Twenty Two Ways to Save Money on the Food Bill

I went food shopping today and I was reminded of my blog post about saving money on the food bill. Have you read it? Do you have any other tips to share? Please leave a comment.

  1. Swap olive oil for cheaper sunflower or rape seed oil when frying.
  2. Don’t buy prepared vegetables/salad, a bag of salad costs around the same as two whole heads of lettuce.
  3. Weigh each portion of rice and pasta so you have less wastage.
  4. Grow your own herbs, even a pot on your windowsill will save you buying expensive packaged fresh herbs.
  5. Compare the price per kg(lb) of products to find the real bargains.
  6. Make your own flavoured yogurts by buying plain yogurt and adding jam, fruit, nuts, muesli, chocolate chips etc.
  7. Say no to ready meals, make meals in bulk from scratch and freeze them in portions so you have your own ready meals at a fraction of the price.
  8. Eat less meat, choose several nights a week to eat vegetarian.
  9. Don’t buy brands, instead try supermarket own brands.
  10. Make your own bread (dig out your breadmaker from the back of the cupboard, or buy a cheap one on ebay). Bread made at home costs only a few penies and you can make flavoured breads at a fraction of the shop bought price.
  11. Meal plan – plan a whole week of meals so there are no last minute calls to the local takeaway.
  12. Check the fridge, freezer and store cupboard before shopping so no duplicates are bought by mistake.
  13. Dilute fruit juices to make them go further – this also makes them more refreshing as the fruit provides vitamins and the water hydrates.
  14. Check out local shops – at my local Chinese supermarket I can by the same products 3x cheaper than leading supermarket chains.
  15. Don’t buy gravy granules – use some cornflour to thicken sauces.
  16. Make your own muesli with oats and dried fruit, it is cheaper and healthier as there are no hidden sugars or salts.
  17. Use a teapot to make tea, it will provide more than one cup per tea bag.
  18. Make lunches to take out – shop bought sandwiches are expensive and unhealthy.
  19. Don’t thrown away leftovers make bubble and squeak or soup.
  20. Look at the low shelves in the supermarket – items at eye level are more expensive and budget ranges are on the lower shelves.
  21. Find out what time of day your local shop/supermarket reduces the price of items close to their sale by date. At my shop it is 11am, if I go after that I find lots of reduced items I can buy and then freeze to use at a later date.
  22. Do not go food shopping when hungry it will encourage you tol buy more than you need!
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2 Responses to Twenty Two Ways to Save Money on the Food Bill

  1. Audrey Naylor says:

    Dear Vicki
    I loved this list and already do a lot of it, but no. 6 and 16 would save a lot on Eddie’s diet. I need to use these suggestions and get him some convenient containers to take portions of yoghurt to work.
    My own tips are –
    Peel and freeze stem ginger and then when you need it take it out and grate some of it while frozen, using a small grater and put the rest back in the freezer.
    To bake quiche bases blind, don’t invest in expensive ‘baking beans’ use dried pasta and it can be re-used for years and years, kept in a screw top jar.
    Remember cheaper non-veggie options, like liver, tinned pilchards and cook-in-bag kippers – the latter can be cooked in a saucepan with rice and the veg steamed over the top, saving on fuel. Liver can be coated in flour and herbs, stewed with carrots and some pre-fried onions and bacon and there is usually enough for more than 4 meals.
    Add a handful of lentils to your bolognaise when you are running out of lamb or beef mince and make it go further – or completely substitute it with lentils and chopped celery and pepper.
    If there are just two adults to feed, buy a Remoska – it saves heating the whole oven for jacket potatoes and small bakes etc. (These are a bit dangerous with children around and a bit small for a whole family.)
    Invest in those ovenproof dishes with plastic lids to make it convenient to save leftovers or extra portions for the following day, and makes them look well presented and appetising.
    I find shopping on-line with Asda using a list, makes it easier to compare the loose and pre-packaged weight for weight prices, to see at a glance the special offers, and it is less tempting to pick things off the shelf when passing. Despite the delivery charge, you save on petrol and time and avoid temptation. I always spend less than when I go round with a trolley. Energy saved can be used to grow veg in the garden or make your own Christmas presents!!
    I like Asda because you are not paying for store card points!
    Grow rhubarb if you have a moist corner of the garden (not under a tree).
    When you shop for a small item, e.g. a plant for a birthday, go to somewhere other than your usual supermarket, like Lidl, and browse for special offers for things that you can store (eg loo rolls, washing liquid). Make sure they really are cheap! If you walk through the centre aisle in Sainsbury’s you can check out the end of shelf bargains.
    Do someone a favour in return for a meal!
    And my Mum’s old chestnut – when you are really broke – and you are about to get to the check-out, put something back on the shelf!

  2. A woman after my own heart. I’m all for home-economics and hate waste.
    Another tip for herbs is if you have any left over is to chop them up and freeze them, I find Parsley is fab like this.
    Equally chilli peppers can be frozen whole and used when needed.
    Markets and the cheapest place to buy fruit and vegetables and have sometimes been dumfounded by the sheer quantities I’ve come home with for a pound!
    Find someone to shop with so you can better utilise BOGOF offers. So often the supermarkets have ridiculous offers eg on melons which you can’t get through.
    Keep up the good work!

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