There are a lot of different expenses that eat up our wages these days, often leading to us needing to borrow more. The chances are that you sit down at the end of each month and divide your cash into expenses ranging all the way from the loan repayments you’re making for your new car, to the cost of gas and electricity. However, one of the most commonly overlooked and overwhelming expense that we deal with is food.
Now that winter is here and the season of indulgence is upon us, it’s more important than ever for families to start thinking more carefully about the way that they deal with food. If you’re the kind of person that’s always overspending when you go to the supermarket, the following tips could help to ensure that food shopping doesn’t eat up all of your cash.
Start Planning Ahead :
One of the easiest ways to get a handle on your spending is to take inventory of what you have and what you need when you’re going shopping. Sit down with your family and decide what kind of meals you want to eat for the next seven days, and what you already have in your fridge and freezer. From there, you can create a list of items to look for when you’re going shopping, (and avoid buying anything else).
One useful idea might also be to have a light snack before you go shopping, as this will stop your stomach from overriding your mind when you see things that you might want to eat but haven’t planned for. Before you plan your menu, consider checking out what kind of foods are on sale too.
Stop Buying Branded Items :
This is one of the most common money-saving tips you’ll find on any article about cutting the costs of food shopping for a reason. Ultimately, branded items usually don’t taste any better than the items that are available for a lot cheaper – it’s all in your head. If you check out the ingredients that are on the back of the product, you’ll usually find that they’re exactly the same.
Whenever you can, avoid paying more for fancy packaging on your products. This is definitely something you should be thinking about when it comes to the items you buy alongside your food at the supermarket too, such as toilet roll and tissue paper.
Take Advantage of Offers :
These days, most supermarkets will have an online version of their store that you can browse through before you go shopping in person. Check whether there are any offers available online before you start making your list of products to shop for, so you can plan your week accordingly. Make sure that you check for vouchers and coupons that you can use on your favourite items too.
Remember to double-check the discounted food section in your supermarket too for anything that you can use straight away when you get home or something that you can freeze and use later. You’d be surprised how many deals you can get here.
Be Careful with Perishables :
While it’s great to eat plenty of fresh foods, we don’t always have a lot of time to prep those items ourselves. Before you start throwing fruits and veggies into your cart, ask yourself when you’re going to use them, and whether you’re going to have enough time. If not, consider looking for frozen, canned or dried versions instead.
When you get home with all of the products that you’ve purchased, look for ways to make them last longer too. For instance, you might be able to prep some meals in advance and put them in your freezer for later. Not only will this save some food from going off, but it will also mean that your meals are ready to cook when you’re exhausted after work and you can’t be bothered to spend long in the kitchen.
Plant a Garden :
Finally, if you’re sick of constantly over-spending on fruits and vegetables, why not look into making some of your own? There are a lot of great fruits and veggies that you can easily grow for yourself in the UK within a small garden or window box. Consider asking your kids to get involved with you and you’ll have a fun way to keep them entertained on the weekends too!
What’s more, growing foods yourself translates into a useful skill that really helps you to enjoy the meals that you eat together with your family a lot more.
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