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%!
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 With buying less, that means less wastage and less items going out of date and ending up in the bin.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 I now buy frozen veg and only buy enough fruit to last us before they will go out of date.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.
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.
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.
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.
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?