How To Cut The Cost Of Your Weekly Food Shop

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 Inevitably then, we almost always end up throwing away food that has gone out of date.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.

Halve the cost of your weekly food shopping with these top money saving tips!

 

  • 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.

xxx

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42 Comments

  1. Julia
    October 17, 2016 / 6:20 pm

    Make large pots of homemade soup / stews using seasonal veg & leftovers from the large roast chicken cooked & eaten earlier, make your own bread/ cakes/ pizza dough, make large homemade pizzas & fruit crumbles…

  2. October 17, 2016 / 9:53 pm

    This is brilliant Fi! I need this in my life as our food bills are just sky high…mainly because I am rubbish and getting it together and working out what we actually need each week xx
    Bridie By The Sea recently posted…Thank You For Making It All PossibleMy Profile

  3. October 21, 2016 / 10:41 am

    I try to cut down on my food bills by buying stuff in bulk and preparing most meals at home. Restaurants are just once a month because of both health and economic reasons. We rather spend money on books, travel, home cooked delicious meals.
    Marissa_breastfeeding momma recently posted…How To Pump More Breast MilkMy Profile

  4. October 21, 2016 / 12:49 pm

    I only buy for 3 of us (and work for the company who does Love Food Hate Waste campaign) and still have food waste. Mostly because I buy for specific meals,and then the OH will change his mind, or not be around, or won’t eat leftovers. At the moment I’m on a set diet and the OH eats his evening meals at the farm, with N eating his at after school club, so during the week there’s virtually no waste. Then I basically buy for the weekend meals only, and things like fruit/breakfast stuff for the week. It means buying food as I need it wastes less salad and veg, and everything’s planned. I can nip into town and pick up odds and sods we run out of during my lunch break, and then have a butcher/bakery trip at weekends and then for perishables. If I didn’t work in town it would be less realistic with the rest of family life and work, but it works for the time being. The only thing is that I have to make sure I only buy what I need otherwise doing more frequently little shops can add up.

  5. October 22, 2016 / 7:25 am

    Good tips here Fi. I definitely need to get better with food and being more prepared. I’m so guilty of stopping in Sainsburys after work and buying items for dinner when we’ve just had a food shop delivered the previous weekend. That’s interesting to hear about the cost saving with Aldi and Lidl, I might give it a go. Claire x #fortheloveofBLOG
    The Pramshed recently posted…fortheloveofBLOG Week 24My Profile

  6. October 22, 2016 / 8:31 am

    Meal planning for a month ahead? I can barely remember to take something out of the freezer for tonights dinner! 🙂 Definitely need to work on that. Oh and I agree, handing over cold, hard cash is much more painful than whacking it on the card. (Though we do use a card purely for the cashback!) 🙂 #fortheloveofblog
    Mess and Merlot recently posted…*VLOG* Vogue 73 QuestionsMy Profile

  7. October 22, 2016 / 8:32 am

    Agree with all of this! I also find that using cash helps connect your brain with what you’re spending. Meal planning is so important! And also not being worried to let your freezer run down then re-stock. Quite often you end up buying more than you need ‘for the freezer’, and then you have a week’s worth in there without even knowing!
    Thanks for sharing your tips x #fortheloveofBLOG
    Kimberly recently posted…I’ve got a Sunshine Blogger Award!My Profile

  8. October 22, 2016 / 9:13 am

    These are great tips – we can all do with reducing our flipping grocery bill! The other thing that’s worked for me has been shopping online – less enticement from the aisles! #fortheloveofBLOG

  9. October 22, 2016 / 9:28 am

    I am also trying to cut back on our shopping bill so these tips are very useful. Thank you

  10. October 22, 2016 / 10:14 am

    Love being frugal. We use lots if dried ingredients, like lentils and beans to bulk out stews or sauces . It really dues make a difference to increase portion sizes and is filling and nutritious ! #fortheloveofblog
    Andrea @ Topsy Turvy Tribe recently posted…Now You Are TwoMy Profile

  11. October 22, 2016 / 10:28 am

    This is a weekly battle in my house, I have tried all of the tips above and it still doesnt come down. I dont have any waste, I meal plan and only shop online so Im not tempted by other things! My eldest is now vegan and wants fresh veg and fruit by the barrowload and its not cheap!! I have given up trying for now… #fortheloveofBLOG

