There are many changes you can make to reduce the cost of your food shop:
Getting yourself organised before heading out to the supermarket will help you stay within your budget and reduce any unnecessary purchases.
- Plan your shopping trip – Go with a clear idea of what you need to buy, else you may end up wandering the aisles and buying more than you intended. Take a look through your cupboards and see what you need to stock up on
- Meal Prep – Meal planning will provide you a clearer picture of the ingredients you need to buy for the week ahead
Cook from Scratch
Not only it is healthier to cook from scratch compared to purchasing ready meals, but it will also save you money. Cooking from scratch is also fun too, there are many great recipes available. I often use BBC Good Food, TV programmes and YouTube to find recipe inspiration.
Often when food is coming close to its sell buy date the store will reduce the price of it.
There should not be any stigma attached to buying reduced food, often displayed with ‘yellow stickers’. Food is not only saved from being wasted (thrown away) but you are benefiting through saving money at the same time.
Tips for purchasing reduced food:
- Find out when shops start reducing items so you can get the best choice of food
- Find out where reduced items are located, such as a certain aisle or in among the other products
- Be prepared to experiment in the kitchen. There is no guarantee you will get ingredients that you are familiar with, so be prepared to find new recipes to use the reduced items
- Remember that reduced items can be frozen and will still stay relatively fresh (however it is best to eat them within a month of freezing)
Apps – Too Good to Go, Shopium etc.
There are a range of apps which you can use that provide offers on your food shop:
- Shopmium – gives you exclusive offers for everyday products available in supermarkets
- Olio – allows you share items that you may throw away otherwise. You are also able to collect items that your neighbours have advertised on the app
- Too Good to Go – this app allows you to connect with restaurants, supermarkets and cafes that have surplus food. Whilst they do not specifically tell you what is in the bag until you collect it there are categories on the such as vegetarian and vegan. I have seen Greggs, Pret and Morrisons provide a wide range of food that would otherwise head to the bin.
Sign up to supermarket loyalty schemes such as Nectar Card and Clubcard. They will often reward you with discounts on your shopping, the points can be used in other shops and on days out.
I recommend to download the loyalty card app before heading out to the shop and save the recommended offers. You can redeem your points instore for money off your shop or wait for when a promotion. Nectar card runs a double-up promotion that runs in November.
However do not buy items just because they have a loyalty card offer on.
Credit Card Rewards
Following on from supermarket loyalty cards, using some credit cards will provide you cashback or supermarket discounts.
American Express offers a Nectar Credit Card which provides you with 2 Nectar Card points for every £1 spent. They also offer a Cashback Credit Card which provides 5% cashback on your purchases and if you signup using this link you will receive bonus cashback for just spending £1 during your first 3 months.
Please remember credit cards are not for everyone and pay off your credit card in full every month. For more detailed information on how to make credit cards work for you, check out my post here.
Supermarket Own Brand
Not only own brand items tend to be cheaper I have found they tend to be healthier. Trying new brands could be tastier and cheaper than the brands that you are loyal to.
Own brand changes I have made myself include cereal, tinned food, bread, ice cream and baking ingredients and thus far I have not noticed any difference in quality.
I hope this list of 7 tips will help reduce your food shopping total. Small changes such as experimenting with recipes, using new, cheaper brands or using a cashback credit card could potentially reduce your bill overtime.