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How do I save money on my food bills?

person holding just dug up carrots- landscape
person holding just dug up carrots- landscape

Find out how to win the food shop war against those tempting but money-draining deals and make your money go further before you reach the tills.

Ever got to the checkout at the end of what you thought was a low-cost food shop and had to pay more than you thought? It’s not nice, but it doesn’t have to be the case. We’ve gathered simple, quick tips that could save your bank account from that regular, food shop expenses.

Don’t ‘buy one and get one free’

Those buy-one-get-one-free deals look great, don’t they? Usually they are, if you were planning on buying a packet of luxury biscuits. That way, you’re getting extra for the same price. However, if you didn’t want triple chocolate cookies this week, you’re adding an unwanted extra onto your receipt (and your waistline, in this instance).

Less meat, more vegetables

What if you could have more money and be healthier? Meat is expensive and isn’t essential. You could save a small fortune by throwing a can of chickpeas or kidney beans into a meal, like a curry, in place of either all or part of the meat you usually include. Vegetables such as Chickpeas and Kidney Beans are high in protein and cheaper than meat. You’ll still get the sizeable protein hit meat provides and all the added vitamins and nutrients boasted by your earth grown addition. Meat Free Mondays has some brilliant recipes, all of which are meat free.

Don’t shop hungry

It’s been proven. The same thing that tells you you’re hungry encourages you to buy more food when you’re in the supermarket. This proves that the old advice of not to shop when hungry is something you should follow. Either plan your regular shopping trip for after you’ve had a meal, or have a small, healthy snack before you hit the aisles. Your pocket will thank you.

Like for like

Simple savings in the supermarket have been right under your nose all along. More or less every price ticket in a grocery store will have a price per weight, for things like flour, or per unit, for things like fruit. They can help you decide which item is better value between two products which are different prices and weights, e.g. between a 200g tin of tuna that costs £1.50 and a 180g tin that costs £1.

It’s a great way to work out, say, whether a cut-price branded purchase is cheaper than a store’s own-brand option. But, beware supermarkets trying to cloud your ability to judge by measuring their pricing in different ways between two types of product.

Failing to prepare…

Going around the supermarket without giving some thought as to what you want to buy first is a recipe for overspending. Planning out what meals you’ll eat over the next seven days before leaving for the supermarket will mean you know exactly what you need to buy, avoiding the guess work and potential waste that comes with it. This means that less of your cash will go in the bin.

Shopping online

Shopping online can be a great way to save money. You can save your shopping list each week so you’re not tempted to add extra treats to your trolley and you can see the cost of your basket as you add items in.

Instead of getting your shopping basket delivered to your door, if you opt to pick it up from the store this is usually free. Check delivery costs though, as some home deliveries can start from as little as £1.

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