We need to take control of our spending and be more aware of what we waste. These money-saving tips can help us make that change.
You can make a difference by making simple changes to what you eat and how you spend your money. Let’s get started today.
- Use food you already have
When you make your grocery list, be sure to check what you already have at home so you don’t buy duplicates.
People said they had an average of two weeks’ worth of meals in their cupboards or freezer, and sometimes up to a few months.
If you ate foods from your pantry or freezer once a week, you could save easily.
Imagine having 7 extra weeks of free meals over the course of a year by simply eating one meal a week that’s already paid for.
- Use before the best-before
I have no idea how many times I’ve gone to the cupboards only to find food that’s past its expiration date.
I can’t get rid of them no matter how much I check.
If you get in the habit of checking your cupboards before deciding what to make for dinner, you can avoid wasting food by eating it before it goes bad.
- Bulk shop (and cook) your food
Cooking extra meals ahead of time and freezing them is a great way to have quick and easy dinners on nights when you don’t have time to cook or when you just don’t feel like cooking.
If you cook in bulk and store the food, it will save you money, allow you to use more ingredients without wasted, and give you a healthy option when you need it.
- Time your shop carefully
Supermarkets typically discounts their fresh produce, bread, etc. at the end of the day. They also mark down items that are close to their expiration date on a daily basis.
The best time to shop for these items is at the end of the day.
You can save money by timing your shopping, and it can also be fun to plan your food around what you buy at the supermarket.
- Check out reduced food sections
The reduced section at the grocery store is often avoided because people think the food is expired and not safe to eat. However, this is not true.
The food in the reduced section of your supermarket will be close to its use-by date, but as long as you’re able to incorporate it into a meal the same day or the next day, it will still be good to eat.
An additional benefit of purchasing food from the reduced section is that it will be significantly cheaper.
Reduced food items are typically marked down to half price because they need to be consumed soon after purchase.
Although it may seem like a small price to pay, having a time limit on your use of a product can lead to significant reductions in price.
- Food offers are great
It’s not a bad idea to buy things in bulk when they’re on sale. You may spend more money upfront, but if it’s something you regularly buy, you’ll save money in the long run.
The key is to only purchase items that are on sale if you actually need them.
- Meal plan every week
If you plan your meals in advance, you can save a lot of money on your food bill each week.
If you plan your meals and shopping in advance, you can buy exactly what you need and take advantage of leftovers for meals later in the week. This will generally reduce the amount you need to buy.
If the only thing you take away from this article is Meal Planning, it will still be worth your while.
- Food portion size counts
Focusing on how much you eat instead of what you spend on groceries can help you save money and improve your health.
If we cook smaller portions for ourselves, our food will last longer and we’ll have to buy less.
- The freezer is your friend
If you want your food to last longer, you can buy in bulk and freeze meals, bread, fruit, vegetables, herbs, milk, etc. You can then use what you need when you need it.
- Create a food shopping list
If you plan your meals and make a grocery list of what you need, you can save a lot of money by avoiding impulsive purchases.
- Use less ready-prepared food
You pay a premium for bagged salad, ready grated cheese, mashed potatoes, and frozen chips because someone has already done a lot of the preparation for you.
Wouldn’t it be nice to not have to worry about what to make for dinner every night, and instead just be able to grab something healthy and fresh out of the fridge? Yes, it would be nice to be able to grab something healthy and fresh out of the fridge, rather than having to worry about what to make for dinner every night.
If you spend less time prepping fruits and vegetables, you will have them readily available in your fridge when you need them during the week.
Plus you’ll have saved money!
- Try your own branded foods
Usually, supermarkets carry their own branded products that are comparable to name brands, but cost less money.
If you’re loyal to a particular brand, you may find that trying a supermarket-brand product each time you shop and taste-testing it for that week may make the unbranded product your new favorite. You’ll save money this way!
- Learn to bake!
If you bake a cake every weekend or once a month and then freeze the slices, you can save money. This way, you can grab as many as you need when guests come over.
Another great trick to make your life easier is to make a cookie mixture and freeze it.
You can defrost and bake cookies as you need them so that you always have fresh cookies. This also saves you money because you’re not baking cookies that you don’t need. Plus, your home will always smell good because of the fresh cookies.
This is a great way to get your kids interested in cooking.
- Try different (cheaper) cuts of meat
One way to save money each week is to use cheaper cuts of meat in your meals.
A slow cooker is a great way to cook tough, cheaper cuts of meat until they are melt-in-the-mouth tender. Pulled pork is a fantastic recipe to try in a slow cooker. Once cooked, the pork can be shredded and served in soft rolls with apple sauce and coleslaw, or used in stews and casseroles.
