We’re all guilty of spending just a bit too much money during our weekly food shop. Between tempting deals and food waste, it can feel impossible to truly save money on your weekly shop. But it can be done. In fact recent studies suggest that you can save up to £850 a year on your food shopping, but just how can you do it? Truthfully, there is no one way to cut down on costs and food waste. There are things you can start to do to make a difference, however.
Start Meal Planning Before Your Weekly Food Shop
You’re probably sick of hearing about meal planning, but it truly does make a difference. Especially when it comes to food waste. It goes without saying that if you’re only buying what you truly need, there will be less food waste. However it can also save you money if you’re only buying what you need for your meals. It’s so tempting to sway away from your shopping list, but if you’ve got a meal plan in place it’s easier to stick to the list.
Make Use Of Click And Collect Or Home Delivery Slots
It’s easier to resist the temptation to buy more if you’re having to text search for your products as opposed to browsing in the aisles. You’re much more likely to find a deal on what’s already on your list online as well. On top of that, it also saves you time. This is also ideal for COVID times where shopping in the actual supermarket can pose a risk to us. The less human contact the better!
Use A Points Programme With Your Weekly Shop
Many supermarkets have points initiatives where you can earn points by each pound you spend and eventually get money off your shop. Shops like Tesco, Morrisons and Lidl have these. This is a great way to save a little money on your shop, especially if you use the shop weekly. There are also exclusive deals if you use these memberships, such as 15% off certain products on a certain week.
Buy Own Brand Products
Nine times out of ten, the own brand products are just as good, if not better, than the branded products. There is no point in paying a premium for something that you can get much cheaper at a similar quality. Take a serious look at what you’re buying and make sure that you can’t save money by picking up a slightly cheaper product, over the month that small amount adds up to a bigger saving. The difference between a £1 product and a 50p product doesn’t seem like much until you’re buying several a month. Be mindful.
Don’t Shop When You’re Hungry
This might sound silly, but you’ll probably end up with more than expected in your basket because your shopping whilst hungry. You’ll end up picking up things you don’t need because you’ll crave them. If you aren’t hungry, this shouldn’t be a problem. Remember that this is a weekly food shop and not a snack/on the move food shop. You can definitely wait until you get home to make something rather than spending more money on an overpriced sandwich or wrap (of course, if you have something like Diabetes pick up what you need!)
Buy In Bulk
With foods like tinned foods, pasta and rice it’s more cost effective to buy big bags as opposed to many small bags. It may seem expensive when you buy it, but if it lasts you for the next 20 shops then you’re saving in the long run. Not only does this help your weekly shop cost less, but it also makes your shopping less heavy for carrying home or putting away. It’s also handy because you know you’ll always have something to eat if you can’t get out to a shop.
Shop At The Right Time Of Day On Your Weekly Food Shop
Most supermarkets will start marking fresh products down at the end of the day. This means that if you go late in the evening or early in the morning you can get yourself some really good deals. The downside of this is that you can’t do this with online shopping and it makes it harder to plan what you’re going to buy. It’s great if you’re having to feed a few mouths on very little though.
Buy Frozen Vegetables Instead Of Fresh
Now I want to be clear that I don’t mean every vegetable you buy, but buying frozen peas, sweetcorn, chopped onions, chopped peppers etc. can save you money. Not only does it tend to work out cheapers, but most of the food waste in the UK is from fresh vegetable and fruit due to it going off before we use it. If you buy part frozen, part fresh then you’ll have a good balance, less waste and save money. This can also apply to meat and fish, it’s suprisingly cheaper in general to buy frozen!
Bring Your Own Bags
Every supermarket now charges for plastic bags. This means you can be charged anything from 5p to 20p for each plastic bag you use. If you’re doing this every week, you can end up spending far too much money on bags that you could easily be saving. Once again, 5p doesn’t sound like very much until you add it all up. The bonus of bringing your own bag is that it means you’re bringing home less plastic.
Shop At “Budget” Supermarkets
Shops like Farmfoods, Lidl and Aldi are great for a cheaper shop. And with Lidl now offering it’s own points initiative, it’s a great deal. If you’ve regularly shopped at Tesco, Asda or Morrisons for years, you’ll be shocked at how much money you can actually save just by shopping at one of the more budget friendly shops. It’s also important to note here that the quality isn’t any better because the food costs more.
Do you have any money saving tips for our weekly food shop? Please let me know below!
If you’re looking for more tips to save money, read this post about how you can save money while planning your holiday.