Want to reduce the cost of your shopping bill? Don’t we all. If you’re looking for some tips and ideas on cutting down your weekly groceries, check out these simple pointers.
From trying own-brand products to shopping online, there are loads of things that can really make a difference when you’re watching the pennies.
Opt for Own-Brand Goods
You can really slash your shopping bill by plumping for a supermarket’s own-brand products. They’re far less expensive than branded products and certainly don’t slack in terms of quality, either. You may prefer some of the branded products but surely it’s worth a try? Then just decide which to buy again.
Own-brand goods aren’t just limited to food. Consider shampoo, conditioner, dishwasher tablets and washing powders. You could save yourself an arm and a leg every year by making this simple change.
Use the Same Ingredients in One or Two Recipes
Another great money-saving tip when it comes to supermarket shopping is having more than one use for ingredients. For instance, when you get fresh spinach, you probably won’t use it all in your saag paneer dish. So, next morning, use up the leftover spinach in a breakfast smoothie.
Other things you can do is blitz up onions in a blender and then pop them in the freezer for another time. Better yet, onions can be used straight from the freezer – there’s no need to defrost.
For Basics, Try the Cheapest Ranges
While you might not choose really cheap basic products for certain foods, it might be worth it for things like sugar, salt, flour, oats and rice. It’s quite likely you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between a high-priced bag of flour or one with a lower price tag.
When it comes to kitchen roll, toilet paper and tissues, consider getting the cheaper ranges. After all, what’s the point in forking out for items you’ll only use once then bin?
Plan Your Shopping List Ahead of Time
Before you go shopping, plan your meals for the week or fortnight. Spend the time to write up a list then stick it on the fridge, so you know exactly what ingredients goes into each meal. Aim to limit your shopping trips to the times when you only need fresh fruit and veg.
If you have enough space in your freezer, products like milk and bread can be bought in bulk and frozen.
The Potato Hack
The potato is an inexpensive, wholesome staple to help bolster your groceries on the cheap. A big bag of potatoes is incredibly inexpensive – you’ll get so many meals out of just one bag.
However, spuds often get a bad rap, but it’s not the poor potato’s fault. The main problem is that potatoes are often turned into chips or crisps – they’ve become associated with fatty, unhealthy snacks, but this needn’t be the case.
Potatoes can be cooked in extremely nourishing ways: baked and served with low-fat cottage cheese, for example, oven-baked chips, or mashed potatoes made with semi-skimmed milk — or even better, soup.
We love McCain jacket potatoes – they’re quick to prepare and oh-so tasty. Since they’re pre-oven baked, they only need around five minutes in the microwave. Fill them with anything you like – a healthy option could be raw peppers and hummus, or mackerel and watercress.
Bulk-Buy Certain Products
If you spy a meat offer, take advantage of the promotion. Cook a load of chicken breasts at the same time with onion, garlic, tinned chopped tomatoes and some seasoning. Once the breasts are cooked, remove about a third, slice, and use the chicken in a pie topped with pastry.
Next, take out another third and throw on some smoked paprika, chickpeas and cumin and freeze for a pasta dish. With the final third, serve with mashed potato and veg.
The beauty of cooking then freezing food such as chicken – or whatever meat you see on offer – is that you can split it up into portions, pop into the freezer and eat whenever you fancy it.
Although this may not work for everyone, it’s a sure-fire way to cut down your food shopping bill. Think about buying pantry, freezer and household items online because it’ll no doubt save you time and money.
When you shop online, it’s a breeze to find offers in just one click and to compare unit prices. What’s more, you won’t be enticed by those, ‘Oh, that looks nice’ impulse buys either, as you simply stick to the list.
Not only that, online shopping is quicker than visiting a shop in person. And, if you have kids, it can be a lifesaver because you don’t just grab stuff to get out the supermarket because of mid-shop temper tantrums!
BOGOF Offers Aren’t Always Best
When you browse the supermarket aisles, you’re bound to spot a few BOGOF (buy-one-get-one-free) offers. But don’t be fooled – you may end up buying products you don’t actually want or need.
But of course, there’ll be times when the offers will please you, especially if they’re for groceries you’d usually purchase anyway.
Choose Cheap Cuts
Granted, cheaper cuts of meat are higher in fat, but this isn’t always a bad thing. You can use the meat in slow-cooked dishes, as the higher fat content gives more flavour. Consider meats like beef brisket, stewing beef, ox cheek and lamb neck in casseroles.
Eat Before You Go Shopping
Shopping on an empty stomach is one of the worst things you can do if you want to save money. Write a list, take it with you and stick to it. It’s also worth checking your cupboards prior to shopping to make sure you don’t buy double of something you already have.
So, you see? From choosing cheap cuts of meat to writing a shopping list each week, there are plenty of ways to keep more pounds in your pocket next time you hit the supermarket. With just a couple of tweaks to your buying, cooking and eating routines, you can reduce your expenses without compromising on nutritional value and flavour of your fare.
I hope you found these money-saving tips helpful, but now tell me, what do you do to cut back on your shopping bills?
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