  12. October 22, 2016 / 10:56 am

    Oh, how I love a good thrifty tips post! I love it! I know quite a few of the things I’m SUPPOSED to do but the meal planning thing is something where I should get a ‘could do better’ on my report card! Love my slow cooker though and now I have a soup maker so I can make use of all of my random veggies rather than chucking them out. #Fortheloveofblog
    Jane Taylor recently posted…TalkTalkBnB : FREE B&B by speaking your way around the world.My Profile

  13. October 22, 2016 / 1:03 pm

    I definitely need to think about this more. Feeding a family of 6 can be exorbitant! #fortheloveofblog

  14. October 22, 2016 / 1:07 pm

    Good tips! I need to get smarter about my food shopping – can’t imagine planning meals a month ahead though! One thing that I’ve found that helps is doing my shopping online – it cuts down on impulse spending because you’re not walking past tasty-looking things as you walk down the aisles. #fortheloveofBLOG
    Squirmy Popple recently posted…Parenting: the art of forgetting selectivelyMy Profile

  15. October 22, 2016 / 1:13 pm

    I really need to plan meals more. With work, us coming in at different times etc we usually just grab the first thing out of the freezer. I do buy the bigger chickens and use them for more than one meal during the week though.
    #fortheloveofBLOG
    Ali Duke recently posted…The First Half-Term Of Senior School Is OverMy Profile

  16. October 22, 2016 / 1:17 pm

    great tips, thanks! I keep seeing info about slow-cooking, maybe it’s a sign I need to get one! And I’m amazed at how you manage a family of six plus pets, and get time for blogging! #fortheloveofBLOG
    Kate recently posted…The Art Of Listening : Tip 1 – ‘oops!’My Profile

  17. October 22, 2016 / 1:48 pm

    God I wish I could be organised enough to plan a week never mind a month ahead. I do generally think about what we’re going to eat but am often caught short. Always do the bulk of the shop in Lidl and buy a few bits in Tesco – I loathe food shopping with a passion #fortheloveofblog

  18. October 22, 2016 / 2:19 pm

    Our shopping got very out of hand a while a go so I implemented a few things. Menu planning has massively helped. I also cook a lot of vegan and vegetarian food because the meat got expensive. I was pretty anti vegan until I accidentally bought a vegan cookbook called ‘Thugs Kitchen’. it has a lot of foul language in it and you have to be careful with some of the recipes as it can be very spicy, but I love it and has saved us a fortune.
    #fortheloveofBLOG

  19. October 22, 2016 / 2:59 pm

    The whole roast chicken idea is genius, I’m definitely going to try that one this week. I only have three of us to feed during the week, a 6 year old who would live off nuggets and chips, a four year old who eats everything but it has to be pureed for her to be able to eat it then me (my husband works away during the week), I don’t want to feel like i am missing out on yummy dinners so i end up cooking three meals and buying way too much stuff. Definitely need to rein in the spending and start being more sensible. Oh and buy a slow cooker!

  20. October 22, 2016 / 3:57 pm

    Great tips. The only one that I disagree with is the paying with cash point. I know it works for a lot of people but I prefer to use my credti card wich gives me cash back for every dollar I spend. I would also love to have a month of food in the freezer, but freezer space is limited at our house. I wish we had space for a chest freezer. #fortheloveofBLOG

  21. October 22, 2016 / 4:48 pm

    Great tips! Our weekly shopping bill is ridiculous but we have recently switched to shopping at Aldi and are saving around £30 a week which is a fair saving! I love the idea of only using cash, I think that would really help us as I am forever just using my debit card without thinking about it, even more now with contactless! #fortheloveofBLOG
    five little doves recently posted…#minichefs Num Noms challenge – Review and Rocky Road recipe!My Profile

  22. October 22, 2016 / 5:44 pm

    I used to do the cash thing and it did help, I need to get back to that! And yes to making items spread through different meals. For me that’s the biggest culprit for inflating your bill, making a whole new thing every night. We often have a roast chicken, then chicken risotto the following day using the leftover cooked meat. Then make soup from the carcass for lunch, delish! #fortheloveofBLOG
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  23. October 22, 2016 / 7:15 pm

    My main one is shopping in Aldi. We eat a lot of meat and it’s so cheap there I can get loads! I really need to start meal planning too, and give couponing a go #fortheloveofBLOG
    Amie recently posted…What They Wore – HalloweenMy Profile

