We all love a bargain. But for many that bargain is essential to make the best of a tight budget. So how can we save money on our groceries to make the most of our money and get groceries that will stretch and feed our families?
There are many things you can do to make your food budget go as far as possible. Many in themselves are not huge but each one adds up and can save you pounds while still allowing you and your family to eat healthily.
How you do this depends on your lifestyle choices, your budget and where you live and what you prefer to buy.
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How to Save Money on Your Supermarket Shop
Everyone will be different and find different ways to save money or use a different combination but the aim is to become money & shop savvy.
Where to Shop?
Where you can shop does depend on your location and circumstances. For instance, I don’t have a car and while I can walk the 1/2 hour to Aldi or Asda walking back again with heavy shopping isn’t any fun. I have done it but prefer not to. I do have a shop down the road but it is more expensive. So for me, online shopping unless someone else is going to Asda is the best option. Or it was until I went super healthy and now I have to also shop in the health food shop – Ouch!
I do a combo, sometimes the local vegetable stall, sometimes the local shop combined with an online shop, it depends.
Many people prefer simply cheap and go to Aldi or Lidl which is great if that works well for you. I find the basics range of Sainsbury’s to be really good not just in cost but also value as it tastes not bad for a cheap range. Others simply think Sainsbury is expensive. I admit I used to. It also depends on what you like to buy.
Some prefer to use several shops while others feel that it burns too much fuel.
Online Grocery Shopping
The disadvantages of shopping online are that you miss out on the super bargains that you get in a shop later in the day, those foods that are near their sell-by date etc. However, the flip side of this is you have more control over what you spend and can plan in minute detail. If you are like me and cannot easily get to the cheaper shops like Aldi & Lidl then an online shop might be the answer.
Local shops can be more expensive. In spite of their claims that they are cheap our local Co-ops food is often between 20p to 50p dearer than our local Asda. However, they also do great £5-£10 meal deals that are fantastic value for family buys, all but not the healthiest food available.
If you shop online you can use my supermarket to save money and swap from one shop to another if they deliver in your area. They show the cheapest shop for your basket. My sister says it is just common sense and while I agree it is easy to miss on the cheaper option. It doesn’t work for her because she won’t get different options, so flexibility is the key to saving money with this method.
If your budget runs to bulk buying you can use specialist shops to buy in quantities of meat and this can greatly reduce your monthly spend.
Top 15 Tips for Quick Saves On Meat
One of the biggest expenses, if you are a meat eater, is meat and fish. There are lots of small ways to save money that can add up to pounds.
- Shop later in the day get yellow/orange stickers. You can save a fortune this way.
- Be vigilant of offers 3 for £10 etc.
- Buy larger quantities if your budget will stretch to it as this is usually cheaper to buy larger amounts.
- Know your prices.
- Don’t overlook the value range of the better shops they can taste OK.
- Get frozen meat as it is often cheaper than fresh.
- Make meals that require less meat, ie chilli, bolognese, toad in the hole stew or casseroles. Not only do you need less meat you can use cheaper meat and quick and easy to do from scratch too.
- Make burgers, meatballs or cottage pies etc that naturally require cheaper meats.
- Buy cheaper cuts of meat or cheaper meat ie Pork is quite cheap.
- Pick up bargains that are near the end of the date and freeze them.
- Avoid pre-cut meat or sauces that this rockets the price.
- Substitute a couple of meat meals with non-meat meals.
- Use lentils as a part replacement in things like chilli or to bulk out soups.
- Shop local, sometimes although not always local is cheaper, farmers markets, butchers or the local mixed market can be cheaper or have better quality for the same price. Not only that you can buy exactly what you want.
- Don’t leave things to go off in your fridge, freeze them where you can.
Save Money and Buy Store Cupboard Staples
Always have storecupboard staples as a backbone to your meals. Food like rice, pasta, lentils, dried spaghetti and tinned goods like tomatoes, passata, baked beans etc can help whip up a tasty meal and add filling elements easily.
Don’t forget the freezer. Peas and beans are cheap and if you are mixing them in with other foods you can buy the really cheap basic and value ones, you won’t notice. Doing this will save you money on your shop.
What Do You Do To Save Money?
How do you save money on your shopping? Do you have any useful tips for our readers that could help them? Or do you have any difficulties you would like to share?