Here are my go-to tips for saving money on grocery shopping
1.Use cashback apps and check these before you go shopping.
There are multiple mobile apps which will give you money back for purchasing specific products. I always check these before going shopping to see what’s on offer. They change on the regular and offers expire so always keep an eye on it and check it just before you go shopping. Otherwise you risk spending money on a product you might not be able to get the cashback on anymore. I’ve explained my favourites and have gone into more detail on these here.
2. Upload photos of your receipts after you’ve done your shopping.
So you’ve completed your food shop and got your receipt – did you know you could earn money from that receipt? You can take a photograph of your receipt and upload it to a few specific mobile apps and they will give you coins or tokens back. You can then save these up and cash them out in money to your bank. I explain this more here.
3. Don’t take ‘best before’ dates as the final word.
I’ve thrown away way too much food because I stuck to the best before dates. Please note – this is not the confused with ‘use by’ dates which you should take much more seriously. However ‘best before’ dates are more of a guidance – the food is still edible and most food will taste absolutely fine for quite a while after this date. Websites like Approved Food sell food past it’s best before at a lower price and if they’re able to sell it, the food must be fine! This also counts for fresh fruit and veg – try and use your own initiative where you can to learn when food is still good. I found this really helpful website which helped me understand this and reduce my fresh fruit/veg waste – http://www.eatbydate.com/
4. Cupboard Inventory
At least once a month, go through your cupboards and freezer and make a list of what you already have. You might find a tin of something at the back of the cupboard you didn’t realise you had – meaning you won’t need to buy it. It makes you much more aware of the food already in your house when you’re meal planning and reduces purchasing items you already own.
5. Batch Cook
Batch Cooking works out much more cost effective. You can then freeze a portion of it for a later date which means you won’t need to cook on another day! There are so many recipes to do this online with a quick search you’ll have thousands of recipes at your fingertips. Batch cooking also means you’re more likely to use up fresh ingredients and not let any go to waste.
6. Meal Plan
Creating a meal plan will save you money as you will only buy the ingredients you need for a meal and not pick up random food along the way which will end up costing you more. I cannot stress the benefits of having a shopping list and a plan in hand!
7. Bulk Buy
Now I don’t mean buy everything in bulk – this is unnecessary and will actually cost you more. But some things it would be much more cost effective to buy in bulk as it works out less per item. I recommend doing this with products such as toilet roll, laundry detergent or tea bags. These are items you will always need to buy and have a much longer lifespan so it doesn’t matter so much if it takes you a while to get through. I always buy the larger packs of these items and once I have them I don’t have to factor them into my food shop for a few weeks or even months.
8. Downshift Brands
You might be surprised at the quality of store own bought products or just a cheaper brand if you would usually buy the expensive one. You don’t have to do this on absolutely everything (although if you tend to buy a lot of brands this would save you a big chunk of money) but definitely test a few out each time you go shopping. For example, I really like ASDA own brand ‘cream of chicken soup’ which is only 39p but a branded product can be as much as £1.10.
9. Loyalty Schemes
Most Grocery stores have some form of loyalty scheme going so make sure you’re signed up to these! This is very simple way to be making money back from the food you would be buying regardless. The benefit of these loyalty schemes is also quite often you will receive discount vouchers and offers on products you often buy from them – so use these to your advantage! I have a blog post all about loyalty cards so you can read more about what’s on offer.
10. Don’t shop hungry
I don’t know how many times I’ve heard this said over the years but seriously – don’t shop hungry. You’ll be a lot more rational if your not ravenous whilst food shopping and will end up with a lot less random foods in your trolley. If I go shopping hungry I can GUARANTEE that my total bill will be higher because I will fancy eating absolutely everything in the store and will pick up enough snacks to feed a family of 10. Even if you have a cereal bar or something before you go in to subside that hunger so you can think straight.