  24. October 22, 2016 / 7:29 pm

    really helpful tips, the only thing that seems to help our family is buying all the meats, chicken, fish at once then I portion them and stock our freezer and it lasts us awhile. unfortunately we still use card while shopping for most things but I think I’ll change that habit soon.#fortheloveofBLOG
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  25. October 22, 2016 / 8:10 pm

    I always do the cash trick now and it really helps me to actually see what i’m spending! x #fortheloveofBLOG
    Claire recently posted…A Day Not Being MumMy Profile

  26. October 22, 2016 / 10:03 pm

    Definitely going to have to try the card not cash tip myself! #fortheloveofBLOG

  27. October 22, 2016 / 10:10 pm

    Great tips, and I so need to get a slow cooker – that’s time and money saved! And cash and sticking to a budget is a good advice too. #fortheloveofBLOG
    Tooting Mama recently posted…My 11 truths about adoptionMy Profile

  28. October 22, 2016 / 11:53 pm

    I would love to reduce my shopping budget but hubby hates Aldi and lidl and also is paranoid that using a slow cooker would set the house on fire!
    He also gets worried about food poisoning if meat I defrost is past it’s sell by date, trying to explain it was frozen before the date so it is fine to him is just too complicated as he still doesn’t believe me! Hahaha#fortheloveofBLOG

  29. October 23, 2016 / 6:47 am

    Great tips, I use my slow cooker too, it always makes heaps of food. I use the left over juices to cook cheap vegetables like carrots and potatoes and then puree for a vegetable mash. Tastes amazing. Thanks for sharing #fortheloveofblog

  30. October 23, 2016 / 11:04 am

    Meal planning is the way forward! I like online shopping as well because I can put everything I want in the basket then if it’s too much I can work out what’s essential and what isn’t at my leisure. #fortheloceofBLOG
    Briony recently posted…Pudsey and Friends DVD ReviewMy Profile

  31. October 23, 2016 / 11:40 am

    We now menu plan and try to do at least one shop a month in Aldi/Lidl. I tend to online shop as it means I don’t get tempted by the offers #fortheloveofblog

  32. October 23, 2016 / 5:21 pm

    Love Lidl and Aldi. I am really great at your last three tips but not the top two and I think it is my downfallthese inspire to try harder though so thank you. #fortheloveofBLOG
    fancy recently posted…Being Wedding Guest and MammyMy Profile

  33. October 23, 2016 / 8:39 pm

    I’ve been doing the weekly cash withdrawal thing for a while now and it really does help! When that money starts to get low then it’s time to slow down and if it means going without towards the end of the week then so be it. This way we’re not waiting for pay day either as I’ve budgeted the whole month. ALDI is also our favourite with a few bits from Tesco when needed. Great tips. #fortheloveofBLOG
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  34. October 23, 2016 / 8:40 pm

    I plan my weekly shop like a military operation. I get into bed with my laptop and look at recipes online and then make my list. I try and make meals where the leftovers can then be used in the next nights tea. I then head to Tesco with my list (on a full stomach) and do not deviate from the list WHATSOEVER!! #fortheloveofBLOG

  35. October 23, 2016 / 11:29 pm

    Very good advice – I believe in meal planning too like Katie and also try and swap between using Ocado and Sainsburys and Lidl. I have also started swapping branded goods for own brands and have to say it helps and no one has particularly complained! #forhteloveofBLOG
    Mindful Mummy Mission recently posted…Feeling judged? Remember Thoughts are not FactsMy Profile

  36. October 25, 2016 / 3:53 pm

    This is something I do really struggle with. I do meal plan, slow cooked meals and other things you mentioned, but the things that get me are the snacky/picky food on the list. I just always shop to make no one is every hungry and they can grab a snack if they are. Swings and roundabouts haha! Do wish Aldi delivered though! #fortheloveofBLOG
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  37. October 26, 2016 / 5:34 am

    I have such a hard time with meal planning myself. I am getting better though. #fortheloveofBLOG

  38. November 8, 2016 / 2:54 am

    I can attest to #1 and #3. I never used to plan my meals until I consciously decided to cut out all the junk and unhealthy stuff. It was only then I figured out that knowing which items to get makes a big difference in overall cost. I also used to just shop at the nearest supermarket/grocery store. Only when I read an article about how big the price differences was from different chains did I start comparing. It’s made a huge difference in our budget.
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