I am (as always) concerned about eating good quality food, but I am less concerned about it being organic. Also, I can see that I need to eat healthy foods for the long term.
It's made me put into practice what I already know about saving money on food. Here are five ways you can save money on your food shopping.
1. Use your local market
We have a great market here twice a week. It has always been my plan to take BB to the market, as an educational and social experience, as well as a money saving exercise. That said, it happens only about once a month. The rest of the time it's just easier to use the supermarket. I pledge to get out of that habit!
With a new determination to eat well for less, I headed to the market this morning. The total cost was £12.20.
A quick internet search found a site that helps you compare prices, I have worked out how much it would have cost me at the supermarket:
I generally shop online and have my food delivered (I have a very good deal at £1.49 per month for deliveries). Still, sometimes you get produce that you wouldn't have picked yourself, so really, going to the market and picking your own is win-win. Better quality, better prices. I must remember that!
2. Buy in bulk and freeze in portions
Look out for deals where you save money by buying more, then as soon as you get the food home, divide it up into portions of a size that you will use for cooking. For us, it works to divide a 500g packet of mince in two. The 250g portion will then (with added veg) make enough for BB and I, plus some leftovers for my breakfast the next day.
Make the most of the deals
Portion up ready for the freezer
Don't forget to label the bag, saying what it is and the date that you froze it
3. Cook and freeze your pulses in portions
Although pulses like kidney beans and chick peas are more convenient from a can, they taste better and cost less if you soak and cook them yourself. This isn't always practical though, especially of you need to soak them for 24 hours! Again, freezing in portions is the answer. Buy a bag of dried beans, then soak and cook the whole the bag at once. Once they are cooked, freeze in portions. For us, I find about a cup full is the right amount - if we have guests, I simply use two packs.
Chick peas, brown lentils and kidney beans work well.
4. Shop around, with the help of the internet, and NEVER pay full price if you don't have to
I never pay full price for laundry liquid, fabric softener, washing up liquid, hand soap, shampoo, conditioner, bubble bath, nappies, or even ice cream. I have my favourite brands, which I always buy, but where I buy them varies. You can use MySupermarket to check prices. Often they are available somewhere for about half the 'usual' retail price. When you find them really cheap, stock up.
5. Make the most of your vouchers
You have to be careful here, not to buy stuff you don't need, but if one supermarket gives you a voucher to save £4 if you spend £20, then do it. Use the other vouchers for things you would buy anyway, and keep a tally as you go round the shop. When you get to £20, stop. You have spent all you need to save the £4. Get the rest of your shopping at another supermarket using their voucher.
I have noticed it doesn't pay to do a big shop anywhere. Once you have used your discount when you spent £20 the next one they give you will ask you to spend £40, then £60. You have to stop shopping there before they get to that... they'll soon send you another for a lower spend!
An online shop I am really loving at the moment is Goodness Direct. Lots of their prices are very competitive with the supermarkets.
My goal is to spend half the amount on groceries in the next 30 days than I did in the last 30 days. That's probably going to be quite a challenge, but I am stocked up on some items, and I don't have to buy organic every time now, and I am going to shop smarter - so I might just manage it!
Do you have any other tips to share?
What's your shopping savings goal?
Blissful Mama is a single mum by choice, enjoying life with her Blissful Boy. Blogging about play, learning, cooking, crafting, diet, health and general ramblings on life
Blogs at: A Blissful Life
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