Friday 2 March 2018

5 Ways to Save Money on the Family Food Shop

If your family eats just as much as mine do, then you’ll understand the battle I have when it comes to the dreaded food shop. There’s always something new to try or something that just doesn’t get eaten and food is quite often wasted and so I’ve been trying to save money whilst on maternity leave, I’ve become a lot more savvy with my food shopping and started to do some extra bits that helps to save those pennies and pounds!

It’s quite often that I feel like I need to take out a personal loan just to cover the months food bill, especially now that Mylo is weaning and with lots of people trying to ‘eat healthy’ at the moment too, myself included, shopping for healthier foods can also tally up on the shopping list and they don’t come cheap but take a look at some of my tips to become a savvier food shopper and even take the stress out of the shop!

1 - Shop Online
I try and shop online as often as I can and I usually use Asda as I can pick it up for free from my Asda Petrol station that is 2 minutes away from me and it saves on delivery costs! Shopping online allows you to simply buy the items you need nothing more! You’re not tempted by end of isle bargains or chocolate at the tills - plus, if you shop with Asda, you can use the Asda Price Guarantee to get vouchers for money off your next shop if it wasn’t cheaper than all of the other supermarkets! 

2 - Plan your meals
I meal plan as far as 2 weeks ahead - this is lunch and dinners for us all. It means that once I’ve planned the meals, I know what things we need to buy. I often repeat weeks and save the plans so that I don’t have to rethink about them all. You can get cute little fridge planners from Aldi at the moment too! Here’s an example of a weeks worth of meals that would cost less than £20.00 to buy:

3 - Bulk make meals 
Don’t just make meals to eat then and there, make some for another day - lunch or dinners or even for the kids! Along with bulk making them, bulk them out too by using more vegetables or pulses if the meal will take them. I only use 250g of mince in dishes like Bolognase, Chilli and Cottage pie meaning I’ll get double the amount from a 500g packet of mince. You can use another tin of tomatoes, mushrooms, grated carrot, another onion, anything that you’re using anyway just double up on them as you’ll find that vegetables are cheaper than meat! 

4 - Use meal plan boxes
If you get bored of your meals and are prone to sacking off the chicken and veg and ordering a takeaway, then make use of meal subscription boxes. We use Gousto once a month and get a 4 meal box which means for that week, we have a new selection of meals to try and use again in the rest of the month. They come with handy recipe cards so if you find something you love, it’s easy to remake and shop the ingredients again! Also, you can save yourself some money too as they offer a loyalty scheme where if you recommend a friend, you get £15 credit meaning you won’t pay full price for your box! You can try it out by following this link and get your first 2 boxes for half price (saving up to £35!!) and then simply cancel once you’ve had them!  

5 - Shop yellow labels
If you choose to go to the supermarkets, go later at night as you will find more of the ‘yellow label’ items at this time of day. Dependant on what supermarket you go to, most will discount that days items at around 7pm and you can grab some real bargains on fruit, veg and meat - all things that can be frozen or even eaten past their best before dates. Just because it’s cheap, doesn’t mean it isn’t as good as it would be full price! Here is a little list of stores and (approximate) times they reduce their daily items:
Asda - Reductions happen throughout the day yet most are between 7pm-9pm 
Co-op - Between 5pm-7pm but can differ from store to store
M&S - Some smaller stores can start as early as lunchtime however most are around 5pm
Morrisons - Reductions are usually late afternoon but some can start around lunchtime
Sainsburys - Depending on location, some can start at 1pm others later at 7pm
Tesco - Reductions can happen throughout the day with most at around 5pm

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