Learning how to save money on your food bill has to be one of the quickest ways to save money on your household budget. See how it can be done with these simple tips.
How to Halve Your Monthly Food Bill
Food shopping is becoming increasingly expensive and almost everyone is beginning to feel the pinch. But many people are spending more than double what they actually need to on their food shopping. A few simple changes to your shopping habits could help your family cut their monthly food bill in half. Try some of our simple suggestions and see how much money you could save.
It is all too easy to become trapped in the habit of shopping in the same place, week in week out. Doing so means that you are probably spending more on the equivalent products than you would if you shopped around. Try shopping at a cheaper supermarket for a change, as you could find that you are pleasantly surprised by the quality and price of their products. In a recent survey by Which, Aldi and Lidl ranked 2nd and 3rd best supermarket in the UK.
Another fantastic tip is to try doing at least some of your food shopping at your local market. Your local market will have lower overheads than your local supermarket meaning they will have cheaper prices. Buying locally grown fruit and vegetables will save on the cost of importing and is better for your health.
Try using a bargain store such as B&M Bargains as these stores often have great deals on items such as canned food and cereals. You will save a fortune compared to buying the equivalent items in the supermarket.
Try the Own Brands and Basics Ranges
Instead of automatically buying brand named products try to buy supermarket own brands. These products are usually significantly cheaper but that does not mean that they are poorer quality. Set yourself a challenge to buy a different own branded product each time you shop. If you do not like the product then you do not need to get it again, but chances are you will find that you have been unnecessarily paying extra for a brand name.
Care is in order when buying basics ranges as there are some foods that really are worth paying extra for. For foods such as flour, rice and sugar, however, the difference in quality between a basics range and a branded one is minimal and you will probably not notice a difference.
Don’t Buy More Than You Need
Most of us fall into the trap of ‘mindless shopping’ and throw everything we fancy into the trolley when we go out, but this usually leads to us buying more food than we are going to eat. Two very good ways to avoid falling into this trap is to write a shopping list (and stick to it!) and to never go shopping when you are hungry. Studies have shown that people who go shopping when they are hungry are twice as likely to grossly over-estimate how much food they actually need for the week. When you have a shopping list, make sure that you only buy what is on your list and avoid buying something on an impulse. If it is not on your list, don’t buy it. You will be surprised how much money you save this way.
Many people do not realise how much of their money they are literally throwing away. All of this over-buying leads to a much bigger bill and sadly a lot of this food goes uneaten and ends up thrown away. Studies by WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme) have shown that 60% of the 3.6million tonnes of food thrown away in England and Wales each year goes untouched. You could save hundreds of pounds a year by only buying food that you are actually going to eat.
If you do have left over food find ways in which you can use it rather than throw it away. If you have a surplus of good vegetables left at the end of the week then make a soup, or if you have very ripe bananas that you would otherwise throw away make banana muffins with them instead.
Buy in Bulk
Caution is needed when buying in bulk so that you don’t end up buying products that you don’t really need just because they are on a very good offer. But if a long-life product that you would normally buy each week goes on sale then stock-up! It may cost you a lot more initially but the savings will work out in the long run. Cash and Carry stores are excellent for buying products in bulk and the savings can be phenomenal.
The next time you go shopping challenge yourself to cut your food bill in half. Try changing your shopping habits by shopping in places you would not normally go and use a shopping list to avoid impulse purchases. Never buy more food than you are going to need and find money saving ways to use up food you have left over.
So what food shopping tips do you have that will help save money?