Our top tips for food shopping on a budget…

So recently my contracted hours at work have dropped from full time hours to part time 15 hours a week. 

So due to my hours being less of course like anything it has a effect on income which means I’ve needed to budget and cut back a little more. For you it might be your saving to go on holiday, or saving for  a house deposit? So it might not be a decrease of income it could be other reasons your wanting to budget. 

But anyway the point of my post is I thought it’d be nice to share my 5 top tips for food shopping on a budget…

As always I’m looking for more tips and fresh ideas so if you have any pearls of wisdom please do share them with me in the comments, I’d love to hear them!

One. Always always always make a list… Now this might seem like an obvious one but its honestly so so important. With my lists I start at the beginning of the week, then once I’m running out of items I will add them to the list. I also add any regular items to the list before I go shopping. The reason I find writing a list so important is you have something to go by, I feel more disaplined when I have a list like I don’t want to chuck in everything I see. Plus I find ticking off each item as it goes into my trolley quite satisfying.. however that may just be me! 

Two. Meal planning is my next top tip, so when making my list I plan each meal for the week ahead, write the name of the dish and the ingredients needed. This is a biggie and I have found that it has really helped cut down on our weekly food bill. When I say meal plan I mean detail each evening meal that you will have each night of the week. When I do my meal plan I look through recipe books and pick the meals that I want to cook, I check my cupboards to see what I need and I write this down on my list to make sure that I do not duplicate buy anything. I also will pick one or two meals that are mainly freezer/store cupboard ingredients so that if we are asked out for dinner or decide to go out the food doesn’t go to waste and can be used another day. I honestly love meal planning, to be honest I’ve done it pretty much since I got my own house. Not just budget wise but it’s healthier than ready meals and remember you can always make more and freeze portions! Just a option, remember to always eat within a month from freezing ❄️

Three. Shop online or places like Aldi or Lidl. The thing with big supermarkets, the big 3 I’ll use as examples so Asda, Morrisons and Tesco. Is that there basically all about getting people to buy me than they actually went in for, as you’ll know any of these supermarkets as soon as you walk in its ‘offer’ ‘offer’ ‘offer’ usually before you’ve even walked through the security barriers. Don’t get me wrong sometimes there are some genuinely good offers where you might think, that’s on my list I need that! But the majority of the time it’s sweets or chocolate or something that you were never going for in the first place. Don’t get me wrong a pounds a pound but remember these pounds add up! So my suggestion would be either do your shopping online, from personal experience I feel it keeps me disaplinned as I don’t really deviate from my list. Or try smaller shops such as Aldi and Lidl, for one they are much cheaper on most things and they sell a lot less it’s much more no frills therefore because your not overpowered with choice you literally buy what you went in for! 

Four. Some people might be vegetarians or vegan completely which is great! But for all the meat eaters out there try to go meat free a couple of nights a week. I would typically have meat about 3 nights and the rest would be vegetarian. Try quorn products or the supermarkets own brands can be just as nice. This really cuts cost and it makes you a little bit more adventurous in the kitchen.

Five. Utalise your freezer space! This might sound a bit obvious again but why not use it, your paying for it so don’t have it sat there with very little in. I never used to use frozen vegetables for example as for some reason I believed they wouldn’t be quite as fresh, it’s actually the opposite as they have to be frozen very quickly from being picked, then once frozen they are preserved until cooked. Where as fresh vegetables are picked and transported to wherever they are going to be sold, therefore they are not preserved as quickly as frozen veg. Using your freezer can also mean batch cooking, for example I use my slow cooker to make large meals such as stews, soups or curries and then freeze some portions dinner another night. I also do meals such as cottage pie, instead of making one I will make 2 and freeze several portions. Especially handy this when you’ve got little ones as a time saver as well, yet your still giving them healthy food with minimum salt as you know exactly what is in it!

So I really hope you’ve found my top tips helpful, if you 2 can think of anything that you’ve found a great way to budget your food shop then your comments are more than welcome 😊

Feedback also welcome as always!

Holly x

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