Keeping the family fed can cost a lot of money with some families regularly spending over a hundred pounds on weekly shops. Being frugal with your finances can reduce this to almost a third – and you don’t have to starve yourself and your family in the process. Here are 5 ways to cut your costs whilst still eating healthy foods and wholesome portions.
Take advantage of coupons and deals
Supermarkets always have deals on - although some are set up to make you spend more money by making you buy more than you would do originally. The deals to avoid are ‘buy one get one half price offers’. Instead stick to reductions on sole items and BOGOF deals.
Many supermarkets may also accept vouchers and coupons. Newspapers may provide these. You may also be able to find a voucher online such as a Walmart coupon code.
It’s okay to overportion, so long as the leftovers get eaten. Quite often they can make great lunch tomorrow (leftover meat can make a tasty sandwich or soup). Other useful meals for using up leftovers are curry, stew and lasagne. Shove in any meat or vegetables from the night before and use up half tins or semi-opened packets that are close to their sell-by date.
Lower your meat intake
Aside from alcohol, meat is the most expensive item on most people’s shopping list. That said you don’t have to go veggie just to cut costs. Instead, simply limit your meat-eating to every other day. You can also use meat more sparingly by filling out meals such as stews and curries with other foods such as beans, potatoes and carrots. Avoid tinned meat substitutes as these processed foods aren’t as healthy.
Say bye bye to big brands
Okay, so you treat yourself occasionally to well-known brands. But in most cases is the quality really that different? Most supermarkets’ own brand substitutes will do the job and save you a lot of money. This includes sauces, juices, pasta, rice and snacks like biscuits and crisps. Some supermarkets may hide these own brand foods on the upper and lower shelves so take the time to look at prices carefully and don’t just pick up the first item you see on the shelf. Markets can also offer great deals on organic fresh foods such as fruit and veg.
Shop around and don’t be loyal
Visit different supermarkets to get an idea of which ones offer the best deals on various different foods. This may make shopping trips longer by having to visiting multiple stores, but will ultimately save you money. Don’t forget to also visit independent stores such as corner shops and pound stores that may have deals on specific items. Feel free to buy into certain loyalty schemes such as loyalty cards but don’t allow these to dictate where you visit each time – unless you need to go back to that store for its specific deals you may be better off buying certain foods elsewhere.