After our last post we decided to put our heads together and come up with top tips for savvy food shopping. Staff from all over the organisation have been sharing their top tips on keeping the shopping bill down.
Make a list -The more prepared you are the better! Meal plan for the week ahead, write down what you need and stick to the list. This helps eliminate food wastage too.
Have a budget in mind – How much do you want to spend on your shopping? Some weeks you’ll go a bit over, others you could be under budget, but decide how much is too much.
Use scan as you shop if possible – We’ve all had that mini heart- attack at the till when the few ‘bits’ you popped in for cost a small fortune, using scan as you shop helps you keep on top of what you’re spending and reduces the chances of needing first aid at the checkout. If your supermarket doesn’t offer scan and shop, take a calculator.
Don’t shop hungry – Trust us on this one…
Avoid isle ends– Sounds crazy, this is where they put all the offers! But chances are there are cheaper alternatives further down the isle anyway, and do you really need to buy 4 kg of spread in one go?
Ask yourself questions – Is this really a good deal? Do we need it? It might sound like two for £1 is a bargain until you realise the item is only 51p. So you’re saving a grand total of 2 pence. Is a 2 pence saving worth the extra cost of buying two?
Look out for yellow or ‘Whoops!’ stickers – throughout the day supermarkets reduce items that are nearing their date. Chances are you can stock up on items such as meat whilst taking advantage of the reduced price.
Use your freezer – The freezer is your friend. That yellow stickered bargain will need using on the day of purchase or need to be frozen so it can be used at a later date. One tip from staff is to check your perishables! When vegetables (such as onions, mushrooms and peppers) are looking like they could turn before you’re ready to use them simply chop, portion and freeze them! This saves throwing them away and makes cooking the spag bol much easier, as everything is ready chopped!
Don’t buy pasta sauces – Your big jar of pasta sauce is usually close to or exceeding £1 and consists mainly of tomatoes, water and a generous serving of sugar. Tinned tomatoes cost 25-30p for supermarket own brand. Season, add chopped vegetables and you’ve got yourself a cheaper and healthier sauce!
Try different brands – If you normally buy branded beans, try the supermarket version. If you like them, you are making a saving! You’d be surprised by how many premium brands supply supermarket own brand products, you are simply paying extra for packaging.
Don’t tell family members you’ve swapped brands – Chances are if they know you’ve brought a cheaper version, they’ll tell you they don’t like it. One member of staff knew a woman who, fed up with spending a fortune, swapped cornflakes from premium to supermarket brand. Her daughter refused to eat the cheaper cereal, so her mum put supermarket cereal in a branded box. Daughter was non- the- wiser!
If you have any shopping tips, please feel free to share them on our social media pages!