18 Ways To Save Money On Your Grocery Shopping

Do you struggle to keep your spending down when it comes to your grocery shopping? I’ve been there! For so long, I was spending way too much each and every week in the supermarket, and it was eating a serious hole in my budget.

We all want to make sure that we’re feeding our families well, giving them nutritious meals, and that no one feels that they’re going without.

The good news is that you can save money on your grocery shopping without feeling that you’re being deprived.

Here are some of the tactics that I’ve used to slash my supermarket spending…

1. LOOK OUT FOR YELLOW STICKER BARGAINS

Towards the end of the day, many supermarkets slash the prices of the items that are due to expire the next day. You can shop the fridge section to fill up your freezer, and pay significantly less for items that are typically more expensive, like meat. This can be a great way to stock up on treats and luxuries without it costing you the earth.

2. ALWAYS PLAN YOUR WEEKLY MEALS IN ADVANCE

If you know what you’re eating every night of the week, you buy nothing that you don’t need. This means less waste, and more money in your pocket. I’ve learned that the secret to sticking with this is to build in a little flexibility. So I’ll know that I’m cooking chicken on a Monday night, for example, but I’ll have a variety of side dishes in the freezer to choose from when the times comes. This way, it doesn’t become too restrictive.

3. DOWNGRADE YOUR BRANDS

Often, we’re paying more purely because of the name that’s on the label. When it comes to staples like tinned tomatoes and beans, there’s rarely a noticeable difference between the brands. If you’re buying premium, downgrade to the supermarkets’ own brand, and see what you think. From there, downgrade again to the budget lines.

4. TRY OUT THE BARGAIN SUPERMARKETS

If you’re shopping in places like Tesco and Sainsbury’s, you’ll be amazed at how much you can save by ditching that habit and visiting stores like Aldi and Lidl. Keep an open mind, and remember that you’re likely to discover new favourite items that you’d never even considered before.

5. SEEK OUT COUPONS FOR YOUR FAVOURITE ITEMS

Couponing isn’t anywhere near as popular here in the UK as it is on the other side of the pond, but there are still plenty of offers out there that you can take advantage of. A great place to start is Money Saving Expert’s supermarket coupons page. It’s updated regularly, and there’s always a ton of discounts for you to get your hands on.

6. BUY IN BULK AND STICK YOUR MEALS IN THE FREEZER

Buying large quantities of items is often much cheaper. Use that to your advantage and spend a few hours on a weekend batch cooking your favourite meals, and freezing them for the next few weeks. This way, there’ll be less stress after work, and less spending.

buy in bulk

7. AVOID SHOPPING WHEN YOU’RE HUNGRY

If you go to the supermarket feeling ravenous, then you’ll buy loads of stuff that you simply don’t need. If you go after a meal when you’re feeling satisfied, you’re much more likely to make logical buying decisions.

8. LEAVE THE KIDS AT HOME

If you’ve ever taken your kids to the supermarket before, then you’ll know that it can be seriously stressful. It’s hard to focus on the task in hand, and you’re also likely to find yourself giving in when they ask if they can chuck a few extras into the trolley. If possible, do your shopping whilst they’re at school, or being taken care of by a family member.

9. MAKE MORE MEALS FROM SCRATCH

Convenience is something that you’ll pay a premium for, so it makes sense to avoid ready meals and anything that’s pre-prepared for you in advance. You don’t have to be Jamie Oliver to cook things from scratch. Keep it simple, but don’t be afraid to try out new dishes and expand your repertoire.

10. AVOID TOP-UP SHOPS IN THE MIDDLE OF THE WEEK

Top-up shops often lead us to buy stuff we simply don’t need. Try to make a commitment to hitting the supermarket just once a week, and getting everything you need to create nutritious meals and snacks for the week ahead. You could save a significant amount of money just by avoiding that supermarket dash on your way home from work, that you only do out of habit anyway.

11. SHOP YOUR OWN KITCHEN CUPBOARDS

You might be amazed at what you can pull together from the contents of your cupboards and freezer. If you’ve got tinned tomatoes, pasta, and a few herbs, you could create a really simple but delicious Italian dish. If you have rice and chicken, you could make a beautiful twist on Paella. Make the commitment to avoiding the supermarket for a week or two, and using up the items that you already have.

kitchen cupboards

12. WATCH OUT FOR EXPIRY DATES

How many times have you ended up chucking stuff in the bin, because you realised that they were past their best? This can be avoided completely in a few ways. First of all, make sure that you always pick items with the longest shelf life when you’re shopping – these can usually be found towards the back of the shelf. Next, make sure you factor the dates into your meal planning.

