Food tips

How can I save money on food? Advice as the cost of living soars

There is hope Chancellor Rishi Sunak can step in with his spring budget as UK household budgets are squeezed by soaring energy, fuel and food prices

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So, with cash tight – are there any simple steps you can take to save money on your supermarket grocery store?

NationalWorld has put together a list of quick wins to help households hold on to their hard-earned cash.

Making a shopping list can not only save you time, but also money (image: Adobe)

1. Plan ahead and write a shopping list

Planning the food and drinks you will need during a specific time will help you budget your purchases more easily.

By turning that meal plan into a shopping list, you also reduce the chances of impulse buying – which is easy to do given the subtle marketing tactics used by supermarkets.

When making a meal plan, it’s also worth remembering that batch cooking can be more economical, especially if the meals you plan to prepare can be frozen.

Shopping in supermarket aisles leads to more informed buying decisions (Image: AFP/Getty Images)

2. Avoid falling for retailer marketing traps

Stores use subtle marketing practices that attempt to direct you to certain products or parts of the store.

End-of-aisle shelving is an area where supermarkets often try to tempt consumers with impulse buys – often in the form of deals that look better than they actually are.

For example, the price of a pack of medium-sized tea bags might have been reduced, but larger packs on sale in another part of the store might still offer a cheaper price per bag.

You can only make this kind of comparison if you shop down the aisle, where you can see the different options available to you and make more informed decisions.

And even when you’re down an aisle, you should keep in mind that the cheapest deals aren’t usually at eye level.

Be sure to scan the upper and lower shelves to see if there are more cost effective options.

For example, you will often find own brand or value products on the lower shelves of supermarkets.

They tend to be less expensive than branded items, but closely match them in quality.

3. Join loyalty programs (but shop around)

Loyalty card schemes can save you money, although not all offer immediate savings.

Tesco Clubcard holders can access special discounted prices on popular items both in store and online.

If you do big, routine family shopping at the retailer, the Clubcard Plus scheme (where you pay £7.99 a month for two 10% discounts a month) could be economical – but you should check your numbers to make sure before signing. at the top.

However, unless you have a good deal, it’s usually more profitable to shop around.

So it’s worth checking online before buying and hedging your bets by signing up for any loyalty programs.

Seasonal foods can be cheaper in supermarkets (Image: AFP/Getty Images)

And if you’re going shopping, keep these additional considerations in mind:

  • How much will it cost you to go to another store?
  • Is the alternative store closer to town or downtown (smaller urban stores tend to be more expensive than larger out-of-town locations)?
  • How much longer will shopping elsewhere take (time is money and your personal time is the most valuable commodity)?

4. Shop and eat seasonally

Retailers tend to offer discounts on fresh British produce when in season.

For example, during the summer months, strawberries often have one or two harvest spurts where lots of fruit suddenly becomes available.

When this happens, supermarkets usually stock bulkier packaging and drive prices down.

Rhubarb is currently in season in the UK (Image: AFP/Getty Images)

Currently, the following foods are all in season:

  • Cauliflower
  • kale
  • Leeks
  • Sprouting purple broccoli
  • Onions
  • Spinach
  • Rhubarb

5. Get fruits and vegetables from the frozen section

The frozen food aisle tends to be an overlooked part of the supermarket.

The only downside to frozen vegetables, in particular, is that their texture can often be lost in the thawing process.

However, if you’re batch cooking things like curries, chilies, or casseroles, or making a smoothie with frozen fruit, you won’t notice.

6. Head to the food aisle of the world

Another underrated supermarket aisle is the global food aisle.

Here, you can find similar foods in unfamiliar packaging that may be cheaper or more cost-effective ingredients for foreign dishes.

For example, you can often save big on soy sauce, spices, and packets of rice and lentils.

7. Time your supermarket store

Shopping at unpopular times – especially in the evening – could save you a lot of money.

As supermarkets approach closing time, they usually give discounts on fresh produce.

These discounts tend to increase as closing time approaches.

So you could grab tonight’s dinner for a fraction of the price if you do it right.

To have the best chance of success, explore your local store at different times to find out when the yellow stickers start appearing.

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