How to reduce your weekly spend
Food prices have gone up this year. Blame the current inflation mess on Brexit, the war in Ukraine or post-lockdown demands; the bottom line is that the cost of a traditional Christmas dinner has increased by 9.3% compared to last year. Increasing your financial capability can help you save money on your weekly shopping.
Here are some basic tricks, so you don’t go broke after Christmas.
Budget and limit
Be in control of your money, don’t let money control you!
Budget your weekly food shopping (a realistic amount) and STICK to it. You will:
- have clear spending objectives
- limit impulse buys.
It is almost always cheaper to buy products in bigger bags, but always check the price per kg. This only goes for products with a longer shelf life, such as:
Look into buying from wholesaler specialists such as Costco. Don’t bulk buy fruit or vegetables. Buy these fresh, as often as you need them, but never more than you need.
Cook with what you have.
Have an idea of what you will eat in advance, and aim for a big weekly shop. Don’t fall into the consumer trap of buying ready-made meals or ready-sliced fruit. It is much healthier and cheaper to cook meals and cut fruit yourself. Leave laziness behind! Freeze anything that might go bad quickly.
Keep to the shopping list.
Make a list and stick to it. Remember that you have a weekly shopping budget. Always enter a supermarket on a full stomach.
Uk households throw away 9.6 million tons of food per year, most of which are
fruit or vegetables.
- Arrange your fridge in order of freshness.
- NEVER buy more than you need.
- Get help from apps like Kitch, SuperCook and BigOven, where you just type
- ingredients in and get free recipe ideas.
Buy Store brands-you’re just paying for the brand.
Store brands are not necessarily of worse quality products. Shop around and see which store brands taste the same as their branded rivals. Branded products ALWAYS have a higher price.
Reduce, reduce, reduce
Fresh items are always reduced in the evenings, making it an ideal time to shop for any last-minute items you need after work. Tesco, Lidl, Sainsbury’s, and Co-op all have discounts that kick in after 7 p.m. There is no shame in buying products with sale stickers.
Compare prices and special offers.
- Shop around and compare prices of items in different supermarkets, you may find some are cheaper in other shops.
- Local markets, butchers and greengrocers have fresher and cheaper items.
- Discount stores (Poundland, 99 Store) are great for non-food items.
- 2 for 1 offers or buy two, get the third free are much cheaper, the supermarket is just trying to make them sell faster.
Buying the right amounts and storing
- Fruit and vegetables should always be stored in the fridge.
- Store eggs in their boxes.
- Bread can be frozen or stored in its bag in a cool, dry place.
- Do not buy more than you need for fruit and vegetables.
- Only replace a bag of pasta or rice AFTER it’s all used up.
Apps offering free or reduced food
Olio and Too-Good-To-Go are apps that allow you to buy unsold food at the end of each day, reducing prices to one-third. On the downside, you can’t always choose what’s in the ‘’goodie bag’’, but it may be useful if you have little time and a lot of mouths to feed.
Supermarket loyalty schemes
Every supermarket has its own loyalty scheme: you gain points, free vouchers or points on petrol. Still shop around, but if you have a card for each supermarket, you put your eggs in different baskets.
Please find out more about our money story books for children here.
Written by Alexandra