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Budgeting - How To Reduce Your Food Shop By 50%


I've always been bad at buying far too much whilst doing the food shop which results in a lot of it ending up in the bin! Over the past few weeks i have been trying to cut down my weekly shop and also budget better. I always find myself wasting a lot of food and think that it's about time i sorted out my budgeting skills. With help from a friend who is a pro at finding bargains and budgeting i have learnt how to spend my money wisely. Today i am sharing with you have i have discovered that i can cut my weekly shopping by 50%!

Budget

The first thing you need to do is work out your budget. How much do you usually spend a week/month on the food shop. Once you have worked that out then you will know how much you need to cut it down to. 

Previously i would always spend £60-80 a week on the food shop and this was mostly just for me and a few bits for Amelia. Andy works every day so he gets food there. My aim is to cut this down to roughly £40 a week so £160 a month instead of the usual 300+. This doesn't include nappies or wipes. 

Where to shop

Up until recently i have always done my food shop at Morrisons, simply because i know my way around the store and it's the closest to me. But every now and again if i'm lazy i will do a shop online with Tesco as it's very convenient. At the new house i think i will continue to use Tesco for delivery as it actually works out cheaper in the long run. You need to work out whats best for you and find the supermarket that you are comfortable with to start finding the deals. With buying less, that means less wastage and less items going out of date and ending up in the bin. I was really bad for this with fruit and veg and bread. I now buy frozen veg and only buy enough fruit to last us before they will go out of date. With the bread i now freeze half a loaf and still buy a new loaf the following week but i find it doesn't get wasted this way. 

When to shop

What time of the day do you do your food shop? If you are after further reductions and wanting to reduce your food shop even more it's a good idea to know what time the reductions begin at in  the supermarket. Reduction times vary at store to store but the same patterns emerge. After the morning rush around 10am the first lot of yellow stickers will start to appear, leading to 50% at around 4/5pm and then an even further reduction at 7/8pm of up to 75%! I know many people who do their food shop last thing at night but you can't always guarantee that the supermarket will have everything that you need. 

Meal plan, meal plan, meal plan!

The best way to make your shopping list super effective is to write a meal plan for the week. That way you can work out what you're going to be eating every day using the ingredients you already have and not wasting products. I will be starting to meal plan this week and to do this, i need to learn how to eat healthier and plan my daily meals. I have decided to start writing down what meals we will be eating every day and sticking to it. Before this i would just walk around the shop and buy everything that caught my eye.

Never shop when hungry

If there was only one piece of advice i could give you, it would be not to do you food shop on an empty stomach. I now eat before doing my shop as then i'm not tempted to buy everything i see and tons of junk food. I started doing this and i have noticed that the food shop had decreased and pretty much cut down to half of what i was paying before! 
Cook meals from scratch
This is one thing i'm not very good at sticking to. I'm not a cook, and i'm rather lazy to be honest. I think the main reason for this is due to the fact that Andy works 12-15 hour shift so is never home for dinner and Amelia eats handfuls so i always end up having a ready meal or takeaway. I have however recently got back into cooking and starting to make more meals from scratch for example, stir fry, chicken casserole, curry, chilli con carne all of which Amelia will eat a few spoonfuls of. 
Use coupons!
You know them annoying leaflets you get through your door every so often, yes those! Well they are  full of coupons and money off vouchers which are worth using. Some of them are useless and some only give you a few pennies off but it all adds up. Also with Tesco vouchers you can trade them in and use them on other products! Also hundreds of free coupons are available instantly online check out google for voucher sites. Look for coupons on already-discounted products, as they'll work out uber-cheap.

BOGOF

Buy one get one free - Know when to use these promotions properly. For example on toothpaste, loo roll, stuff you can store in the cupboard that won't go off and will come in handy. 

Switch brands

A simple way to cut your budget is to switch brands. Especially if you usually buy the finest range or well known brands. Perhaps go down to shops own or even the savers range if you really want to cut down your budget. Of course you don't need to do this for even item you are wanting to buy but maybe just start off with a few items every week and you can see where you are saving money.

Do you have any money saving tips to share when doing the food shop? 

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168 comments

  1. These are all great tips! We are really working on lowering our food spending. Meal planning has been a lifesaver!

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  2. Great tips - we don't set a budget and spend far too much on things i end up just throwing things in the trolley. Seriously need to cut back though...

