Are you still feeling the post-Christmas pinch? It can take a good few months until your bank balance is looking a little healthier, can’t it? But don’t worry; a lean month or two doesn’t mean you have to live off beans on toast until the next payslip comes in. Instead, there are all sorts of ways you can cut back without really noticing that you are.
As our blog focuses on all things kitchens, it makes sense for us to focus on the ways in which you can cut back when it comes to filling your cupboards with food for the week. To help you save a packet yet still eat and live well, we’re bringing you some top tips (direct from our team and around the net) for cutting back on your big weekly food shop.
Don’t Pick the First Product You See
Martin at MoneySavingExpert never disappoints, with plenty of really useful articles all focused on ensuring you have a little more cash in your back pocket. We love his cheap supermarket shopping guide, which features loads of handy hints and tips for cutting back.
Our favourite? This one:
“Eye-level products are the profitable ones.”
And it’s true, you know. Supermarket bosses aren’t daft; they’ll place the stock that comes with a bigger mark-up at eye-level to encourage you to buy. The cheaper, better value products might be on a lower shelf – you just have to look for them.
Multi-buys Aren’t Always Better Value
Contrary to popular belief, multi-buys aren’t always the best option when it comes to saving money. If you have the time and the inclination, open the calculator on your mobile and work it out when you’re in the supermarket. Often, you’ll find you’re actually paying slightly more to buy in bulk. This is another way the supermarket bosses try to reel you in, as most of us will see a multi-buy pack of, say, tuna fish and assume it’s better value for money.
Go Out Of Your Way
While we don’t advise you jump in your car and head to a supermarket 20 miles away, we do reckon it’s worth your while to shop around locally for the best deals. If you know for a fact that your weekly shop is cheaper at one supermarket over another, why wouldn’t you make an effort to shop there? If it fits in with your schedule, shop late at night too, when ‘fresh’ bakery items will be reduced in price. Stick them in your freezer and enjoy days later!
Meal planning is one of the best things you can do to save money on your weekly food shop. Okay, so you don’t need to go as far as having a chart featuring all the week’s meals (knowing what you’re having to eat each day can become a bit…well…predictable) but you can still cut back by at least having a vague idea.
Pick meals with ingredients that cross over; can you use the rest of that onion you chucked in the Bolognese sauce in another dish, perhaps? Or what about that leftover mince? Can it be made into another delicious meal?
Don’t Forget Coupons!
You might feel a bit of a ‘Suzie Saver’ at the till, but why let those magazine or newspaper coupons go to waste? The key here, though, is only making use of the coupons that offer discounts on products you already buy. Yes, you might be bypassing a great saving on apple cider vinegar, but do you really want – or need – it?!
Thinking of giving some of these tips a go? Let us know how you get on by leaving a comment on our Facebook page.