I nearly didn’t write this blog.
I was worried that I might sound a bit preachy about shopping on a budget. I also felt that with my food recycling brimming over this week and my meal planning a little thin on the ground, whether I was the best person to be giving such advice!!
Putting together this list has been a great reminder to me to get organised with my food budgeting.
It is so hard when life is busy to pay attention to the supermarket shop. Lets face it, it’s boring. But, speaking from experience, just doing a couple of things on the list will make a huge difference to your weekly spend.
So here goes…….
Plan your meals:
Choose 7 dinners and 7 lunches that you are going to eat that week and write your weekly shopping list around them. It’s difficult to plan more than a week ahead and you’ll end up spending more money doing ‘top up shops.’ I use a blackboard in my kitchen to write my plan and any ingredients we’re running out of. You can buy Cheap, simple meal planners online Get the whole family involved, my kids regularly remind me of great dinners that I’d forgotten about!
Buy frozen and tinned fruit and vegetables:
They cost less and are just as good for you. They won’t go off as quickly, and with frozen vegetables, you can just take out as much as you need. Make sure that if you’re buying tinned fruit, that it’s in juice and not syrup.
Make your own lunch:
It’s really hard to find affordable food on the go and often it’s pretty uninspiring! Bring in your own.Packed lunches are usually cheaper, healthier and a good way to use up leftovers. It doesn’t have to always be sandwiches. Think about using leftover pasta and rice to make salads. Jacket potatoes are great if you have a microwave at work. Bring in soups and noodles from home. I invested in a large Thermos cup about a year ago (well, a cheaper version of it!) It’s bigger than a lot of the flasks, so perfect for carrying food from home, without spillage. You can also use it for hot drinks on the go. This is the mug I’ve got and it’s half price at the moment Thermocafe Travel Mug
Make extra portions of food
That way, you can freeze portions, so you aren’t tempted to buy expensive ready meals, on nights when you’re too busy to cook. Invest in some Tupperware that can hold individual portions, rather than freezing it all in one.
Veggie meals are usually significantly cheaper than cuts of meat. Try going meat free at least one night a week.
It sounds obvious, but we get very used to buying the same brands every week. Try swapping some of your branded items for ‘own’ brands. Some of the savings are huge! If you or your family are a bit hesitant to try unbranded items, just try a couple of products each week, rather than doing a full swap.
Pay attention to prices:
We are so accustomed to our regular supermarket that we often don’t check the prices. Check the cost of everything you put in your trolley – you may change your mind about some items!
Set a budget and try to stick to it:
I know that it’s easier said than done but when you focus on a maximum spend,it’s amazing how much we realise we don’t need!
Keep a note of the food you’re throwing away each week.
It’s easy to buy things out of habit without noticing that it’s never used.If you’re throwing away the same things – stop buying it!
Have a plan for everything you buy.
Don’t buy food just because it’s on offer. Stick to your shopping list. When you write your meal plan, try to think about ingredients that might be left over and what meal would use them up.
For more simple, family meal ideas, why not order The Savvy Shopper’s Cookbook Over 80 new recipes