In this section we will look at tricks before you go food shopping to help keep the cost as low as possible.
Money saving tips
The image below is just one example from MyVoucherCodes, there are so many other savings on each site, its worth a look. This is just £5 but added together they can make quite an impact on your shop.
Take your own carrier bags, this helps reduce plastic pollution (85% fewer single use bags in the UK since the introduction of the charge) and save yourself 10p per bag.
Cost comparison websites
Try using comparison sites and apps such as ‘My Supermarket’ to compare the cost of products across the various supermarkets.
It’s very difficult to give a figure for savings through cost comparison websites but remember there is no point in moving from supermarket to supermarket to save a few pence. The fuel to drive from one to another may cost more. May we suggest you will make the biggest savings on large price items.
Before you go shopping, look at your budget and ask “What can I afford?” Stick to your budget and avoid overspending. Its so easy to add £10 to your shop with impulse buys.
Pre-planning is a good way to shop efficiently, reduce waste, save money and free up precious leisure time.
Make a list
Make a list and stick to it.
Large stores are a minefield for the unwary shopper. Supermarkets spend a fortune on marketing campaigns to lure you into spending more than you want or can afford.
Beware of being seduced by loyalty schemes
Schemes such as ‘Nectar’ or a ’Tesco Clubcard’ offer very little ‘reward’. Using a Nectar card you receive 1 point for every £1 spent – 500 points are worth £2.50 to spend in-store, or sometimes more when turned into rewards to spend at restaurants or days out. 1 point is worth 0.5 pence, which means you have to spend £200 for every £1 you get back. You could save a lot more money on just a few items by using ‘My Supermarket’ and making genuine savings.
‘Use By’ dates
Check ‘Use By’ dates on food
Before making a list, check your cupboards and fridge to see if the ‘Use By’ date on any food has expired. If it has, it could be dangerous to eat, so throw it away and buy new. If the ‘Best Before’ date has expired don’t worry, that is only a manufacturer’s guideline. When you have to throw food away, take it as a lesson to keep a close eye on food labels to help reduce waste.
Only buy new containers of food when old ones are nearly empty
How many unused containers are in your cupboards or fridge? Only buy jams, marmalades, pickles, mustards, etc when you are running out. If you accidentally double up, there’s a good chance the opened container will go to waste.
Bake your own bread
Making your own bread takes a bit of effort but the results can be very satisfying, healthy and tasty! None of the chemicals added by big suppliers to keep the bread ‘fresh’.
Keep a list of food in your cupboards
What’s running out?
Keep a list of foodstuffs noting what you run out of to save doubling up on ingredients. If you are in a rush, take a photo of your fridge or cupboard(s).