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  3. WOW. £40? Amazing! We spend £100 each week :( And we're vegetarians, so we don't buy expensive meat!


    Alex
    www.Bump-to-Baby.com
    UK based Lifestyle & Parenting Blog


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  4. I freeze half a loaf of bread too, we used to throw away so much bread but now I don't remember the last time I had to chuck any!
    I spend about £30-35/week for me and boyfriend, plus his three kids a couple of days a week - but we are on an extremely tight budget and there are things we end up having to miss out on. I think we could comfortably do it on about £45 :) Some really useful tips here!

    Jess xo

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  5. Nick would nip into the shop everyday after work and would spend £20 or £30 a time!! We did an online shop for the first time in ages this week and spent £85. Which is still a fortune I think. It probably will last us less than a week. The main expense is chicken! We eat well, fresh meat, fresh veg and fresh fruit and that's why we end up spending so much! We never have frozen tea's. Think we should start doing so!

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  6. Fantastic post. I'll certainly be using some of these helpful tips! xx

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  7. Great tips thank you, and I certainly plan on trying to follow them! There is 5 of us in the house and the amount we spend in the supermarket is extortionate!

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  8. Great advice thankyou!, I love saving money and you've got some great tips in there that I'll definitely have a go at! :)

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  9. meal planning definitely works!

    @ashlallan

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  10. Great ideas, I love a money saving idea - anything to help the pennies go a little further :)

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  11. brilliant tips, I'm all for moneysaving.... thank you.

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  12. Some great tips - thank you for sharing them with us!

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  13. Hi love Trinki's so much I want them to make an adult one!

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  14. we started shopping at aldi where I can fill a trolly for £60 its much cheaper than shopping elsewhere

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  15. I always buy a trolley full of pepsi when its reduced to 99p! its not like we will use it any quicker. Nothing worse than when you run out and its the week they have to charge £1.99 just so they can sell it half price a week later!

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  16. i always meal plan now so i dont buy things that wont get used :)

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  17. dont take the kids with you saves all the extras they add arghhhh

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  18. we do lots of shopping in Aldi now much cheaper than the main ones and we actually prefer most of their lines too

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  19. We also find that shopping online saves us loads as it is easier to find all the deals and plan your meals around them.

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  20. We always try to plan meals, some great ideas

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  21. Fantastic tips will be using some!

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  22. Great tips, it's true that a lot of food usually end up in the bin. I can't believe how much waste we have every week. I think I will try to plan weekly my meals too, but I just can't be bothered haha.

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  23. great tips! trying not to waste a lot helps too

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  24. we normally buy value stuff and reduced item, and i cant say that it tastes worse than higher price food

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  25. Great advice, I tend to be a supermarker sweeper, get in and out as quickly as possible so end up having to go back again because of the items I forgot the first time and end up buying more

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  26. I check offers on the store websites and am lucky enough to live near Tesco, Morrisons, Asda, Sainsburys, Aldi, Farmfoods, Iceland, Home Bargains and B&M so can save a lot by not getting everything in one place. Yes it takes a bit longer, about 4 hours to do a months shop but the savings are worth it.

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  27. I always shop when I'm hungry!!! I think that's my problem... grrrr :))

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  28. Some great tips. I have a meal planner and stick to my shopping list every week.

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  29. Great tips. We always buy too much lol

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  30. my tip would be, hold back a little when dishing up. If you save a few bits of chicken for example, simply put in a bag in the freezer and keep adding too, you will be surprised to find it doesn't take long before you have enought to make say sweet and sour chicken or chicken (& other left overs) pie.
    If you put it on the table, people eat it, if you keep it back, if someone is still hungry you can bring it out, but usually you can just squirrel it away

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  31. I have downgraded to shopping at Aldi, I cannot get everything there but it is much better value

    http://umeandthekids.com/

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  32. Great tips for budgeting! As a student I had to learn the hard way how to budget

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  33. This is all great advice and just when we need it! Thank you!

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  34. never shop when hungry is an important one I need to remember! (Rebecca beesley)x

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  35. we used to plan meals but have got lazy recently and got out of the habit. we tend to freeze leftovers to make more meals so it lasts a lot longer.