- 1/2 and 1/2 work!
To make up for the lack of meat, I added red lentils and it turned out great.
If you want to make your recipes healthier, try substituting some of the meat for lentils. You won’t even taste the difference in dishes like lasagna or spaghetti Bolognese.
Try it next time you cook!
- Grab free fast food through apps and clubs
Renowned fast-food chains offer enticing discounts and freebies to both new and returning customers through their respective apps and membership clubs. Usually, the purpose for doing so is to increase their mailing list numbers or app downloads.
If you want a free original glazed Krispy Kreme doughnut, sign up for the newsletter and enter your details.
If you download the McDonald’s app, you will get 20% your first order. Greggs offers a free hot drink when you register.
Some sites will give you an extra present on your birthday – so make sure you enter it on the login page.
- Sniff test
The following text is about how best-before-date items are often still edible after that date.
If you find that the item you’ve purchased has lost its flavor or texture, you can decide what to do with it next.
After the use-by date has passed, you should not eat the food as it may be a health risk. Foods to watch for this include dairy products such as milk, fish, and eggs.
- Apps offering free or cheap food
More and more people are signing up for apps like Olio, which offer free produce.
The goal of Olio is to eliminate food waste and share food that would otherwise go to waste. Big supermarkets such as Tesco and Pret A Manger offer their unsold, fresh products to Olio at the end of each day. Volunteers sign up to collect the food and then list it on the app for locals to collect.
The app Too Good To Go allows you to purchase unsold food at a discounted rate to prevent it from being thrown away. Businesses place these items in “magic bags” and price them up at about a third of the original value.
You need to pick up your food during a certain timeframe after you have paid for it in advance.
- Storing food correctly to prolong the lifespan
You can make your food last longer by storing it correctly.
Eggs can be stored for a longer period of time when they are kept in their box, as opposed to oranges or some fruit and vegetables which should be stored in the fridge.
potatoes, bananas, pineapples, onions, and bread should be stored in a cool, dry place and kept in their original packaging to make them last longer.
- Yellow-sticker aisles
Most supermarkets reduce the price of fresh items at the end of each working day, so the best time to get the biggest discounts is at the end of the day.
The discounts on yellow-stickered items are usually the deepest in the evening, sometimes as high as 75% off.
The discounts at Asda typically start around 7pm. For Co-op’s “75% off” discounts, 8pm is usually the best time.
Discounts at Morrisons may begin late morning or at lunchtime, while discounts at Sainsbury’s begin at about 7pm.
Tesco and Lidl reduced their food prices at 8am, while bigger discounts appeared in the early evening.
The text is discussing when different stores start to discount their merchandise. Aldi starts at 8pm, while M&S starts 30 minutes to an hour before closing. Aldi discounts are usually red, while M&S discounts are usually yellow.
The discounts at Waitrose start later, but they are at their highest in the 30 minutes before the store closes.
- Meat-free Monday
There are many benefits to reducing our meat consumption, including saving money and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
If you have a meat-free day each week, you can save money. You can create vegetarian meals that are just as filling and nutritious as meat dishes, but cost less.
- Look up and down
Although supermarkets often place the most expensive items at eye level, this is simply a marketing tactic.
You may be able to find similar items at a lower price if you look at the shelves above and below you.
Some items can be found at cheaper prices in different sections of the store. For example, wet wipes can be found in the baby or beauty section at different prices, so compare them to find the cheapest offer.
- Watch out for what you chuck in the bin
The UK throws away 9.5 million tonnes of food each year, almost three-quarters of which is perfectly edible produce.
An average family of four could save approximately £60 per month by reducing the amount of food they waste.
fruit and vegetables are some of the easiest ingredients to utilize for all sorts of recipes. You could freeze them for future smoothies or cakes, or use them to bulk out other dishes and freeze them in batches.
It is advisable to store your fridge items according to how fresh they are, with the items expiring soonest at the front. That way, you will know which ingredients to use first when planning your next meal.
There are apps that can help you reduce food waste, such as Kitche. Kitche sends you alerts when items in your fridge are about to expire.
You can use sites like SuperCook or BigOven to find recipes based on the items you have in your fridge or cupboard.
- Elongate the week to save money on food
If you shop once a week, you will end up doing 52 shops a year. This can cost around £150 a week, which would add up to £7,800 per year in total.
If you shop every 8 days instead of every week, you’ll end up shopping 46 times a year. This costs £150 per shop, making the total cost £6,900 per year.
If you shop just one extra day per week, you can save around £900.
This means that there will be a little more money left over at the end of the year for a bigger Christmas shop, presents, or a holiday, without having to budget too much.