Food prices have been on the increase for a good while. Grocery prices have been going up and down as the supermarkets figure out how much they can get away with hiking prices before consumers go elsewhere.
I’m a professed saver, so I’m not crazy with my money but I do love to eat. Food is definitely my weakness. Add in juggling the demands of motherhood and other responsibilities and it’s becoming easier to seek convenience in this area. My intention to eat more greens resulted in food waste also becoming a problem.
Here’s what we did….
Nothing sends us out to the shops faster than daily decision making over what to eat. Some days it will be a quick decision to whip up something based on what we already have. Others, we just won’t have the energy and off we go to the shop to pick up something.
Meal Planning is the easiest way to cut back on food costs. Plan what you are going to eat for the week before heading out to the shops. This way you can make use of what you currently have in your cupboards and buy only what you’ll need to make the planned dishes. The result, less money spent, fewer trips to the shop and less food in the bin.
Online Grocery Shopping
This is a must for me. I’ve had numerous debates with friends about why I don’t hit the shops and it boils down to two things; convenience and sticking to my list! With a six month old in tow, I find it so much easier to pull out my phone and order items whilst he’s having a nap. I then head over to Click & Collect (gets me out of the house).
The online option also keeps my spender husband out of the store and stops me from picking up more sweet treats than I should (an added bonus).
I still like to buy fresh fruit and veg in-store (I tend to find you get the stuff that is just about to go off when you order online). Following price rises I’ve started to shop around more and now find myself buying more and more items from Aldi.
With Aldi now the UK’s 5th largest supermarket I’m clearly not alone. The difference in the number of items I can buy for the same prices versus the other big supermarkets is significant. I’ve even swapped some of the brands for Aldi alternatives, some have worked and some haven’t, but it’s definitely saved us money overall.
Avoid going to the shops with an empty stomach
This is the ultimate rule. I’m sure everyone has done it. Usually on one of those jam packed days, where nothing goes according to plan. You head to the supermarket as you need to get the shopping done but you haven’t had time to eat.
As you enter the store it’s like every snack item it calling you to eat them. A number of those items will find their way into the trolley even though you had no intention of buying them. If that hunger is extremely bad you may even end up munching on the items before you get to the checkout! **Caveat – can’t say I do this, but have seen many people doing it and this was the only reason I could come up with to explain it! **
This is a favourite of mine. I love home-cooked meals; however I don’t want to spend every single evening in the kitchen. Cooking in batches means meals will last at least two days, cutting down the time hubby and I spend in the kitchen. Anything that won’t be eaten in that time can be frozen, perfect for those lazy days.
Only going to the shops if necessary
It’s so easy to get stuck in the routine of hitting the shop every week without a thought for whether it’s needed. Check your cupboards, fridge and freezer then ask yourself if you’ve got enough to last another week. Is it just a case that you’ve run out of quick to grab food but you still have plenty of food that requires prep?
What tips do you have to cut down on food costs? How do you reduce food waste in your home? Please share in the comments.
If you’re looking for more money saving tips and tricks, be sure to check out my Save Money Pinterest Board.