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  36. Don't be afraid to try a lower cost supermarket, I have tried Aldi for a while now and found some great products at such better prices. (not to mention their nappies and wipes)

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  37. Some great tips here. I really should try meal planning.

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  38. This is super useful, thank you for taking the time to write it!

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  39. very useful tips that I really need! Can totally recommend NEVER ever shop when hungry as you'll end up looking at everything you bought after you have eaten and think oops!

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  40. Fab post, Kerry! Bookmarking it and coming back to it xx

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  41. best tip you have is never eat when your hungry its so true I always end up filling the trolley with rubbish if i go when im hungry

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  42. Wow some great tips here. I'm gonna have to show these to my mum! :)

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  43. I need to try to get to the bottom of my freezers I keep seeing bargains any buying them then I don't get to empty the freezer

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  44. I'd like to start meal planning but it seems such a chore. I need some borrow some ready-made meal plans.

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  45. Mark Witherington2 September 2013 at 07:31

    Useful ideas many thanks

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  46. we do monthly shop and top up what we need when we need it which ic normally not much

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  47. Meal planning makes a real difference, also buying in bulk if you can. I visit farms and buy large bags of potatos for about £7 - where as a small bag of potatos in the supermarkets are £2 - £3!

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  48. In the process of starting this and I'm quite excited

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  49. Thankyou for the tips, great money saving ideas

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  50. Great tips, Meal planning is something I have always done.

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  51. Brilliant tips - I must start budgeting! I buy too many cakes!!!

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  52. Great tips....when I shop I plan for the weeks meals before I shop :)

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  53. Great tips, but most of them I knew.

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  54. Good tips here. I have started making meals from scratch since I had my second child. Its more work but I feel better knowing that there are no additives or preservatives in our food.x

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  55. Fab post. The one about not shopping when hungry is so true, I buy all sorts of rubbish if I haven't eaten!

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  56. Tesco's online is great my sister has these delivered to her door (up a steep set of steps) and the delivery guy always takes them up the stairs and into her home Great.... and buying online reduces the impulse buying now that's a saving tip in itself!

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  57. Great post - definately need to save money.

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  58. Great tips, thanks for sharing!Definitely need to start applying some of these, could do with saving some money!

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  59. This is really helpful - we're saving for our wedding so very handy!

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  60. Great tips. BOGOF's are only cheap if you can use them.. hubby has a habit of buying 2 fresh loaves and then throwing half away !

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  61. I've found its worth trying supermarket own brands, some are just as good as premium brands and some aren't - I use own brand coffee, tea and most tinned items and it saves quite a bit ;o) (Rafflecopter entries for competition are in my real name of Nikki Hayes)

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  62. thank you for the advice x

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  63. Great post! I now go to Lidl and i cant believe how much cheaper it is! although some bits i do have to go to tesco for but its cheaper in the long run so i dont mind X

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  64. Very relevant tips / suggestions. Most certainly agree with the don't go food shopping on an empty stomach. Certainly would say scan your stock at home, as it can be amazing what you have forgotten about which is useful, maybe for the next meal. I tend to store bread in the fridge, which keeps it fresh for that little bit longer.

    Rachel Craig

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  65. I find I've saved a lot of wastage by shopping every day. I just buy what I need and any leftovers I can use the next day. Saves me throwing half of my food away because I've had it in the fridge too long.

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  66. Some really useful tips here!

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  67. Pam Francis Gregory2 September 2013 at 20:52

    Thanks for the really useful tips

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  68. Excellent tips that we could all use these days - food is so expensive!!

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  69. Some great tips ill definitely give a go! I totally agree with not shopping when hungry, I've made that mistake many times :/

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  70. Fantastic tips, some I hadn't even thought of!
    Thank you x

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  71. meal planning definitely works! great tips! thanks

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  72. Great tips! I couldn't get over how much we saved on nappies after using coupons.

    Hele

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  73. Great tips! I am all for meal planning - must get back into that! @mummiafelice

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  74. Great tips. Shopping late in the day and buying quality reductions is my favourite way to save.

