The average Brit spends close to £2,000 per year on food, and that’s without thinking about things like takeaways, Starbucks trips and the occasional meal out. If you’re reading this, the chances are you’ve realised you’re spending too much money on food, and want to cut back.
The bad news is that we all need to eat. Geez, imagine how much easier life would be if we didn’t get hungry! The good news, however, is that you don’t have to spend a fortune to eat a healthy diet. Below, we’ve rounded up some top tips to keep more pounds in your wallet…
Okay, let’s start with an obvious one. Rather than doing your weekly food shop at Waitrose or Sainsbury’s, consider shopping at a budget supermarket like Aldi, LIDL, or Jack’s. These supermarkets are often out of town with big car parks, so they’re less convenient if you don’t drive, but the savings speak for themselves, with comparable groceries like cereal, biscuits, fruit, meat, and frozen foods often half the price of an alternative at a ‘Big Four’ supermarket.
If you’re trying to watch your weight, consider batch cooking meals in advance and freezing them for later. If you’re living in shared accommodation, you’ll need to think carefully about where you’re going to store the leftovers, but with some reusable containers and a drawer in the freezer, it’s easy to make delicious bolognese, chilli con carne, and soup for less than 50p per serving. It’s healthy, convenient, and will stop you from nipping out for a McDonald’s.
This one’s a toughy, but it’s worth it for your waistline and your wallet. Ban takeaways from your home, and get everyone involved so they can save money too. It’s so tempting to order a Deliveroo or Domino’s after a busy day at work or university, but those meals often run into £10+ per person, which is expensive. Make your own meals when you get home, and take a packed lunch with you to work to ensure you steer clear of the Tesco Meal Deal aisle.
Head to a supermarket after dark and you’ll find a boatload of reduced food that you can eat now or save for later. As well as cut-price meat, supermarket bakeries often slash the prices of treats like bread, rolls, cookies, cakes, and pastries to as little as 5p per item. Eat as much as you can, and put the rest in the freezer for another day. Oh, and always stop by clearance aisles in your supermarket - you can save big on pasta, crisps, chocolate, cereals, and more.
If your budget and kitchen allow, consider buying in bulk for the best deals. Supermarkets often sell 150g boxes of Corn Flakes for £2 and 500g boxes for £3, making it much more cost-effective. And if you’re close by, head to outlet and wholesale stores where you can buy your favourite products in bulk. You’ll pay more initially, but have enough food for months!
The average household estimates that they throw away £6.84 of unused food each week, equating to £355.68 worth of food every year and an eye-watering £16.31 billion across the UK. Why? Because they don’t plan their meals properly. Though you’re always going to have days where you want to come home to a bag of crisps and some Ben and Jerry’s, planning meals in advance means you’ll only buy the ingredients you need, saving money and waste.
Sign up to sites like Hot UK Deals and money-saving groups on Facebook; bargain-hunters often share special offers and deals they find in-store and online, so you can snap them up. Better yet, some apps allow you to track specific products, so if you’re desperate for a crate of Pepsi Max, you can add it to your favourites and receive an alert when it’s on special offer.
There’s no getting away from the fact that food is getting more expensive, but with the right mindset and careful planning, you can save hundreds of pounds a year. Let us know if you have any other money-saving food tips on @Billing_Better and check back soon for more.