When I was a single mum I really needed to watch the cash, so I started to use some tactics that helped me to save money on the food shop! They were so effective that I have used them ever since. I hope it helps, after all, we could all do with a few little extra pennies in our pockets!
Here are my top tips to save money on the food shop:
- Menu plan! I know I know … I bang on about this ALL the time but that is because it is the KEY to saving you money. Not only does it stop those last minute dashes to the supermarket when you realise that you don’t have anything to cook for dinner, but if you plan breakfast and lunches in there too you can make sure that you plan in leftovers for lunch and this will also save you cash!
- With menu planning in mind make sure that you check what you have in your cupboards before you write your list! If you find some meat or fish lurking in the freezer, you can save valuable pennies on protein by using up what you have first.
- Think about adding a couple of meat free meals to your weekly menu plan. I don’t mean replacing the meat with some fancy and expensive vegetable! Embrace pulses, beans and lentils! They can be used to make some very easy and very tasty meals… dahls… soups or how about my slow cooker meat free bolognese? A great way to get a tasty meal and save cash!
- Think about portion control! This is VERY important. Check out the recommended portion sizes for adults and children. Are you serving portions that are too big? When I looked at our portions a few years ago I realised that I was cooking (and eating) far too much food – as soon as I started to serve the recommended meal sizes we started to save an awful lot of money and there was much less waste!
- Buy frozen veg – I do this and not only does it save time and effort (as most of it is already chopped) but you only use what you need. You can then put the rest in the freezer for next time! No waste!
- If possible shop online – That way you won’t get tempted with off the list purchases! And you can keep a check on the total cost as you go along and amend if necessary. Most supermarkets now offer a delivery pass which allows you to save money on delivery costs.
If you are looking to invest in a budget cook book then I highly recommend Jack Monroe’s ‘A Girl Called Jack’