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Food is an essential. It’s something that we need to live, but also something that we should enjoy. Unfortunately, many of the foods that we enjoy, as well as the staples of our diet, can be expensive. At the moment, many of us are noticing that prices are rising and that our weekly shop is more expensive than it was a few short months ago. With more uncertainly coming in the coming months, this situation may become worse.
Perhaps the easiest way to reduce the cost of your grocery shopping is to eat plain pasta, dry bread and cooked rice. But, that’s certainly not the answer. You shouldn’t have to sacrifice flavour or nutritional value to be able to afford food, and you don’t. Instead, you need to become a savvy grocery shopper. Here’s how.
Think Outside the Box
Your local supermarket might be convenient. It might be where you’ve always shopped, and it might even offer some great prices and deals. But, that doesn’t mean that it’s always the best option and it certainly isn’t your only option. Check out your local fresh food markets and butchers as well as online pound shops.
Shopping on a budget might mean that you don’t get everything from the same place. You might get fruit from one store, and treats and snacks for £1 from an online pound shop. For example, Low Price Foods have a range of snacks, treats and store cupboard essentials in their online store. Many of these might be close to or slightly past their best before date, which is why they are so cheap. But, when you try an online pound store, remember, best before dates are all about quality, not safety.
Perhaps the best way to be savvy is to plan. Sit down and write a meal plan for the week ahead, including breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Then, check your cupboards to see what ingredients you need and write a list, including absolutely everything.
Be Strict with Yourself
Writing a list is a great first step, but so many of us are guilty of completely losing our heads as soon as we enter the store. The savviest shoppers are the strictest. They stick to their lists 100%.
Start with the Cheapest Option
Most supermarkets offer products in at least three different price ranges. There’s the branded, the supermarket own luxury, and the basic. Sometimes, the most expensive tastes the best, but not always. Start with the cheapest option and only move up a price point if you don’t like it.
Start Looking at Unit Prices
Comparing prices between brands and offers is great, but the unit price is actually far more important than the overall cost. Buying in bulk often means that individual items or per 100gs is cheaper, but not always. Check the unit prices before assuming that something is cheaper.
Don’t Buy All the Deals
Deals and offers are a great way to save money, but only if they are on things that you’d have bought anyway. If you are adding things that aren’t on your list to your trolley because they are on offer, you are still spending more than you need to.
There are some luxuries that we don’t need. Cutting them out entirely is a great way to reduce your expenses, but you can’t do that with food. So instead, you need to be savvy.