Published: 08/12/2021

5 ways to cut your grocery bill

We all spend a lot at Christmas on food and drink. Prices are increasing too.  Here's 5 ways to cut your grocery bill

Many people are still spending more time at home than normal. This means we’re making lunches in our kitchens rather than popping to Pret.

We’re spending more just living our normal lives, because inflation is increasing which helps explain why we're spending more each time we visit the supermarket than we ever have done before.

Many of us are feeling anxious about household expenditure and about our finances more generally. If your family is feeling the pinch, there are many simple things you can do to keep control of your spend on groceries. Here are our top five tips.

TIP 1: Switch to own-brands

More of us are putting own label products in our shopping trolleys, because they’re either cheaper or our usual brands aren't available. Research found over half of us (57%) will consider buying own-brand labels.

This can drive down the overall cost of the weekly shop. Pricier doesn't always mean tastier when it comes to own-brand food.

Among the own-brand store-cupboard staples that have beaten off competition from big brands in Good Housekeeping’s taste tests are ASDA Smartprice crisps , M&S Crunchy Peanut Butter and Tesco Wheat Biscuits.

Swapping to these own-branded products alone could save you nearly £10 a month - almost £120 a year!

TIP 2: Plan meals and portions carefully

It may sound like an obvious way to save money but buying only what you need is easier said than done.

When you’ve planned your meals for the week ahead, the Love Food Hate Waste Portion Calculator helps takes the guesswork out of adding up what you need to buy. Choose an ingredient you plan to serve up – such as rice. Select the number of people, and the tool will tell you how much you need. It also works out portion sizes for toddlers, younger children aged 4-10 years and older children aged 11-18 years.

This will help you avoid cooking too much, and help reduce the amount of food you throw away.

TIP 3: Work out if you're really getting a good deal

Make sure you're not tempted by seeming bargains. You're probably already a pro at spotting 'yellow sticker' food that's been reduced because it's near the 'use-by' or 'best-before' date.

It’s not always a good deal on these items. Yellow stickers can offer great discounts, but always look at the original price too. Later in the day, 20p off can turn into 75% off. Just make sure it's something you actually need.'

TIP 4: Check your fridge’s temperature

This really is important! Because it has been stored incorrectly, the average UK household throws away £70 of otherwise edible food every month. A whopping £840 a year going straight in the bin that you could shave off your grocery spend.

Set your fridge to the recommended temperature of 4°C or lower to keep your fresh food and leftovers for as long as possible. If your fridge doesn’t have a digital temperature display, the Chill the Fridge Out tool offers advice on setting it to the correct temperature. Use a fridge thermometer to check it’s cold enough.

TIP 5: Use your freezer more

Watch the ‘use by’ dates of fish, dairy and meat products in your fridge. If you’re not going to use them before they go off, freeze them.

Packets of bacon or jars of passata you open but don’t use up in one go can be frozen. Label anything you put in the freezer with the date it went in. Freeze things in the quantities required to cook your favourite recipes to avoid having to defrost more than you need.

Research shows that few of us opt for the most expensive option, or the very cheapest. We tend to go for a mid-range choice and retailers know this! They stack their shelves with the most profitable items at eye-level. So, if you're looking for cheaper options, look at the shelves above and below your line of vision as you'll probably find a better deal.