After rent/or mortgage payments, I think that one of the biggest outgoings is on groceries. If one of your goals is to save money, here’s my 10 easy ways to save money on food.
One of the biggest ways to save money is to plan your meals for the week or month before you go shopping so you know what you’re going to eat, know what you you need to make the food and therefore know what you’re going to buy from the supermarket. I plan our evening meals for the month and then look at lunches on a weekly basis. I then do a big shop once a month and a weekly top up shop for fresh ingredients like salad, veg, fruit etc.
2. Make a List
To ensure you avoid impulse buying, make a shopping list before you go to the supermarket and stick to it. If you’ve done your meal plan then you’ll know what ingredients you need to buy based on the meals that you’re going to be eating.
3.Take a Packed Lunch
Make your own lunch at home to take with you (whether it’s to work or for a family day out) this can save you so much money. Also make sure you take a drink with you as well, fill a reusable bottle with tap water and you’re good to go.
4. Freeze Left Overs
If you have left overs from dinner that you decided to keep to have for lunch the next day, but never actually go round to eating them; put them in the freezer rather than throwing them away and use them at another time.
5. Batch Cook
Another thing I do regularly is to batch cook and either double or even triple the quantities of a recipe so that I already have another meal cooked and ready just to heat up for the next night’s dinner or to freeze to use at a later date. This saves time as well as money and is a huge lifesaver especially if you have a busy life and two small children to look after!
6. Look for Reductions
Go to the reduced section in your supermarket, generally the best time to go is of an evening around 6 or 7pm, and look for bargains. I buy a lot of my bread this way as I out bread in the freezer anyway so it makes not difference if it’s a few days old.
7. Buy Budget or Economy Brands
Buy budget or economy brands, especially for things like tinned tomatoes, beans and fruit. I’ve found there to be hardly any difference to them ore expensive brands, but a huge difference in price.
8. Bulk up with Beans and Lentils
One of the ways we manage to save money on food is that I don’t eat meat, I do occasionally buy it for my boys, but generally I don’t! Beans, lentils and pulses are all excellent sources of protein and cheaper than meat. If you’re a meat lover, you can make dishes go further by mixing in mixed beans, lentils, kidney beans, butter beans etc to curries or chillies.
9. Have a Use it Up Day
Have a couple of days where you use up things that are in your cupboards and fridge/freezers to create meals rather than go shopping. Those left overs that you froze or that packet of cous cous that you bought but never got round to using, can all be used to make meals rather than thinking you have no food in and you have to go shopping. This also works as a good tool when you’re meal planning; before you plan your meals, have a look in your cupboards and fridge to see if there’s anything that needs using up and use those for the basis of your meal plan.
10. Cook from Scratch
Finally, cook meals from scratch as much as you can. It doesn’t have to be time consuming if you make a big batch of whatever it is that you’re cooking to use for the next few days, you’re only cooking once to have a few days worth of food already prepared. It also doesn’t have to be boring, you can use the same meal in different ways, e.g. if you make a chilli, you could have it with rice one day, in wraps with salad the next day and then as a topping for a jacket potato the next day.
I hope you found my 10 easy ways to save money on food useful, let me know what you do to save money on food.