13 Ways to Save Money on Your Food Shopping
Are you finding that your regular grocery bills are going up and up? There is such a thing as price gauging – and there are some shops and supermarkets who charge more than others – however, there are still plenty of ways you could be saving an extra bit of cash on your regular food bills. Are you doing everything you can to cut down on the costs?
Sometimes, it’s as simple as being shrewd with what you have in and available. At other times, it’s about holding out on some of the flashiest deals on the market! Here are some great money-saving tips you might want to put into action the next time you eye up your grocery shop.
Don’t get suckered into big branded deals
Some supermarkets will expect you to buy five of one thing to get two free, for example. What if you only need one or two to begin with? Look carefully at these deals and consider your needs. Do you really need eight pineapples when three will suffice?
Try and shop at local markets and independent traders
Supermarkets might offer you big deals and rates like it’s no tomorrow, but you’ll probably find market traders offer better quality produce for cheaper rates. For example, think about buying fresh fruit and veg from local market stalls, and your meat and cheese from butchers and independent producers in your area.
Actually, look at what you have at home already
Is there any point in stocking up on more than what you need? If it’s going to treble your grocery bill, then probably not. Take stock of what you actually need, and don’t go too heavy into panic-buying. It’s a waste of cash.
Think about the state of hunger you might be in when you shop
It’s a proven fact that if we shop when hungry, we are more likely to invest in food and drink that really ramps up our bills. Shop after you’ve eaten, and you’re less likely to think with your stomach.
Think carefully about how much food you are actually wasting each week
Do you find that you end up buying stacks of meat and vegetables, only to throw a lot of it away? It’s time to start thinking about getting into leftovers. Cook your evening meal and store it away to enjoy more of the next day. You will be surprised how long fresh food will last if you give it the opportunity!
Speaking of which, don’t always be swayed by best before dates
You should be careful with any fresh produce that has a ‘use by’ date, but anything with a ‘best before’ does not mean you need to throw it away after that date. Even eggs have best before dates – and many will still be safe and tasty to eat after these dates. Judge each case by its own merits.
Freeze as much as you can
If you have a big chest freezer, you can really plan ahead on some of the more expensive produce you are likely to buy. Common purchases such as bread and milk, for example, are actually really easy to freeze and defrost. Bread, unfortunately, has a habit of going pretty stale fairly quickly. Therefore, place it in the deep freeze as soon as you can – and you can bring it back out for when you’re likely to need it.
Save even more money by shopping online
If you’ve never tried this before, then you have a world of different offers opening up to you. Most of the big supermarkets – Tesco, ASDA, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose/Ocado – will offer you money off the first time you shop with them via the web. Therefore, why not try one supermarket one week, and another one the week after? It’s a great way to save a little bit of money for the short term.
You should also look to set up with a cashback service
Companies such as TopCashback are a known go-to. There are plenty of different apps and services which will let you claim a little bit of money back here and there on regular purchases. If you shop with the same services time and again, this will likely help you to start making some serious savings.
Try and get all of your shopping done in one batch
One of the worst things you can do when trying to save money on groceries is to keep topping up. It’s tempting to just keep going to the shops to stock up throughout the week, however, if you keep a designated shopping day each week, you can be sure that you’re only ever paying out for one batch of groceries at a time.
Try and drift away from known brands
Many supermarkets actually produce own-brand food and drink as well as household products which are fantastic value. What’s more, in many cases, you likely won’t be able to tell the difference from product to product! Worth keeping in mind, particularly if you’re not fussy, and if you know that you’ll save cash by comparing, like you would for a loan with a loan broker!
Try and meal prep and plan
One of the worst things, again, you can do if you’re trying to cut down grocery cash is to buy for ‘if and when’. It might sound boring, but if you set up a meal schedule, you’ll know exactly what you are going to eat, and when. In fact, there are plenty of ways you can make this fun, for date nights in and family evenings, for example.
Learn how to make more of your food
This means – shock horror – that you might have to start learning how to cook and bake. You’ll find that ingredients go further, and you’ll make more interesting meals, if you become a whiz in the kitchen. We’re not saying you have to be up to Paul Hollywood’s level of pie-making, but you’ll at least save yourself some cash by making meals from scratch!