By now, you’re probably getting pretty fed up of hearing about how the cost of living is increasing month on month, not to mention the fact that seemingly everything is now much more expensive than it was a few years back.
If you’re feeling the financial pinch like millions of others, chances are you’ll be looking for ways of noticeably bringing your bills down, especially when it comes to food shopping.
Supermarkets have hiked their prices noticeably over the last year or so, and with inflation sitting at close to 12% it’s no wonder why so many of us are wondering where our money is going every single time we head to the shops for food.
As frustrating as it is, the good news is that there are steps you can take to cut your grocery bill by as much as 25% – 40% every single month! Don’t believe us? Check out these handy tips designed to save you money while food shopping.
Try to do one big food shop for the month
Okay, this first tip might take some organisation, but honestly, it’s well worth doing, especially as it can save you hundreds of pounds every single month.
Rather than going to the supermarket once a week, or popping to the local shop two or three times a week, try to arrange for one big food shop to last you the entire month.
Obviously, some items like milk, bread, and fresh fruits and veggies will need to be purchased regularly, but for all of your non-essentials and non-perishables, try to bulk buy for the entire month and you’ll notice your grocery bill for the month should be noticeably smaller.
Buy store cupboard items whenever they’re on offer
While special offers at the supermarket aren’t always a good thing, if you see any of your store cupboard staples on offer, go ahead and snatch them up, even if you weren’t planning on buying them this time.
Okay, this food shop might be a little more expensive, but as these items last months if stored correctly, you’ll be saving money in the long run. Not only that, but the next time you do need them, they’ll be there in the cupboard waiting for you.
Use cheaper cuts of meat and fish
Meat and fish are the two most expensive items on anybody’s food shop, but they’re also essential for a lot of people.
Instead of giving them up to save money, why not look for cheaper alternatives instead? Rather than chicken breasts for example, why not opt for chicken legs, which are even cheaper. Instead of a ribeye steak, opt for a quick fry steak. As for your fish, instead of fresh cod or haddock, opt for cheaper fish such as coley or pollock. You could even go for frozen fish to save even more money.
While the cheaper cuts likely won’t be as nice, with the right seasonings and recipes, you can make delicious, high protein meals that taste great and cost less, which will considerably bring down your grocery bill.
Cut back on your portion sizes
When serving up a meal, most people tend to get their portion sizes wrong and serve up meals that are far too large. Not only is this bad for their waistlines, it’s also bad for their bank accounts.
Of course we all need to eat, but after tucking into a nice balanced meal, unless you are absolutely starving hungry, there really is no need to go back for a second helping.
Serving up large portion sizes means that you get down your meals quicker, which means you get down your food quicker, so you’ll need to buy more to replace it. Once you’ve served up a nice healthy portion, store the leftovers in an airtight container and either use them the next day, or freeze them to enjoy at a later date.
Leave your bank card at home
A great way of ensuring you never spend more than you can afford to spend on food and drink is to simply pay with cash, and leave your bank card at home.
If you set yourself a budget and take cash with you, this will help you to pay closer attention to the price of each item you put in your trolley, meaning you won’t overspend.
Paying on your card means that you pay the bill, regardless of how much it costs, because you know the cost is covered. If you only have cash on you, this means that you must ensure you only spend what you can afford to spend, otherwise you face the prospect of having to put items back because you don’t enough cash.
Have a ‘leftovers day’
Another way of bringing your grocery bill down and cutting waste in the process, is to make use of leftovers or existing ingredients with a ‘leftovers day’.
On a specific day of the week, or more if you would like, set yourself a challenge to eat for the day using nothing but ingredients you already have in your cupboard, fridge, or freezer. You can get creative and throw something together yourself, or maybe look for recipes online and see if you have all the necessary ingredients in to make it.
If you’ve nothing in but a few eggs, some vegetables, and maybe some ham that’s about to go out of date, why not whip up an omelette or a frittata? If you get creative and use your imagination (as well as the internet) you can come up with all kinds of weird and wonderful recipes without having to buy more food in.
Shop in cheaper supermarkets
During a ‘cost of living crisis’ we really can’t afford to be snobby about where we shop. If you currently shop in a supermarket with a reputation for being more expensive, why not shop in a cheaper store instead?
Budget supermarkets provide ingredients that are just as nice as premium supermarkets, with the added bonus of being considerably cheaper.
For people trying to bring their grocery bill down whenever they go shopping, switching to a cheaper supermarket is one of the easiest and most effective things they can do.
Look for those yellow stickers
Virtually all supermarkets here in the UK have yellow stickers indicating reduced price items, so when you are pushing your trolley around the store, keep your eyes peeled.
If you’ve been looking for fresh chicken breasts for example, if you come across a pack with a reduced price, just go ahead and buy them instead, and freeze them as soon as you get home.
Unsold food and drink that is going out of date the following day is often heavily reduced in price and placed in the ‘reduced’ section in supermarkets, so if you see any yellow stickered items you know you need, go ahead and grab yourself a bargain and bring your grocery bill down in the process.