With the world being in a state of panic and rightfully so, there are still ways to keep your wallet full when you go shopping for necessities and groceries. Now before you start expecting some mind-blowing strategy or app that will save you loads of money, I want to caution you that these steps are put together in a single list, because they work in unison.
When you apply these rules or strategies you will save yourself money every time you shop for food. So without further delay, here are the ten ways you can save yourself money when shopping for food in the UK
Rule #1 – Plan Your Shopping Trip
This is where your saving starts, by planning your shopping trip you limit the extra spending that often happens in the store. What this means is that you plan what you need in the kitchen and home, you list what you need so that you only buy what is on the list.
By planning your shopping trip you spend less money on what you don’t need and you only buy what you have on the list. Planning also includes deciding where you are going for which items you need to buy.
Rule #2 – Never Shop on an Empty Stomach
One of the oldest rules in the book. To explain this rule please imagine the following scenario. You have not eaten anything the whole day and you walk into the store with your stomach growling at you for food.
The smells and sights will literally turn you into a supermarket zombie – walking from isle to isle just stuffing food in your mouth rather in the trolley. Having a meal before you go shopping stops your urges from guiding your shopping trolley and lets your list do the talking.
Rule #3 – Collect Coupons & Hunt for Bargains
Another tried and tested method – coupon shopping might sound a bit old school (which it is) but it works. Collect coupons from newspapers and brochures for your weekly shopping trip and plan to make the most use of them. Also, be on the lookout for in-store bargains on items on your list.
Only in the most extraordinary circumstances should you take a bargain on something that is not on your list. You could maybe use good judgement and change the menu for the week if the bargain is worth it. But moderation in all things.
Rule #4 – Bulk Up – Bulk Buying
Buying in bulk in naturally cheaper but if you plan the bulk buying just a little better you could end up saving yourself a substantial amount. Look out for bulk specials on items like toilet paper, not food but trust me on that, and frozen veggies and canned food. These bulk buying ideas will save you money on the next trip to the shop as you will need less to fill the pantry.
Rule #5 – Buy the right Date
There are two dates that are important when you are shopping, sell-by-date, and use-by-date. These dates are easy to understand but still, people sometimes get them wrong. Retailers use these dates to entice you to buy their products so that they can move the product of the shelf.
Here is the Golden Rule – buy your food before the “Use by Date” and use it before the date. Also, look out for on the day specials of products that are on the cusp of the date that retailers often markdown on the last day. These dates are used as a guideline by producers and it does not mean that your food will go off on the day even the next, again don’t be a robot in the store take a breath and think about it.
Rule #6 – Plan your Meals
Shopping according to a menu for the week ties into Rule #1 as it helps you plan your shopping trip. And just because you have a menu for the week does not mean that your meals are going to be boring and bland. There are 1000’s of recipes for great tasting budget meals and you can even find videos on how to cook them properly.
So with a menu plan, you can shop according to a plan, and then when you get home you can let your inner gourmet chef out of the pantry and let your taste buds cook up a storm with a budget. Trust me it works!
Rule #7 – Don’t Waste
After every meal, there are always leftovers, and many times they end up in the bin. Big waste! Leftovers could make amazing snacks for the next day’s lunch. Like a pasta salad from last night’s pasta dinner or use the leftovers from your chicken dinner for a great stock for the next gourmet meal.
Cutting down on takeaways and cooking from scratch also cuts down on wastage in the kitchen and will save you loads of cash at the till. Also, be on the lookout for all you can eat buffets – you might not be able to take away any food but you can surely get your fill and get your money’s worth!
Rule #8 – House Brand vs Name Brand
Just because it is a house brand and costs less does not mean that it is of lower quality. Many house brands are the same product just in a cheaper package, and often there are bargains in the “ethnic” or “world” food sections where basics like rice and pasta often cost less than the regular isles. This is called smart shopping and saves your wallet at the till.
Rule #9 – Try a Veggie Night
You don’t have to be a vegetarian to enjoy a great veggie curry! Vegetable-based meals are less expensive than meat and you can do with that saving. A veggie night once a week could help with many things including savings on your purse and saving the waistline as well. So give it a bash and try the whole recipe book for some lovely inexpensive veggie meals.
Rule #10 – Maybe Grow your Own?
The last money-saving rule is to start a small veggie garden. This could save you loads of cash on herbs and veggies every week. A small veggie patch does take a few weeks to get going but once you have it, you will have fresh veggies for every meal, making the weekly shop less expensive. Although this a longer strategy it will definitely save you money in the long run.
Using just one f these rules will not save the money you might need or want but using all of these in unison will most definitely save you money every time at the supermarket till and you will beat the budget every time. So get clever and buy with your mind and not with your stomach. Your waistline and wallet will love you for it!!