We’re sharing our top tips to make your money go further when you’re doing the food shop.
A year ago, it seemed the weekly big shop was going out, with more and more people just picking up what they needed for that night on the way home from work.
After almost a year coronavirus restrictions, lock downs, furlough and more, planning meals ahead and making a single trip to the supermarket is the way to go. We're changing habits and counting the pennies too. Research shows more than one in four are now more aware of what they pay for their food.
So, here are our tips to spend less:
Plan your meals
If you plan for the week ahead it means you’re less likely to buy more than you need or run out of supplies.
The temptation to call for a takeaway reduces, as you know what you've got planned and will waste food if you don't do it.
Vegetables cost a lot less than convenience food and it’s easy to plan 100% homemade food!
Beware of BOGOFs
A lot of shoppers find supermarket offers confusing, leading people to buying things that went to waste later.
Even worse, multibuy or 'buy one get one free' [BOGOF] offers encourage you to spend more than you planned, to get the "deal".
All too often, shoppers picked up two items for the price of one, only to see both end up in the bin, uneaten, wasting 100% of their money.
Do your homework
Checking out supermarket prices before you shop and looking for voucher offers means you can be more confident of getting the best deals on your food shopping.
So you can limit your time out shopping, it also means you can work out ahead of time where to head to for the best value.
Check before you shop
Meghan Markle’s favourite wine sells in the cheapest supermarket for £125 less than you’d usually pay!
You need to know what you have before you go shopping and make a list of what you need and stick to it. You can take a ‘photo with your phone of your cupboard or fridge with you as a reminder so you don't double up.
Make sure to look for the longest sell by date on products when choosing your items. This means you can wait longer before needing to replace them if you don't use them all in a week and benefit from some bulk buying
By setting a limit on how much you are going to spend you will get more creative in how you save. Some good advice is to not shop when you're hungry.
Buy in bulk and freeze
It’s often cheaper to buy more.
Large chicken portions or big trays of pork chops are ideal to separate at home, put into ziplock bags and freeze individually. But don’t just buy in bulk, plan ahead to avoid that old piece of chicken at the back of the freezer.
Another tip is instead of buying pre-cooked chicken pieces for sandwiches and wraps, buy an ‘in the bag’ whole chicken and cook it. That way it can do the family’s lunches for the week and saves a lot of money.
Look out for reductions
The best time for reductions is not always the end of the day. Some stores, such as Aldi discount some fresh foods first thing.
But remember it’s only a good discount if you’re actually going to use it.
Make fruit and veg go further
How long you can REALLY keep eggs, cheese and bread for before they go 'off'
One of our top tips is to have multiple meals you can cook with the same ingredients. If you don't use all of something in one dish, remember there are lots of things you can freeze to use later. You can sweat onions, leeks, mushrooms and other similar vegetables, freeze them and use them later.