How you can cut the cost of your weekly food shopping

The food shopping can be a huge chunk of your monthly allowance, and honestly, it can be one of the biggest ways to cut back.

Reducing the amount you pay each week for groceries might take a little bit of planning and research, but at least it’s something you’ll see an instant reward from.

These are our simple tips on how to reduce your grocery bill.

Make a meal plan

The biggest way to cut back on the food you buy is making a decision on what’s going to be eaten each night of the week for dinner. This means you’re not buying a whole load of ingredients and staring at the fridge each night deciding what to make. This way you can decide on all of the ingredients you need to buy and then spread them across the week where it’s needed.

Take a list

When you’ve made your meal plan list, make sure you write up a list of everything you need for them meals, as well as other items that you’re in need of. If you pledge to stick to the list, and only the list, you’ll find that you’re not picking up unnecessary items when you head for the weekly shop.

Don’t buy packaged foods

By this we mean pre-packed foods like bananas, which come in a bunch anyway and you can pick and choose how many you want to buy. When you pick up a bag of bananas, you’re not only getting unnecessary plastic you don’t need, but you’re getting charged a bit than you would weighing them at the till.

Avoid ready meals

Ready meals can be easy and convenient, but they’re a whole lot more expensive than making the meal yourself. Plus, they’re typically packed with lots of added fat, sugar and salt that’s really not needed.

Cut back on meat

Meat is definitely one of the more expensive items you’ll find on your food shopping bill, so with that in mind, it’s handy to cut back on meat and try a few meatless meals throughout the week.

Stretch the meat

If you are including meat in your meals, make it part of a whole meal, like in a stew or casserole, where you can use less meat or bulk it out with other ingredients. You could always make bolognaise with half mince and half lentils, amongst other vegetables like carrots, celery and onions.

Buy the cut-price food

Get to know when your favourite or closest supermarkets like Tesco and Marks and Spencer introduce their reduced items because you can pick up some real bargains on fresh foods. The great thing is a lot of them will last longer than their sell-by date, plus you can put things like meat in the freezer and use them when you wish.

Buy whole fruits and vegetables

Although pre-packaged and cut fruit and vegetables might seem like a time saver, which of course it is, the price is highly marked up. A box of cut up onion will typically cost £1, whilst you can get onions loose for as little as 10p.

Consider frozen fruits and vegetables

If you’re constantly throwing away fruit or veg that has gone bad, then you might want to consider buying frozen options instead. These are great to have in the freezer and can sometimes be fresher than what you get on the shelves because they’re frozen as soon as they’re picked.

Shop around

If you can, make sure you’re shopping in different places for different items, as you can get a lot of different things cheaper elsewhere. If you just stick to the one shop you’re stuck with their prices alone.

Reduce waste

Another great way of cutting down on your food shopping bill is by reducing how much food you throw away each week. If you’re constantly throwing away bread that’s out of date, then keep it in the freezer and you can use it when you need it. If you don’t want to use leftovers from meals for lunches the next day, most can be frozen to make a meal for another night.