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If you need to cut back and aren’t sure where to start, check out my Top 10 Tips below. A great starting point to help you out with your money saving challenge when it comes to your weekly food shop.
Never shop when hungry!
Decide on your food budget for each week, and stick to it. There’s nothing worse than having an idea of what you want to spend and going over, or worse, having no plan at all! 😳 Look at your past receipts to get an idea of how much you spend each week, and see if you can reduce it by £5 – £10 for your next shop. The tips below can help with this.
2. Write a meal plan
BEFORE you write your meal plan, check your fridge/freezer/store cupboard to see whether you can make any meals with what you’ve got, or make a note of anything you might need to get to add to your existing ingredients. Next, once you know what you have available to spend, write a meal plan for the week so you don’t end up buying things you don’t need. TIP: Cooking from scratch is loads cheaper AND it’s healthier.
3. Make a list
When you’ve drawn up your meal plan, write a shopping list! Throughout the week, keep an updated list on your fridge of anything you’ve run out of, or use a notes app, or pop it in your supermarket app.
4. Use Mysupermarket.com
Armed with your meal plan and your list, use this site to find out where your items are cheapest (they also offer Cashback on selected products, too). Provided the shops are near enough to each other, you could check which supermarket has the best deal and visit more than one shop to save further, unless you’re having your shopping delivered (beware the £40 minimum order value, which will incur a charge if your basket is less than £40). Of course, there will be a lot of preparation work involved this way; you’ll have to carefully plan your outing and decide where you’re going to buy each item, but every little bit helps. If your petrol spends or bus fare result in spending more than you would be saving, just stick to one shop where the full list comes out the most cost-effective.
5. Downshift brands
Try a supermarket own brand, or if you already buy own-brand, try a discount brand. Using Mysupermarket.com can help with this too, as it will automatically tell you where you can potentially save more.
6. Swap supermarkets
Try switching to a ‘budget’ supermarket, such as Lidl or Aldi. I find my shopping is around 40% cheaper with Aldi than when I shop with Tesco. I’m always amazed at Aldi’s versions of some of our favourite brands, such as Bramwells Real Mayonnaise™️. Their stone-baked pizzas are always a hit for an easy Friday-night-chuck-it-in-the-oven meal in our house, too (and they cost less than £1!).
7. Coupons and discount vouchers
Keep an eye out for money-off coupons and discount vouchers, which you can find on various websites and in magazines. Don’t forget to check the free in-store supermarket magazines, as these often have plenty (Tesco magazine is always a great one).
8. Don’t shop hungry!
I think this one is fairly self-explanatory, unless you want to blow your budget and come home with a fridge full of snacks that may or may not get eaten. Have breakfast/lunch/a snack before you go, and if you’ve completed points 2 and 3 above, you won’t need to shove those tasty ‘deals’ in the trolley. They’re only deals if you actually need them and they’ll get eaten.
9. Scan and shop
Available in most big supermarkets, use the scan and shop function as you go, to avoid any nasty surprises at the till and ensure you remain within your budget (you might have to cut back on the treats). I had my first go on a recent shop to Tesco and it was great fun!
10. Do you need it?
The ultimate question. Be honest – do you really need it? If it isn’t on the list, don’t buy it! Whether it’s a special offer or a nice new addition for the house from the ‘home’ section, think about whether it is actually something you really need or whether you just want it. Resist temptation, and don’t place that unnecessary item in the trolley.
Good luck, I’d love to hear about your progress using the above tips. I hope you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the savings you’ve made. Why not try to reduce your spend even further next week? Let me know how you get on in the comments below. 🙂