If you’re trying to save your pennies, a really good way to do that is to spend less on your food shops. While food may be a necessity, it’s not uncommon for us to buy far more than we need or select more expensive brands out of habit.
Keen to learn some money-saving tips for your next shopping trip? Read on.
Six ways to spend less on food:
1. Plan your meals in advance
Wandering around the supermarkets and adding stuff to your trolley which you simply like the look of is a recipe for disaster! You’ll not only be eating away at your bank balance, but also likely be buying items you don’t even need.
Instead, try to plan out your meals for the week and write a list of all the ingredients you need for them. If you can’t resist having the occasional treat, limit it to one or two items.
2. Always set a budget
Having a weekly budget for your food and ensuring you stick to it is a fantastic way to save money. The amount will likely differ depending on your diet, eating habits and the number of people in your household so you’ll need to work out an appropriate amount.
You’ll then want to calculate your costs as you go along the aisles. Shopping online is an even easier way to budget your food shops as it’ll automatically calculate the amounts for you.
3. Shop once a week
Find yourself popping to the shops almost every day to pick up the odd item? All those additional things will add up over time, plus you’ll often be limited when it comes to brands and availability in smaller supermarkets.
Instead, try and shop once a week for just the things that you need. If you then find you’ve run out of essentials or want a treat, you can nip to your local shop just for that.
4. Buy less branded items
It’s no secret that branded items cost more than supermarket-own products. While you might want to choose a particular brand for certain items because you prefer the flavour, there are many products which taste exactly the same regardless of the brand.
Home cooking essentials such as pasta, rice, lentils and tinned beans tend to taste similar if you buy cheaper options. Value versions also mean you can buy multiples, allowing you to always have a steady supply in your cupboard without spending a fortune.
5. Join a loyalty scheme
Many supermarkets and health food shops (including Holland & Barrett) have loyalty schemes which let you collect points for items you buy. Overtime, these add up and allow you to knock money off the price of your shops.
6. Keep an eye out for deals
While some deals can lead you to spend more money unnecessarily on items you don’t really need, others (such as buy one get one free offers) can be a great way of saving some cash. It’s also worth finding out what time of day your supermarket discounts its fresh produce – most items can be frozen or will have a day or two left on their sell by dates.
Are there any foods I shouldn’t compromise on?
If you want to maintain a healthy diet while saving money, a great way to do this is to cook your meals from scratch. It’s typically much cheaper to buy fresh ingredients for things like sauces than to buy it ready-made.
When it comes to products like meat and dairy, it’s best not to scrimp. Buy quality cuts or brands which you like – there’s no point spending your well-earned money on items you don’t love!
Have a browse of our full range of home cooking products to find everyday essentials and items with amazing discounts.
Last updated: 29 April 2020