Logbook Loan Tips: How to save money on food shopping
One of the biggest items of expenditure for most households – after your mortgage and rent – is food shopping. It can be horrifying to add up how much you spend at the supermarket every month!
Yet we all know people that seem to eat just as well as we do – if not better – but don’t seem to be struggling with their shopping bills. What is their secret? Here are Ten Tips that can help you to save money on food shopping:
- Plan your meals on a weekly basis and only buy what you need to make those meals. Knowing exactly what you need to buy reduces the potential for waste and also means that you can get everything in one go, rather than having to pop back to the shop and risk making impulse buys. Double up ingredients where you can – for example if you have a roast dinner on Sunday then use the leftover meat and vegetables in one or two recipes during the week. If you find planning ahead difficult, there are various websites that can help with this: such as the NHS Change 4 Life site.
- To help you make a fresh start food-wise, try a few days of making meals from what is already in your store cupboard and fridge instead of buying more new food. This will enable you to use up what is there rather than it lurking for ages and ending up being thrown away. It will also free up space for a restock. Check out the website Supercook for creative ideas on how to combine various ingredients to make delicious meals.
- Bulk buy essentials on a monthly basis. You can often get good deals when you buy in bulk, either from a supermarket or a wholesaler such as CostCo if you can either get a card or go with a friend who has one. As you get into a regular routine with this you will become more accurate about the amount of items you need to buy to see you through the month. Items such as household cleaning, toiletries, pet food, drinks, tins and jars can work out much cheaper if bought in bulk. You may need an influx of funds to get you going with this, and it may be worth considering a small instalment loan just to give you the up front resources for the first month’s purchase, then start putting money aside each month to cover the next month’s shopping trip.
- For the bulk buying just mentioned, or for a regular weekly shop, it may pay to shop online. This enables you to be more disciplined about what you are buying and avoid impulse purchases. Yes you have to pay a small delivery charge, but you will save on petrol and on your time. Also bear in mind that there are often special offers for new customers so you should be able to take advantage of a few of these. You can also shop around for the best deal: the website mySupermarket can help you to compare prices on the items in your shopping basket to find the best deals.
- Time your shopping trips carefully. Most supermarkets have a time when they mark down the prices of items that need to be sold that day. So if you find out these times – usually early evening or Sunday afternoons – you can get plenty of bargains to stock up your freezer. But on the other hand, avoid going food shopping when hungry as you’ll be tempted to succumb to buying treats and snacks.
- Use everything! Don’t leave leftovers to fester in the fridge only to be thrown away a few days later. Most cooked vegetables for example can be used again in a stew or curry. If fresh fruit has become overripe it can be used in cakes or puddings or desserts. Make a decision never to throw food away again but to find a use for everything.
- If you have a tendency to buy fresh vegetables and then regularly not use them all why not opt for frozen in future? The quality and taste can be just as good, you only use what you actually need at the time, and the rest can keep for months rather than being wasted.
- Make your lunch instead of buying it. Not only is this much cheaper, it gives you more control over what you are eating and is also another opportunity to use up ingredients that may otherwise go to waste.
- Beware supermarket discounts: they can be false economy. Offers such as 3 for 2 can be great if the item is something you use a lot of and would have bought several anyway. But often we get drawn in and spend more than we intended on items we don’t really need: in which case we have wasted money not saved it.
- Many supermarkets offer price match promises to customers if you find you could have purchased the same goods elsewhere for cheaper. So keep receipts and check – for example with a website such as mySupermarket – to make sure you have not paid more for your food that you needed to.
If you follow at least some of the above tips then we can guarantee you will save money on your food shopping bills. Yes, some of them will take a little more time and effort than what you are doing at the moment but it will be well worth it when you find yourself eating just as well but with more money left at the end of the month!