You may promise yourself a frugal month but with rising prices it can seem difficult to cut down on the weekly grocery shop. Well here are a few ideas to keep your food spend low this month…and beyond.
Ten Tips To Save Money On Food
1. Check what you already have – especially sell by dates. Start with what you have ‘in stock’. Check the fridge and freezer for any food that needs ‘eating-up’. Then get creative with what you have. Better to use it than throw it away and have to buy more food in. Make soup with tired vegetables and use cheese that is too old for the cheese board by grating in sauces or over pasta. Use with cream for a creamy pasta sauce
2. Go vegetarian for most meals – use lentils and pulses with seasonal vegetables from your local green grocers or Farmers Market. Or look out for offers in the supermarket. Try some great on pot meals such as Vegetable Crumble or simple meals such as Pasta, Peas and Cheese. Risotto can be made with almost anything
3. Buy eggs direct from suppliers or from markets or Farmers Markets – get local (and fabulous tasting) free range and organic eggs for much less than you would pay in the supermarket. Eggs can make some fabulous low cost meals
4. Make sure you have some basics in your cupboards – pasta, rice and couscous – relatively low cost and you can cook up a meal with some low cost vegetables, pulses or cheese. Pasta can be used in so many ways
5. Every now and then do a supermarket shop towards the end of the day when items are reduced. You can get bread at a lower price which you can freeze, vegetables on their ‘display until’ date that are perfectly useable. The trick here is not to buy anything that you wouldn’t normally buy at full price. You are not saving money if you buy ‘extras’. See Savvy Shopping At The Supermarket
6. Think Ahead. Plan your meals for the week and work out the cost. This not only helps you stay in control of your budget but saves time each day deciding what to cook! I often think that the hardest part about cooking meals is deciding what to have! Write it down and pin it up in your kitchen. Ideally have a couple of meals where you cook twice as much to so you have a couple of easy evenings when you just reheat. It also guards against turning to a takeaway or commercial ready meal when you can’t be bothered to cook – if something is too much revise your plan
7. Take packed lunches to work and save a fortune on bought sandwiches, pasties and other temptations. Make sandwiches but also make up pasta salads, soups in a thermos flask or cook dinners that make good lunches such as Brie and Tomato Tart. Although it may take a little extra effort at home, you won’t have to spend half your lunch hour queuing for your lunch. Instead you can go for a walk or read a book!
8. Tempted to buy the latest Nigella, Jamie Oliver or Pippa Middleton (yes, really – see Celebrate) cookery book? Get it from the library first and see if you really like it before you decide to buy it. If it’s not the shelf, you can usually order it for a small fee. Better than wasting £20 on a book that turns out to be disappointing
9. Have a ‘Bring and Share’ dinner with friends, rather than going to a restaurant. Same lovely company, great food and without the high bill at the end. You can always make it special by having candles, nice serviettes and flowers etc.
10. Have a set budget for your food spend – and don’t exceed it. Instead put any savings on a jar so that each month you can have a foodie treat that you have really earned! Try My Supermarket to compare prices at the supermarkets. Check out online vouchers before you head for the shops or buy online (this applies to all shopping for anything). Try www.vouchacodes.co.uk for example and sign up for updates.
What are your favourite money saving tips?
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Meg Lund says
I really like the suggestion you give to think ahead and plan your meals. As you suggest, this will help you to plan more healthy foods and it will save you time as you go to the store because you know what you need to buy. That being said, I think that thinking ahead on things like breads and salad dressing is also very helpful, too. These two things can often be high in fats and carbs, so planning ahead and even making these yourself can cut a lot of unhealthy preservatives and fats out of your diet and keep you on the path to healthy eating. Thank you for sharing!