After a recent conversation with a friend, I was shocked to find out that she was spending approximately £100 a week on her food shop. That’s £400 a month, or £4,800 a year! My weekly food shop for Mike and I is about £30. Which works out £120 a month, or £1,440 a year. Meaning the difference between the amount her and I spend is about £3,360! Imagine what you could buy for 3 grand?!
Granted her and her partner have a baby so their shopping will undoubtedly cost more than mine and Mike’s, but I still think there could be massive savings for her.
For the past few food shops I’ve been taking a photo of my receipt and sending it to her. She still can’t understand how I spend so little, so today I thought I would share some of my top tips for a frugal food shop!
- Buy supermarket basic brand stuff for staples. I normally do my weekly food shop at Asda, so their Smart Price super basic line of staples is really handy. I buy things like tins of chopped tomatoes, spaghetti, tortilla chips and chocolate digestives all from this line. These are the sort of thing that you can’t really make fancy, so I see no point in spending any more than the absolute minimum on those items.
- Buy frozen veg/meat and chop & freeze any food that might go to waste. Mike and I simply don’t eat enough of certain things to justify buying them fresh. Frozen food is a godsend. I always buy frozen chicken breasts as they keep really nicely and taste just as good when cooked from frozen. I also buy a lot of frozen vegetables, such as green beans, peas, etc. I will also chop up any vegetables that might go bad soon such as bell peppers into slices and then freeze them to stop them going to waste. I also do this with bags of kale and spinach as they can easily be thrown into a sauce or smoothie. Less waste means that I need to replace less food!
- Keep a running shopping list on your phone. Not only does keeping your shopping list on your phone mean that you won’t forget it (as who doesn’t always have their phone on them?), but you can also add to it whenever you remember you need something. I delete the items as I add them to my trolley so my list always ends up empty. This way I know I won’t forget anything and end up having to go back to the shop and risk buying more on impulse. If I see anything in the supermarket that I fancy that isn’t on my list, I have to really think about the purchase before putting it in my trolley.
- Skip aisles if there’s nothing on your list down those aisles. Simply put, out of sight, out of mind. If there are any aisles that aren’t necessary to go down, just skip them. That way you won’t be tempted to buy something that you really don’t need. This minimises the risk of impulse purchases.
- Have a budget. Decide your monthly budget for how much you want to spend. Then divide that by the number of weeks in the month so you know how much you can spend per weekly shop.
- Keep a running total to know how much you’re spending. Keep a running total of the cost of your trolley as you go around the shop. That means that you know whether you’re within budget and there won’t be any nasty surprises at the checkout!
- Edit your trolley before you check out. Before you go to the checkout, take a look in your trolley and see if there is anything that you can do without. It’s your chance to remove any impulse additions or things that on second thought, you know will go to waste. You can easily shave a fair few pounds from your shopping bill simply by doing this.
- Have an idea of what you’ll want for dinner during the week. Some people are able to meal plan down to the day, but I prefer to keep a loose plan in my head so I can choose what we eat on the day depending on time or what we fancy. But I never buy more than we need, unless it’ll keep until the next week which then reduces the next week’s food shopping bill.
- Use Click Snap. Click Snap is a great app that basically gives you cashback for certain products in your chosen supermarket, it’s owned by Quidco.* Though be careful, don’t buy something just because it’ll give you cash back! Just check to see if anything you need is on the list as it’s something for nothing! All you have to do to claim the cashback is to submit a photo of your receipt to prove you bought the item, and then the money is quickly paid into your account. (*p.s if you sign up to Quidco by this link you’ll get £5 free!)
- Work out cost per item, is it worth buying in bulk? For items that come in packs, such as toilet roll or cereal bars, work out the cost per item to make sure you get the best deal. Buying the bigger pack is often cheaper in the long run. Take the time to do some maths! And make sure that if the item is perishable, that you’ll use up the pack. Just to make sure nothing will go to waste.
And those are my top tips! I hope you’ve at least learnt one trick to save some money on your weekly food shop. Do you have any other tips? I’d love to hear them!
Until next time,