I know, we are all guilty of a spending spree from time to time. We would all love cheaper shopping and to save a little money in our weekly shops, but we just cant help but splurge on extras every time we visit one.
There is nothing wrong with buying things we enjoy, but when it becomes a regular occurrence it kind of gets a little unhealthy for our finances. and lowering the cost of your food shop is a great way to make extra room in your budget.
Since i started living cheaper, iv noticed a few things we used to do on our weekly shop that ended up costing us more than necessary. Lets talk about some of the ways we make our food shopping cheaper and to save money on our shopping all year round.
Check what you already have
I love making lists! I feel they bring a bit of organisation to my chaotic life! before we do our food shop we always start in the kitchen. first, writing a list of ingredients we already have, things such as meat and vegetables. We also check for food staples such as potatoes, rice, onions etc, to make sure we don’t overstock our pantry. See our must have 28 items every pantry needs.
create a weekly Meal plan
Hands down the best way to lower your shopping bill is to create a weekly meal plan taking into account the ingredients you already have. Say you have a whole chicken and some veg already, Plan a few meals from that. Read our guide to meal planning here.
You could cook a curry, chicken fried rice and maybe a chicken soup from one chicken for instance. Always use up what you already have in stock by planning meals ahead of time.
Consider buying in bulk
A great way to save money on your regular weekly shop is to buy in bulk. If you find a great deal on say beef that you use regularly, stock up! put it in the freezer.
Granted, you need to have some savings already to buy in bulk, but you can save on you shopping trip with this simple method. Remember though that buying in bulk is not always a good deal. Make sure you still compare prices in the store or across multiple stores.
Change where you shop!
If you enjoy the supermarket you already use to do your weekly shop that’s great. But switching to a cheaper store is always a great way to save on your basket!
We shop in a mixture of stores, including Lidl, Farmfoods, Heron and sometimes Asda for anything we cannot find. We do the majority of our shopping in Lidl though, after we found we lowered our shopping costs by nearly £20.00 a week just by switching from Tesco.
Consider switching brands
Where do i start with brands! there expensive, i dont think we buy any branded items apart from brown sauce, i really do prefer the taste of HP brown sauce over any other version.
You can lower your food shop instantly by removing branded items from your shopping basket. I have toured around 5 food processing factories (yes i am that boring.) but what i seen was eye opening.
I have visited Ice cream factories, meat processing and shellfish factories. All of which processed the exact same products for the majority of the supermarket chains and branded companies. Yes the flavourings may have been different but the core product was the same. Why pay more for the packaging?
Cook cheaper meals
Before we started budgeting properly, we used to eat without any thought. It was not unusual for us to eat expensive meals such as steak and meat heavy meals on a daily basis.
We cut our food bill in half by simply cooking cheaper meals! you could consider eating more casseroles, soups, stews and curry’s, all of which are repetitively cheap to cook and go a long way.
Some of our most favourite meals that don’t cost half as much are fried rice, chicken tikka massala, cottage pie and corn beef stew. Also consider bulking your meals out with more veg and less meat for even more savings and nutrients.
Don’t shop hungry!
Before you shop make sure you eat a good square meal! Studies show that shopping on an empty stomach makes us spend more in the shops.
its also a good idea for health as when you shop hungry, you are more inclined to impulse purchase higher caloric foods and snacks!
By shopping a little smarter and planning ahead, you can save money on your food shopping all year around. Whats better is when planning ahead we often make healthier choices too!
These are just a few ways we lower our food shopping. Some may not apply to you and that’s fine. The most important thing is to stick to your food budget and live more by spending less!