Reduce your shopping bill: the best tips
Food is still going up in price, so now is the time to be smart about your shopping and cooking. By thinking about it and changing a few eating habits, you can provide cheap, tasty and nutritious meals for the whole family every day. Here are some of the best ways to lower the cost of your family’s food bill without compromising on taste or goodness:
- Once a year, use everything you have in your closets. Just buy perishables to go with what’s already there (you know, all those legumes, pasta shapes, jars of sauces, cans of stuff that’s been there for years!). That will significantly reduce your grocery bill for a month and can give you some surprisingly tasty meals with sauces you’ve never tried before.
- Shop at markets instead of supermarkets – save around 30% on your food bill. If you do it right (towards the end of the day), you can get whole boxes of fruits and vegetables very cheaply.
- Use the Internet to find unusual food recipes or to use up leftovers.
- If you have bought a lot of vegetables at the market very cheaply, make a soup out of them and freeze some of them or blanch them (halve them quickly and then ‘chill’ them with cold water) and freeze them for use with larger meals. ahead.
- Buy online if possible. Avoid being tempted by the ‘offers’ that supermarkets offer you to make you buy. It might also be cheaper to pay for delivery costs (especially if you choose a less popular time) than the travel or gas costs you’d have to pay to get to the store. Also, sites tend to keep your last shopping list so you can reorder what you need.
- Use Internet comparison sites to find the best prices for the things you want to buy on that site.
- Invest in a bag of Klippits. They keep anything fresh: half-eaten bags of chips, opened cereal packets, etc. They are wonderful things and really save on food bills by keeping everything fresh and crisp for weeks.
- Plan meals for the week (or even the month). That way you can plan ahead, buy only what you need, reduce waste, and save a lot of money.
- Shop with a shopping list, based on the meals you have planned for the week. Try to stick to the list, though it may be a good idea to choose genuine, discounted items that are close to their expiration date.
- Start growing your own fruits and vegetables. Even if you live in a flat with no outside space, you can grow herbs on windowsills, tomatoes in grow bags, and lettuce in window boxes!
- Cook in bulk on the weekend and freeze in individual (or family-size) servings. This cuts down on waste nicely and saves you from buying prepared or takeout meals.
- Check the fridge every day and plan meals around what is likely to go out first.
- Those leftovers from last night’s dinner can make a great lunch to take to work if they’re freshened up with a salad, saving you money every day. For example, stews and soups can simply be put in a plastic box and microwaved at work. Cooked meat can be used in sandwiches and even cooked vegetables and mashed potatoes can be whipped into a hearty and nutritious soup.
- Replace a meat dish with a vegetarian version once a week. Vegetarian meals are generally cheaper than meat-based ones. If you really want your meat, eat pork which, pound for pound, is the cheapest meat.
- Buy in bulk with friends. If one of you has a cash-and-carry card, shop together and benefit from low prices without having to store stacks of cans in your home.
- Keep fresh fruits, vegetables, and salads in the refrigerator and they can last up to two weeks longer.
- Get free food, especially from spring to fall, by picking it up. However, beware of picking up poisonous plants!
- Keep your own chickens, if you have the space and time. You’ll have fresh, organic eggs on a regular basis, and you could make money selling extra eggs to your neighbors. Get into freeganism! Freegans are people who collect food that supermarkets throw away because it is on its expiration date. Most foods are perfectly safe to eat at this stage, but supermarkets legally have to dispose of them. If you can find the bins in the back of supermarkets and you are not scrupulous, you could eat for free every day of the year!