13. DON’T TAKE OFFERS AT FACE VALUE

Just because there’s a so-called offer an item, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the best value for money. Always refer to the price per kg where possible to make a representative comparison. And remember, an item isn’t a bargain if you end up never using it!

14. GET EXPERIMENTAL WITH CHEAPER CUTS OF MEAT

Chicken thighs are often way cheaper than chicken breasts, and they’re also much more tender and flavoursome, making them ideal for dishes like curries and stews. Fillet steak might have a reputation for being the best, but stewing steak can be just as special if it’s slow cooked. Instead of always going for the option that you’re most comfortable with, experiment a little!

15. BULK OUT DINNERS WITH BEANS AND PULSES TO MAKE THEM GO FURTHER

When I’m making chilli con carne, I always chuck in a tin of kidney beans, and a tin of good old baked beans. This means that I get an extra 2 or 3 portions out of the meal, and I’m only spending an extra few pennies. I wasn’t too sure how this would work out when I first tried it, but it was hardly noticeable, and made a very enjoyable meal.

16. BUY IN-SEASON PRODUCE

Now that we can get most produce all year round, we don’t tend to shop by season anymore. When you do though, it’s loads cheaper, and you’ll also notice a great improvement in quality. Have you ever bought strawberries in the winter? They’re often flavourless and bland. Get them in the summer when they’re beautiful and sweet.

strawberries

17. IF YOU DON’T LIKE THE CHEAPER BRAND, DON’T BUY IT

Yes, cheaper brands can save you a fortune. But if you’ve tried it and you really don’t like it, don’t continue to buy it. You won’t use it, and it’ll go to waste. Sometimes, it makes sense to pay a little bit more if it means that you’re going to get something that won’t just sit at the back of your cupboard.

18. ALWAYS CHECK YOUR RECEIPT BEFORE YOU LEAVE THE STORE

Occasionally, you’ll be charged too much for your shopping, or an offer won’t go through properly. It’s fairly rare, but it’s always worth checking before you leave the store. That way, you can get the issue rectified there and then.

By putting these tactics into use, you could save hundreds of pounds each and every month on your food shopping. Will you be trying these out? And which do you think will make the biggest difference to your budget? 

 

 

4 Ways To Make £100 This Weekend

When the weekend finally comes round, you probably enjoy taking a bit of time to rest and recuperate after a hard week at the office. You definitely deserve a little time off to do whatever you fancy, but if you’re on the path towards financial independence, there’s plenty you can do to put some extra cash in your pocket.

If you’re feeling inspired, why not make it your mission to make £100 this weekend?

Here are five ways that you can make it happen…

Have a declutter and stick your unwanted items on eBay

Most of us have items lying around the house that we’ve forgotten that we even own. We’re never going to use them again, they have no purpose, and they’re bringing us no joy. So why keep hold of them? Have a declutter, and get your unwanted things listed on eBay. You’ll probably be amazed at what people are willing to pay for the things you don’t want!

You can use the eBay app to find out how much you could potentially get for your items, so you don’t underprice them, and you increase your chances of making some great sales.

Try matched betting to leverage free bets from bookies

Have you heard about matched betting before? It’s a proven strategy for using free bets from online bookmakers to create profits. As long as you follow the system, you are not putting your own money at risk. It might sound too good to be true, but it’s completely genuine. An added bonus is that your earnings are tax free!

If you have a few hours to dedicate each day, you could realistically make £100 this weekend. To find out more, check out RuthMakesMoney’s great post about matched betting earnings, and how she earned over £400 in her first month.

matched betting

Pick up items from car boot sales to resell

Okay, so this one right here involves spending a little money, and you might think that defeats the whole object. It’s very possible though to spend just ten or twenty pounds at a car boot sale, and then flip the items for big profits on eBay or other online selling sites.

The possibilities here are endless. You might want to go for clothes, shoes, toys, electronics, or something a little more niche. Try to pick something that you have a little knowledge of, so you know what to look out for. It can even be really fun once you get stuck into it, and you never know what you might find!

Apply for freelance projects

Do you love writing? Have you got a really fast typing speed? Or do you have a special skill such as being able to build websites, or design beautiful logos? If so, you could sell your time to business owners who want to tap into the flexible talent market. It’s very possible to earn a great chunk of cash in your spare time, without ever leaving the house.

The biggest challenge is where to find clients, but you have tons of options here. You could write to businesses that you love and offer them your services. Alternatively, try out sites like People Per Hour and Freelancer. Here, you’ll find hundreds of potential clients who need what you’re offering.

As you can see, it’s very possible to make £100 this weekend. Think about the impact that could have on your life, and the progress that you could make if you did this every week… Which of these will you be getting started with? 

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