Food shopping is one of our biggest regular expenses. A family of four can expect to spend around £520 a month on grocery shopping, but if you are looking to cut back your spending, you can save money on groceries. You don't need to have less, you can just follow a few easy steps to reduce the cost of your weekly food shop.
We're going to run through some of our top tips for cost effective food shopping to help you save money, while maintaining a balanced diet.
We've all done it - turn up at a supermarket only to realise that you have no idea what to buy. So we buy things that we aren't going to use, which means more expensive food shopping and more food waste. Have a plan of what you will eat and an easy-to-follow shopping list to streamline your supermarket shopping, so that you only buy what you need.
The supermarket's job is to make you spend. They plan the layout of the shop right down to the smell of the bakery - they're trying to get you to make impulse purchases. With a strict budget in place, you can make sure you don't fall into these traps, so that you keep your food bill down.
Some families find it helpful to use a separate bank account for their food shopping. This is a great way to ensure you avoid impulse buys when you do the supermarket shop.
Most of us like going to the same supermarket every week for the familiarity - but are you getting the best deals? The major supermarkets are rarely the cheapest supermarket in your area, so mix up your shopping and compare prices. Could you save money on groceries by doing your food shop at a budget supermarket? Could you alternate where you do your weekly shop?
Branding is everything when it comes to supermarket shopping - from the premium 'Finest' ranges, through the branded products (like Kellogg's) right down to the own brands. These products are often made in the same factories and just packaged differently. Choose some cheaper own label/own brand products - see if your family notices the difference.
Make the most of in store offers - stock up on products like baked beans to store away, but take advantage of fresh food offers by cooking up a big batch. When frozen straight away, this could provide you with 'ready meals' in future weeks to save you money on food shopping.
Look at the yellow sticker products that are near their sell by date/best before date. You can get some real bargains here but remember: it's only cheap if you use it.
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