How To Food Shop On A Budget

There are many ways to save money on your food shop, you just have to find the one that best suits you. I know frugal bloggers who live purely off the reductions they buy in the supermarket late at night with just a few full price essentials thrown in. Maybe not so easy if you have a family to feed in which case you might like to meal plan or even shop online where you have complete control over what is in your trolley with no nasty surprises at the checkout (yes it’s happened to me).

The internet is a fantastic tool especially when it comes to researching recipes. You can search for ways to use the items you have bought with reduced stickers and look up things to do with leftovers, which also helps to minimise food waste, something I am increasingly passionate about.

BOGOF – buy one get one free. Only buy if it is an item you always use, otherwise it’s a waste of money.

Shopping online – weigh up the cost of petrol against delivery charges and the hour it will take you to do the weekly shop. Sainsbury offer free delivery Mon – Thurs if you spend over £100.

Looking for bargains – this takes time and effort and a lot of wandering around the supermarket! Bread, fruit and veg and deli products are reduced on a daily basis but all supermarkets vary as to what time they reduce short code products, it could be once late morning and then a massive further reduction the evening.  Always check the original price, a yellow sticker can send you into a bargain tizzy, get home to find your item was only reduced by 20p! Don’t buy anything that isn’t reduced by at least 50%. Grab what you can, you can always put it back once you’ve had a good look through your basket.  Cook or freeze your bargain products as soon as possible.

Brand Down – Dropping down a brand can save as much as 30% on your shopping bill and that is a lot of money per year.  How this works is that if  for example you only buy Heinz baked beans – you drop down to Tesco or a supermarket branded beans.  If you are already buying the supermarket own brand products, drop down to the value or essential ranges.

Shop Around – Go back to the old fashioned way of shopping and use a green grocer, butcher, baker for fresh produce.  Or switch supermarkets try Lidl or Aldi.  Aldi came up trumps for Christmas 2013 with their Christmas puddings coming first in a Good Housekeeping poll and beating Harrods and Fortnum and Masons by a mile.   Aldi are great for their weekly veg offers and I find them really useful for teabags, biscuits, cereal and store cupboard ingredients like herbs and spices etc

Although Aldi was fantastic at Christmas with their Xmas Pud and Turkey both coming out top in a Good Housekeeping Survey and their £9.99 Champagne getting the thumbs up from Which, don’t be fooled into thinking everything will be cheaper.  I for example have found bread to be cheaper in Tesco than Aldi and their frozen peas are really quite hard!

Download a supermarket app to your smartphone and every time you run out of a store cupboard ingredient, get low on cereal or baked beans, pop it in your basket so that you do your shopping list as you go along and most importantly never forget anything.  You can decide what is essential or non essential before you checkout.

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