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  75. I tend to buy food that i can make up into meals to last 2 or 3 days, things that can be bulked out with cheaper ingrediants i.e stews, cottage pies, currys can all be filled with cheap veggies to make them go further

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  76. Portion control - actually weighing prtions out before cooking things like rice and pasta mean we use much less than we do when just guestimating how much we need

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  77. I always go when I'm hungry, I grab loads of crap, that's why I prefer to o an online shop..x

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  78. We go to Lidl, example of why Lidl Blueberries 89p, Morrisons Blueberries £2. I don't think so!
    We spend £65 a week, inc nappies etc for 5 of us.
    I love cooking, I love scrimping so sticking to budgets are no problem.

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  79. Aldi or Lidl are my tip - and knowing your prices :)

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  80. Make sure offers are really what they seem - sometimes two smaller ones on offer are still dearer than the large size on its own.

    Hazel Rea - @beachrambler

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  81. thank you for the tips I will try this!

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  82. SOme fantastic tips,I work in a Supermarket,so get discount,but we often buy the value range as for most things it's really no different to other brands

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  83. I have bookmarked this page to read tomorrow :)

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  84. I always go straight to the whoopsie isle, you can get some really good reduced bits that can be frozen, they get cheaper as day goes on so last thing at night is good but then there may not be as much as there was in the morning

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  85. gret tips and a good read ty

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  86. i also budget for shopping. i plan the weeks meals ahead then i shop online so im not tempted to pick anything else up :)

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  87. Great points and tips!!.....im defo a budget shopper!

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  88. some really good tips here, i had to cut down on my food shop due to redundancy so im quite a dab hand at budget shopping

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  89. Great tips, I tend to shop later in the day so that i get some of my shopping in the reduced section, but there's less and less stuff there, maybe more people are getting the reduced items earlier in the day .

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  90. Planing always saves money - I also get such great stuff from Aldi and it saves loads xx

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    1. We shop online now and don't spend as much as we did in store. In store, I always bought things I didn't need

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  91. some really good and useful tips there :)

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  92. I always make a list, plan meals and have changed supermarkets. I am now a massive Aldis fan and save so much money each week :) :)

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  93. great ways to save money I am going to try to see if I can save as much as you :)

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  94. fantastic, i have to admit i use Aldis and have been saving over £150 a month on my food bill alone.

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  95. Have to admit i don't like aldi or the food it sells. I do a lot of shopping in Tesco and have started buying some value range foods there. Saves a fortune

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  96. Great tips which I'm definitely going to put into action. The main culprit for me is not making a list and being wooed by the offers, going into the supermarket for one thing and coming out with a trolley full. It must stop!

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  97. Fab tips, I'm definately going to follow some or even all of these to save some money, which with Christmas not too far off will be brilliant! Thank you x

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  98. love the 'never shop when hungry' you're so right!!

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  99. really need to follow this advice.

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  100. a great post, I've recently started shopping in Aldi, some great prices and the food is great quality x

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  101. WE have recently had an Asda built near where I live so I go to Tesco and Asda and get the best bargains in each. I buy cereals when they are on offer so have a nice variety in the cupboard all the time. Great for a snack in the evening too.
    Only thing I find hard to buy bargain wise is for my cat who doesn't eat all brands of cat food so he can be expensive x

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  102. I was so good at writing my list, then went and forgot to take it with me :-Z

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  103. Great advice. I always find some own brand products are much nicer than the real deal or actually just the same.

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  104. Great Tips! I've been freezing my bread for ages, and nearly always buy the own brand products. I also take the time to go round all the discounters in my town.

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  105. Thanks for the tips, they are well worth the read, and most of us would like to save money

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  106. I live opposite a Sainsbury's and spend SO much money in there as I tend to go in daily instead of planning a big shop. The only plus is that I can get there for when they mark the meat as discounted! x

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  107. Really useful tips here I'm having issues with my finances atm so this could really come in helpful

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  108. My son & his fiancee have just got their own place & I'll be passing on these tips to them

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  109. very handy, especially with 5 kids and xmas coming up!

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  110. brilliant tips find them really useful

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  111. thanks so much for these fab tips!

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  112. thanks so much for these fab tips!

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  113. thanks so much for these fab tips!

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  114. Great simple steps definitely try it out

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  115. Annie Costa @LaaMoii12 September 2013 at 11:32

    Great tips,I do all my shopping at Lidl as the veg&fruit works out cheaper!

