As you’ve probably noticed, prices for virtually everything are increasing drastically, and for the moment, there doesn’t seem to be any sign of things slowing down.
As a result of global conflicts, pandemics, political unrest, and other current events, the average grocery bill for a month’s worth of shopping is up nearly 20% in comparison with this time last year.
While we can all cut back on certain luxuries, the simple fact is that we all need to eat and saving money on our food shopping isn’t always as simple as you may have been lead to believe. While saving money on your food shopping is tough, there are things you can do to bring your food bill way down.
Here are several secret tips to help you cut your average grocery bill in half.
Try to go shopping later in the day
While we all have lives to lead, families to look after, jobs to work, and other responsibilities, if you are blessed with a little extra spare time in the evening, try to use this time to do your food shop.
Why should you go shopping in the evening? Well, because this is when you are likely to come across the best bargains. Supermarkets tend to reduce the price of a lot of items of food at the end of the day, just before their ‘use by’ date expires.
If you can do your food shopping later on in the day, you’ll be more likely to grab yourself some amazing bargains. Whether it’s a joint of beef, a pack of chicken, ready meals, prepared sandwiches, mixed salads, or anything else, you can save some serious money if you hit the reduced section of a supermarket later on in the evening.
Never shop hungry
People looking to eat healthily and lose weight are encouraged not to shop hungry, but the same can also be said for people trying to save money on the average grocery bill.
Going food shopping while hungry is a recipe for disaster. Not only are you more likely to purchase more unhealthy junk food, you’re also more likely to buy more than you need.
Before you go shopping, make sure you’ve had something to eat and you’ll find that you only buy what you need, while also shopping healthier as well.
Buy own-brand products
One of the simplest and most effective ways of bringing your food shopping bill down is to buy own-brand products.
Instead of branded products, purchase the supermarket’s own-brand products and you’ll find that you’ll make some very impressive savings.
There’s a common myth surrounding own-brand products, where people believe that they taste inferior to established branded products. The truth of the matter, however, is that these products often taste just as nice, and cost a fraction of the price.
Avoid ready prepped foods
Yes, we know how tedious it is to stand and peel and slice potatoes, onions, carrots, and other similar foods after a long day.
We also know how tempting it can be to buy ready-prepped foods such as diced onions, peeled potatoes, chopped carrots, ready washed and sliced salad leaves etc. While these foods do make life easier, they’re always far more expensive than buying the foods in their natural states, because more labour has gone into them.
To really bring your average grocery bill down when shopping, avoid ready prepped foods and instead buy the products in their natural form and prep them yourself.
Bulk buy filling produce
Buying in bulk in general is a great way to bring your food shopping bill down, but to really make things stretch further, stock up on filling produce.
Complex carb sources such as brown rice, oatmeal, and wholewheat pasta are not only much cheaper to buy in bulk, they’re also very healthy and very filling.
These foods are full of fibre, which helps to keep you feeling full for longer. Bulking your meals out with these foods means that you’ll eat less, stay full for longer, and consequently your food shop will stretch further.
Stay clear of fancy packaging
While fancy packaging can make foods and ingredients look attractive, it costs extra to make, and this is reflected in the overall cost of the products in question.
Instead of buying foods in fancy packaging, with attractive labels, look for the same versions of these foods but in basic and generic packaging, or better still, opt for unpackaged foods like loose fruits and vegetables, as these are likely to be cheaper still.
Only buy in-season produce
Here in the UK, because our seasons are so different, so too is the produce that we grow.
Strawberries for example, are ripe in late June through to mid-July. During this time, they’re cheaper to buy than the middle of winter. Why? Because strawberries that are out of season will need to be shipped in from overseas, which in turn will put the price up.
Stick with items that are in season and you’ll pay less, while also supporting local farmers and food producers.
Only take advantage of offers if you really need them
For anybody looking to bring their average grocery bill down, special offers are not always as special as you may have thought.
Often supermarkets will have offers like ‘buy 2 get 1 free’ or ‘any 3 items for £5’ which can be useful, if you need that many items to begin with. If chicken breast is on offer for 3 for 2 and you needed 3 packs of chicken breast, then that’s great. If you only intended to buy 1 pack of chicken however, now you’re paying for 2, even if you are getting another for free.
Just be aware that special offers are there to encourage shoppers to spend more, so only take advantage of them if you really need to.
Batch cook your meals in advance
Once you bulk buy your ingredients, set aside a few hours and batch cook a few days or weeks’ worth of meals in advance and freeze them.
If you have your meals ready prepared in advance, you won’t need to worry about buying more food or ingredients because you’ve already got meals to eat.
Batch cooking meals means that you use every item you purchase, and if you are cooking in bulk, you can also make use of any special offers the supermarkets might be running.
Batch cooking is not only a great way to prepare healthy and nutritious meals in advance, it’s also a great way to bring down your average grocery bill.