Looking for inspiration on ways to save money on food shopping? Maybe your online shopping bills are increasing beyond all control. If you’re finding that your average supermarket shopping trips are breaking your bank balance, it might be time to start considering a few money-saving tips and tricks.
Whether or not you’re into a weekly shop online or buy as and when you need to, it’s worth looking to change a few habits in the long run. Here are 20 to help you get started!
Best Ways to Save Money on Food Shopping UK
Go for ‘Budget’ Supermarkets
Ever shopped at Lidl before? Aldi, in fact, is one of the leading names in great fruit and vegetables on the high street right now. Chances are you’ll find some great savings here compared to the big supermarkets.
Avoid Supermarkets Altogether
It might work even cheaper for you if you shop for produce at a traditional market. Look for fresh meat at a local butcher, and buy your bread from a baker in town. You’ll not only be avoiding inflated costs, you’ll be helping local businesses and tradespeople, as well as farmers – and they need all the help they can get!
Eliminate Food Waste
This might seem a little tricky at first, but one of the best ways to really trim down your supermarket bills is to try and eliminate food waste altogether. Focus on trying to freeze leftovers if you can – and try and finish off last night’s dinner as today’s lunch.
Use Cashback Apps and Websites
One of the best ways to start making passive cash is to use cashback apps and services. Many of these, such as Quidco and TopCashback, will allow you to start stacking up the cash from regular payments you make on the high street or online. You have nothing to lose providing it’s money spent on something you were going to buy anyway. You can even utilise cashback and reward sites to bag yourself free Starbucks!
Change Your Diet
While it might seem cheap enough to invest in chocolate biscuits and crisps, you will likely find local fruit and veg markets offering fresh produce at knock-down rates. Plus, natural produce is much more filling!
Never Shop On an Empty Stomach
The golden rule – if you dare to shop around a supermarket while hungry, you’re going to find it tempting to add extra bits and pieces to the trolley. Top tip – fill up before you go!
Have a Meal Plan in Mind
A meal plan might seem boring to some people, but it’s a great way to make sure you stick to a financial plan of action, too. What’s more, it’s a great choice for dieters, and it’ll give you something extra to look forward to each day. This post from Bear Money Blog has some great information on covering off the essential food groups during your shop.
Cook, Don’t Reheat
One of the pitfalls of modern food shopping is to just buy pre-prepared food and microwave meals. To make your money travel even further, you should think about creating dishes from scratch. It’ll be a great way to get creative in the kitchen, too.
Grow Your Food
You could go one step further, too, and start growing your food in your garden. All you need is a few well-chosen packets of seeds, a few planters, plenty of sunshine and regular watering. Nice and easy!
One of the best ways to save money on your food shop is to learn more about what all those dates on the packaging mean. A ‘Best Before’ doesn’t necessarily mean that food is good to throw away as of the date listed. ‘Use By’ dates need to be adhered to – but there’s a good chance food that’s ‘Best Before’ X date will still taste good a few days afterwards.
Don’t Buy Food on The Go
If you’re likely to eat at work or university, make sure to pack a lunch. The fact is, there are extortionate rates for sandwiches and fast food which spike from place to place. You’re going to end up wasting a lot of money, and packaging, if you buy your lunches every single day.
Freeze and Freeze Again
Did you know that you can freeze milk and bread? If you have a chest freezer or a sizeable unit where you can throw everything into the deep freeze, it’s well worth taking full advantage. If you buy fresh, you’ll also be able to freeze your meat and other food to last even longer.
Buy in Bulk
You will generally find that the more you buy in bulk, the cheaper things will be from unit to unit. Again, if you have a big freezer or if you have room to store food items which will last a while, it’s cheaper to buy more in one go than bit by bit.
Don’t Be a Brand Snob
More often than not, downgrading from a known brand to a value or store alternative is likely to give you the same quality goods, at much lower prices. Therefore, why not take full advantage? This might not work for all food and drink, but it’s something to consider.
Ever heard of extreme couponing before? There was a whole TV show based around this phenomenon – and if you’re savvy enough, you’ll find stacks of savings through magazines, newspapers and more.
Shop with Big Wholesalers
Got yourself a Costco card? Coming back to buying in bulk, you may well find that buying wholesale saves you serious money on your shopping list. The cost of a membership and card outright is likely to offset savings pretty easily. There are tons of special offers, too.
One of the best ways to save money on your food shop is to simply make sure you know what you’ve got in stock before you head on out. This way, you won’t end up wasting money on unnecessary duplicates. This is one of the first things you should exercise when learning how to save money on food shopping!
Go Reduced to Clear
Reduced to Clear item shelves aren’t always stacked with food that’s going off in a few hours. In fact, they are more often filled with goods that simply aren’t selling. There are brilliant ways to get good deals on pricey items this way.
Don’t Fall for Unnecessary Purchases
We’ve all seen supermarket deals which encourage us to buy more! Buy five, get one free – do you really need six in the first place? Look for the per unit cost rather than getting sucked into deals of this nature.
Get First-Time Online Shopping Deals
Before you start looking for cheaper alternatives on food shopping elsewhere, if you’ve never tried online shopping before, most of the big supermarkets will give you a free credit just to try it out. And why not?
Just starting to learn how to save money of food shopping? Be careful of big deals and be brand-savvy – and in no time, you’ll start to see the pounds drop off your receipts.
by Jon Craig
I am the creator of Project Financially Free and I started this journey to both educate myself and share my insights on personal finance. I’m passionate about financial literacy and I invite you to join me on this transformative path. See more.