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  116. Fab post. We do 90% of our food shopping online that we we're not tempted by any deals, offers or sweet things. Easier with a kid too ;)

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  117. Anything that helps with the soaring cost of the weekly food shop is most welcome - so thank you for some great ideas.

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  118. Elizabeth Williams12 September 2013 at 18:00

    I really need to work on reducing our food shop bill. Great tips.

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  119. Michelle Clarke

    great post with some top tips and ideas. will be looking into them

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  120. Some great tips, I'm going to put these into practice this weekend

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  121. Very handy, thanks for the tips! :)

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  122. I shop in town once a week and find this much cheaper and less tempting than large supermarkets with the local fruit n veg shop, Iceland, Wilkinsons, Poundland and even M & S in our local Precinct next to a large car park. My spend is around £30 a week all including toiletries etc. Otherwise I shop now and again at Aldi or others when I have vouchers & coupons. Great tips to plan meals whilst shopping so you can buy the reduced items for the next few days meals and check for longest dates for other meals. Also find reduced foods you can freeze :-)Great blog :-)

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  123. great tips, i regularly shop online and find that i'm able to scrutinise the shop more closely & scan for deals etc, which outweighs the delivery charge. it's also super convenient having it delivered when we're a working family. however I'm not loyal - if i get a savings voucher for alternative store then I'm offski to make the savings :)

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  124. If cooking from scratch seems a burden, use some of those takeaway tubs to freeze extra portions ;)

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  125. I have another tip...We used to buy meat and things that were on offer and split them with a family member so we both got a good deal and none of it went to waste :)

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  126. just love this

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  127. Exactly what I do when I shop - would recommend when shopping for groceries online only now and again to wait for Tesco to offer money off your next shop once you've not shopped for a while.

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  128. I use an online supermarket comparison site to check which supermarket has the most items we use regularly on offer and go to that one

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  129. Great tips, thank you. Now I know where I'm going wrong....I never eat before I go shopping, thats probably why I end up buying crisps & biscuits which cost a small fortune, the don't last long in our house either!

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  130. Great tips we find it cheaper to buy bigger packs of meat and make a big pot of chilli or curry which we then freeze and have some for dinner. It works out cheaper per meal as we already have some meals ready to go in the freezer and its great for days when you just cant be bothered to cook.

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  131. Great tips, will definately be using some of these

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  132. great tips i need to use a list when shopping

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  133. fab tips we have recently started shopping in aldi and fill our trolley for half the price :)

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  134. great tips will need to get hubby to read it as he is doing most of the shopping just now

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  135. Great advice! I definitely agree with not shopping when your hungry, I always spend a lot more!

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  136. Great tips, I am doing the same since last week and it works.

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  137. Some very good advice i need to start following some it

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  138. Thanks For those tips!We all need to share things like this with as many Peeps as possible in these Gruelling Times!!My Little Family are Vegetarian so we use a lot of Soya Products,but for those reading this who eat meat,a way of making your mince go further or even using as a replacement to mince in recipes such as cottage pies and bolognaise,Buy a bag of soya Mince from health food shops or holland and Barrett.Its about £1.50 or so for 350-500g bags.I weigh out 2 Measly Ounces to make enough for 4 Portions!!So easy just soak it in boiling water or stock while you fry your onions and then add to pan and continue doing your own thing!Lots of meat eaters have never asked or even guessed it wasnt mince SO There you have it!Go on Give it a go,Youve nothing to loose and Lots To Save !Bright Blessings all X

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  139. all ways good to have new budgeting tips

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  140. Great advice I need all the help I can get with having five children x

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  141. An easy way to cut your food bill is to eat more veggies and grow your own. This not only cuts costs but has the added benefits of teaching little ones where their food comes from and reducing additives / preservatives.

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  142. Don't buy things just because they are on offer. Sometimes you will find other brands are still cheaper.

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  143. We use so many coupons and my OH goes and gets all the meat in the evening when it is reduced.

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  144. This was extremely helpful. Specially since we have had Holly :)

    http://workingmumy.blogspot.com

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Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment. I love reading them all and will try my best to answer all of your questions. If you would like to contact me for a quicker response please feel free to tweet me at (@ohsoamelia_blog) or email me. Kerry