Ways To Stretch Your Food Budget

7

Inflation is higher in the UK than it has been in decades. Many of your costs of living are going up, but you may notice this increase in prices the most when you are shopping for food at the supermarket. Here are some tips to find Hot Deals with your food shopping

Ways To Stretch Your Food Budget

Although there is evidence that wages have also been rising, they are not rising fast enough to keep up with prices. You must make every dollar you earn work harder for you. To do that, follow these tips to try and get the most food for your money.

Use what you already have

Before you even go to the store, assess what’s in your refrigerator, your freezer, and your pantry. Throughout these multiple years of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people bought in bulk or added to their food supplies in case they became sick or feared shortages at their local stores.

Now is the time to go back and assess any extra food stores you may have already purchased. Assemble the ingredients you already have (especially items such as rice, beans, canned foods, or frozen meats), and look for recipes that will help you use them. Canned goods do expire, and frozen goods become less tasty and nutritious due to freezer burn. Cooking with items you already have on hand can feel a bit like relegating yourself to less-than-exciting leftovers, but now is not the time to waste food or let it go bad.

Always make a shopping list

Make a shopping list before you go to the store. Look at what you already have, and only buy what you need. If you want to try new recipes, add them to the list and only buy them in the amounts you need to make one or two meals (in case you don’t like how the recipe turns out).

Having a list will help you get what you need and make fewer trips to the store. Every time you go to the store, you increase your chance of buying more than you need or making impulse buys, and those incidental purchases can add up. Make an organized list and get in the habit of shopping for groceries once every week or two weeks.

Watch for UK Hot deals

This suggestion is a golden oldie. It takes time to follow hot deals and clip coupons, even when you’re saving them to your phone, but when you are trying to get more bang for your food buck, every little bit helps. Sign up for any “reward cards” offered by your grocery store. Join their email list to be notified of special sales and deals. Visit their online fliers to download coupons or notice any special promotions.

On a bigger scale, find a supermarket that you enjoy using and that also offers prices you can live with. Often, the more you shop at a particular store, the more they will reward you with specialized coupons. Some will even send you (in the mail or electronically) coupons for a certain amount off your next bill, especially if you spend a certain amount. Never spend money just to get coupons, but if you only buy what you use or nonperishable items that will keep, UK deals and coupons will help you save money.

Maximize any store loyalty programs

Does your local store offer a credit card? Rewards cards? Associated rewards like “fuel points” or other perks?

Maximize any reward program you have access to. Again, don’t spend money to make money (that hardly ever works in reality), but if you can keep track of another credit card and a store card will get you 3 percent or more, cashback on your food purchases, that is worthwhile. Likewise, if your store offers fuel points with gas stations, learn about the program and try to take advantage next time you fill up your tank. (Please note the gas prices being charged at participating stations before you commit, though.)

Back away from processed foods

This one hurts, because after a long day of work, sometimes the only thing you have energy for is warming up some chicken tenders.

This tip seems counter-intuitive because often highly processed food IS cheaper than “whole” or healthier, unprocessed foods. Overall, however, your budget will still stretch farther if you buy whole foods in bulk and make your meals. Consider buying larger cuts of meat (or whole poultry) and freezing your leftovers. Then, when you are crunched for time, you’ll know you have your protein frozen and ready to heat. Add fresh fruit or a veggie and you have a whole meal, without having to stop at the store after work for a box of chicken nuggets and whatever other impulse items you buy because you’re tired and hungry.

This is not to say that you shouldn’t have some boxed macaroni and cheese on hand; sometimes you just need the quick meal. But eating whole foods and meals you make yourself can be more filling and also provide more nutrition for your money.

Consider making changes to the way you cook

Following this tip can be difficult. It takes time and effort (and sometimes it requires that you re-train your palate as well) to find new recipes and develop new ways of cooking.

One of the most expensive food items to buy is any kind of meat. Instead of relying on traditional meals of beef, pork, or chicken, implement more bean-based and vegetarian meals into your routine. Beans, especially if you learn to cook them yourself, can be very nutritious and are one of the cheapest proteins you can buy. Tuna and sardines can also be versatile, healthy, and cost-effective proteins with which to cook.

Search online using deals sites such as UK Deals and Giveaways

Quite often there are grocery deals online that go unnoticed. Amazon especially have a lot more grocery deals than before. Search the ‘Grocery’ on UK Deals and Giveaways to see the latest deals!

It will be difficult to escape all the pressure of higher prices everywhere you shop, but it is possible to shop smarter to save money while at the grocery store.

Prices are correct at time of posting. Prices can change at anytime. Discount codes are active at time of posting. Discount codes can become inactive at anytime.