Posted on: 31 July 2020
Supermarkets are experts at getting us to part with our hard-earned cash, and we often end up buying more food than we need. This waste costs the average UK family with children £720 worth of food a year… that’s £60 a month!
This can be prevented by buying less in the first place, and being smarter about using up food in the home. Here are our top tips for reducing your supermarket spend.
Before you go
- Write a meal plan
Start by writing a meal plan for the week – or the whole month if you’re super organised. That way you can work out what you're going to eat every day, incorporating ingredients you already have. Take a rummage in your fridge, freezer and cupboards – what needs eating up?
- Take a list
Write a list based on your meal plan and stick to it. There are two reasons why this helps save money: one, you’re less likely to make impulse buys, and two, you won’t need top-up trips to more expensive smaller stores to get the extras you forgot.
- Use discounts/coupons
Through your employer, you may be able to access discounts at many retailers including supermarkets. Check before you head to the shops if there are codes or coupons you need to bring.
In the shop
- Limit ‘pester power’
Parents will know how distracting it can be to shop with kids. It might not be possible to leave them at home when you shop, but try to limit the chances for them to influence your shopping.
We also spend more when we’re hungry or tired – and it’s rarely on healthy stuff!
- Go bargain hunting
Look for reduced stickers to pick up food at a bargain price. If you can, head to the supermarket at the times when you know they reduce food – usually an hour or so before closing time. Reduced food often has a short use by date, but you can always freeze things to use later.
- Consider online shopping
Doing your grocery shopping online using a Click & Collect or delivery service can help you avoid impulse buying food you don't need.
- Make friends with the freezer
Life can get in the way of the best-laid (meal) plan. Freeze anything you can't use while still fresh and incorporate it into a meal for another day.
- Batch cooking
Cooking and freezing extra portions of your favourite dishes will save you time and effort down the line. It’s also much cheaper to pull a home-cooked meal out of the freezer instead of pricey ready meals or takeaways.
Make sure you’re storing your food correctly so it doesn’t go off. The Love Food, Hate Waste website has lots of tips and tricks here to keep food fresher for longer. Did you know that it’s a good idea to keep potatoes away from onions?
Food is one of life’s essentials, but there are plenty of ways to keep costs low. Being smart with your supermarket shop means you can save money and reduce food waste at the same time.