How to cut your food shopping bill

With the overall price of food and non-alcoholic beverages rising around 26% between December 2022 and December 2023, it is no wonder so many of us are feeling the pinch.

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), over a third of adults reported that they were buying less food than when shopping in the last two weeks (17th January 2023) due to the rising food costs.

Although the rate of food prices has slowed down, they still remain high. Now, the team at Mortgage Required, may not be able to lower the prices in your local supermarket, but we have come up with a list of tips to help you lower your food shopping bill.

  • Plan your meals
    Planning your meals, ideally for the week ahead can certainly save you a few pennies. You can shop the offers for that week, and re-use items that may ordinarily go to waste. For example, you could be making a pasta meal that requires half a pack of mushrooms, to prevent waste you could schedule an omelette to use up the rest!
  • Make a shopping list
    And stick to it! You’ve got your meals planned out, now you just need to buy the ingredients for them. Avoid impulse purchases and think of need, not want.
  • Special offers
    It is important to stick to a shopping list, however, if there are non-perishable items on offer that can save you money in the long run, they are worth purchasing. You can also buy foods that are reduced and safe to freeze if you have space in the freezer which will help you to save.
  • Purchase own brands
    Consider buying store-branded products as they are often of comparable quality and cheaper.
  • Take advantage of loyalty schemes
    Almost all supermarkets have some sort of loyalty scheme where you can purchase the products for a lower price, and build up money-off vouchers for future shops.
  • Eat at home
    Eating out or getting a takeaway can be very expensive, and sometimes equate to half a week’s food shopping bill for some people! Cooking at home and using ingredients you already have can be much more cost-effective.

  • Use your store cupboard
    You might think “we have nothing to eat”, but on further inspection, you may find your store cupboard can provide a meal or two – after all, beans on toast can be a good source of protein and fibre!

  • Prep, prep, prep
    You might find it a pain to prep, but if you can dedicate some time each week to cook larger quantities of food and divide them into portions for the week, it can save time and money by preventing the urge for a last-minute takeaway. You can always freeze some portions so you’ll have some home-cooked meals at hand when you don’t feel like cooking.
  • Minimise food waste
    Think about reducing food waste by correctly storing and using leftovers – again, these leftovers could be used for future meals. It’s important to keep the temperature of your fridge at 4 degrees or lower to keep food fresh – according to Good Housekeeping, the average UK household throws away £70 of otherwise edible food every month simply because it hadn’t been stored properly!
  • Avoid convenience foods
    Pre-packaged foods like frozen ready meals and snacks are usually more expensive, and quite often not as good for you.
  • Frozen fruit and vegetables
    Frozen fruit and veg contain a great amount of nutrients as they are picked from fresh and frozen straight away. They are usually cheaper than fresh and are handy to have in the freezer. You just need to get out what you are planning to use to prevent any waste. They are also better than tinned fruit and vegetables which contain preservatives.

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