If you have been following the news lately, you will know that like many other things, costs are rising when it comes to the food shop.
Many of us are already feeling the pinch with the rising costs that are coming from petrol and utilities, so how can we look to cut the food budget whilst still being able to eat what we enjoy. We always try and do a mix of meals that are our favourites that might cost a little more and easy and cheap alternatives such as pasta dishes.
There are lots of ways to make your budget go further, all depending on just how much money you want to save.
Here are our top tips for cutting your food budget:
- Shop for just what you need – When you do your weekly shop, make sure you meal plan before you start the shop. That way you can write yourself a shopping list of all the items that are outstanding still to get. In this list, you need to be realistic in what you need to get. There is nothing worse than getting home and realising you really did fancy those biscuits that you didn’t pick up, then next time you pass the shop you get those biscuits and a ton of other stuff you don’t need!
- Use up what you have – If you have some veg going past its best, why not add a veggie curry to your meal plan that week and use it up or maybe even use it up in a leftover pie. Making the most of what you have will not only ensure your food budget is less than a week but also you are having less waste.
- Make the most of the offers – Do you have a voucher for some money off something or maybe even a Shopmium deal that you can use? Make sure you take advantage of the offers in the meals that week but only buy it if you are going to use it/need it. It’s not saving you money if it is something that will end up in the bin!
- Bulk out your meals – I know the cost of things such as pasta and tinned tomatoes are going up, however, it is still cheaper to have a pasta dish with a homemade sauce than something such as spaghetti bolognese etc. Lentils and pulses are also great additions to dishes that you want to stretch further.
- Cheap and cheerful meals are fine – Sometimes you might look at all the fab meal plans online and think wow, they make my pasta and simple dishes boring. But, you do not need to feel ashamed when it comes to having simpler and cheaper meals. Sometimes a night with some pasta or maybe even beans on toast is not only good for the budget but also the soul too. There is a reason these meals are called comfort meals.
As times are likely to start getting tough for many of us, it is a great time to get back into the kitchen and cook stuff from scratch where you can. Things like flapjack are not only easy to make but so cheap when you use the supermarket own-brand ingredients. You can even make things like coconut fairy cakes for next to nothing and with minimal effort, cutting out the need to buy the processed meals at the shop.
No matter what your financial situation might be, it is so useful for all of us to take a step back and look at our food spending. We did it recently and I was so shocked by how much we had spent on food in such a short space of time. It took us by surprise a little and made us readdress our spending and food habits a little. Although it may not still be perfect, it is much better than it used to be! Like our journey, we have still got a long way to go with it but we are on our way.
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