The price of a food shop is getting more expensive and making your money stretch further is harder than ever. However, despite food costing more that doesn’t mean you have to resort to living off bread and water, you can still enjoy your usual treats. These are just a few savvy changes you can make to your shopping habits and still enjoy your mealtimes.
Make a Shopping List and Stick to It
The first thing to do before any shopping trip is to make list of intended food shop. By having a list – and most importantly sticking to it – you’ll avoid buying things you don’t need or making panic purchases. It’s very common for anyone to fail to take an inventory and buy extra pasta – or anything else – when they don’t need it. Even more frustrating is forgetting something you really need and having to visit a local convenience shop and buy at a potentially higher price. Ultimately, it’s about employing some self-discipline when it comes to budgeting and finance.
Try Different Local Supermarkets for Your Food Shop
Another way to save money on a weekly shop is to try different supermarkets in your area. By following the same list at different places, you get a more realistic comparison of which one is cheapest. Many people do their food shop in the same place out of loyalty or perceived superior quality, but it’s not uncommon for people to not actually notice a difference – or even prefer – the products from budget supermarkets. More often than not you’re are just paying for a label or a more expensive advertising campaign, rather than a truly superior product.
Buy Own and Alternative Brand Products
This is a similar idea to going to a different supermarket, but for those who don’t have additional options in their local area. By buying own brand groceries instead of big name brands the savings you can make are significant. Often supermarkets will try to entice you with ‘price match’ offers for brands available in other major competitor supermarkets, but this doesn’t always represent the best value. Furthermore, if you do your food shop in budget supermarkets they will likely stock imitation brands at a much lower price, despite the quality being more than comparable.
Be Wary of ‘Special’ Offers
A classic way supermarkets’ make you think you’re saving money by shopping with them is by upselling special offers. However, they aren’t always the supreme value that they might advertise themselves as. This isn’t to say that they’re never a good saving, but you should be vigilant of the small print. Typically, the pricing labels will show the value of the item as well as the total price, so keep an eye out for that. You can also just do some quick sums in your head and compare it other products stocked nearby, or check the alternative sizes of the same product.
Don’t Be Overly Reliant on Convenience Items
A similar way to save money is by avoiding convenience items. Things like; pre-sliced meat and veg, tinned instead of frozen vegetables, and ready meals are often worse value than buying ingredients and cooking meals yourself. Many people feel like they don’t have time to cook fresh meals, but by employing tactics like batch cooking this can actually reduce the time you spend waiting for meals to be ready. It also reduces the likelihood of ‘top-up shops’ as there’s something you already made in the freezer that can be reheated in minutes. As an added bonus, it promotes a healthier diet.