1. Look for coupons before you shop
A quick search for 'Free Coupons' will do the trick, or write to brands and ask. How To Live For Free, by Deepak Tailor, has template letters to send. You can save a lot of money with vouchers.
Reduced to clear yellow stickers in a supermarket. Image: Blogger's Own
2. Hunt for yellow stickers
Reduced to clear discount labels in supermarkets can save you a fortune. Every shop is different so ask when they start their mark downs. On average, the biggest price drops are a few hours from closing.
Buying in bulk can save you lots of money in the long-term. Image: Blogger's Own
3. Bulk buy
Savvy shoppers always look for buy one get one free on non-perishables. Generally, the bigger you buy, the cheaper it is per serving. Stock your cupboards up and pack your freezer to the top.
Save money buy ignoring 'best before' labels. £50 worth of food for £20. Image: Blogger's Own
4. Ignore best before dates and start looking at use by dates
"Best before" means quality. "Use by" means health. Most of the time you can enjoy products for a long time before they go off. Discount retailers such as Approved Food sell unwanted goods that are perfectly edible for pennies on the pound. You can save as much as 80% on your food shopping.
5. Cook cheap
Use your leftovers, buy home brand basics, don't let anything go to waste. Hang herbs upside down to dry them out. Use loaf ends for bread crumbs. Freeze unwanted veg and blend into frozen smoothies. Try Michelin Star fakeaways.
6. Switch to a cheaper supermarket
You may have heard of The 3-30 Money Diet from Money's Big Secret. £30 a week for 3 weeks. One of the best ways to save money for that is to start shopping at a discount retailer. Aldi, Lidl, B&M or Home Bargains. Check their websites before you go out for they often have 'specialbuys': things that are normally expensive like craft beers, but reduced. It pays to make it a special treat.
7. Join deal hunting Facebook groups
Bargain hunters stick together. Online you'll find there are many places where people share tips with each other. Deals spotted in supermarkets, price glitches (more on these below), ideas for cheap recipes. They're free to join and private - so you can ask embarrassing questions in confidence like, "how do I tell if my eggs are off?" One example is called "Latest Deals and Free Stuff Group".
8. Price glitches
Supermarkets and online retailers sometimes make a mistake with their pricing. Usually its when multiple deals overlap with each other. For example, buy one get one free, and buy two for three. Price glitches are rare but they'll save you a fortune on food. The best way to find them is to find out when new deals are starting in-store, and when old ones are ending. If there's an overlap you may be on to something.
9. Avoid corner shops
In big cities such as London this may be hard. Small supermarket stores and corner shops can cost nearly double. Not only do you get hit by higher prices, you're also given smaller products and less choice. Cycle to a bigger shop even if its less convenient. You'll be able to save more money and enjoy more choice.
10. Find freebies
Brands are always giving away free samples and looking for product testers. It's a great way to recession-proof your money. A search for 'free stuff' is all it takes. You apply online and they send you products in the post. It may take a little while to arrive - up to a month - but if you get into a rhythm and apply daily it can turn into a nice stream of free food (as well as other things).