Recently we have been trying to cut back what we spend on our weekly food shop. As a family of six people, two dogs and a guinea pig, we can spend a lot of money on our groceries. I do try to buy only the items that we need but as life gets so busy, I have to admit that I often end up dashing to the supermarket on an empty stomach and coming out with a whole load of things that we really don’t need. Inevitably then, we almost always end up throwing away food that has gone out of date. It’s a bit like burning money – such a waste!
With this in mind, I am on a mission to drastically reduce both the cost of our weekly food shop and the waste that usually follows. I’ve been asking some of my blogging buddies how they go about saving money on their weekly food shop and they have kindly agreed to share their tips with you today. If, like me, you have a large and hungry family but want to lower the cost of your weekly food shop then read on.
- Plan your meals – You’ve heard it a thousand times but it really is essential to make a plan of what you will be eating that week. That way, you should only buy what you actually need on your weekly food shop. Katie who blogs at Mummy In A Tutu takes this one step further and plans out her meals for a whole month! She advises that you do this and then buy all the groceries you need in one go, portion them up and freeze them. That way you can just pull out a portion of whatever you need that day and it’s minimises the waste.
- Use cash not cards – this is my top tip from a friend of mine. She takes out £80 in cash each week and only allows herself to spend that amount. It’s so easy to wave your card about and not think about what you are actually spending but seeing it disappear from your purse in cold hard cash really can make a big difference to how much you spend.
- Shop at Lidl or Aldi – Nope, this post isn’t sponsored my either of those brands but time and time again I have been told I can halve my weekly food shop bill by switching to these stores. I have actually tried this one out for myself. I tried Ocado shopping one week and an Aldi shop the next and went from £125 bill to £70ish bill. Ok, so you can’t get the same range of organic produce in Aldi but beggars can’t be choosers, right?
- Use your slow cooker – this tip came from the lovely Mel over at Diary of a Jewellery Lover. They save time, you can use up cheaper cuts of meat that need long, slow cooking and they are endlessly versatile. Chilli, stews, casseroles, roasts, soups and even cakes and brownies. This is particularly great for me as I usually have to feed everyone at different times due to clubs, work and social lives! If you are stuck for recipes then just type in ‘slow cooker recipes’ to Pinterest and you will have plenty to choose from!
- Make your meals go further – Latoya who blogs at Pure Nourish advised that I buy an extra large chicken and use it to add to meals throughout the week; curry, pasta, salads, stir fry’s etc. A large chicken will do for at least four meals and is only about £4 in Aldi – so much cheaper than buying individual chicken breasts.
- Use coupons and vouchers – there are lots of websites and Facebook groups dedicated to couponing and saving money. Have a look around, google it a little and get yourself signed up to receive some great deals. Only use vouchers for things that you would be buying anyway though – saving £5 isn’t a bargain if you didn’t actually need it in the first place!
So, these are the tips that I am implementing at the moment and they are working really well. I’m not spending anywhere near the amount I was and so far, I’ve had no complaints at meal times.
What are your top money saving tips for food shopping? Leave me a comment in the box below and I will give them a try.