

10. Plan your meals

Meal planning - essential listsEach week before I go shopping I make a list of all the meals I plan to cook that week. Having a meal plan means you will only buy the things you need, referring back to point 4. This can take time and planning but once you get into a routine it really is worth it.

 

 

 

 

A Bonus Tip:  Don’t Shop When Hungry!

Shopping on an empty stomach almost always means that impulse items will end up in your trolley. You simply can’t help but grab snacks and sweets that aren’t on your list when your stomach is growling! Be sure to eat before you head out for your food shopping trip. At the very least, have a snack beforehand so that you won’t be tempted to add items to your order that you otherwise wouldn’t buy.

Well, we hope these tips will help you when you next go food shopping and you can save money on one of your weekly outgoings!

What is the Verdict?

MoneySavingPigHave you got any 'top tips' that you use to save cash on food?  Or do you think you will be putting some of the above into action?  We love feedback so please use the comment section below.

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