On a budget? Want some ideas on how to grocery shop on a budget?
It can be hard to give your family great meals on a budget. Money is tight for many families at the moment, and food costs are a big worry. It can be hard to change your shopping and spending habits, but here are a few tips to get you started:
- Look high and low for the best deal, literally. Supermarkets tend to put the most expensive items at eye level, so you’ll pick them up without thinking. Look on the top and bottom shelves for cheaper products.
- Make a list of things you need before you go shopping. Do your utmost to stick to this list.
- It helps if you plan what you’re going to cook throughout the week before you go to the shops, so you (hopefully) won’t buy anything you won’t use.
- Try to avoid taking your children shopping. Obviously you have to, sometimes, but they do often fill up your trolley with expensive food you don’t strictly need.
- Do your weekly shop online. You’ll be able to find and compare products much more easily, without being distracted by other items. You can also review your shopping basket before you buy and see whether you need everything you’ve selected. It will also show the exact prices and discounts.
- Buy ‘own’ and ‘value’ brands. It’s true that some of these products aren’t as good, but you don’t have to buy everything in value brands. Some good items to start with are items that won’t be any different, such as flour, sugar, rice and pasta. You may even find you like some value brands more. It doesn’t hurt to give it a go!
- Consider discount. Many middle-class people are shopping there more and more, and getting the exact same products for massive discounts
- If your local supermarket has a loyalty scheme, join it. It can save you a lot of money.
- The deli counter at your supermarket may provide cheaper meats, cheeses, etc. than the packets on the shelves. Go at the end of the day and get the last bits; they may be cheaper.
- Go shopping late in the day. Stores will be trying to get rid of items that are going out of date, and the only difference you’ll notice will be the price. If you buy perishable items from these ‘discount’ shelves, simply use them quickly or freeze them.
- You may be able to find fresh meat, fruit and vegetables for a much lower price at your local market, grocer, butcher or farmer’s market. They will sell strangely shaped fruit, vegetables and eggs that supermarkets would reject purely based on appearance.
- Offers are great, but be careful. Buying three for the price of two sounds like a great deal, but it isn’t if you were only going to buy one in the first place. When considering products on offer (and all other products, in fact) think “Do I need it?” and, more importantly, “Will I use it?”
More food shopping articles:
- Super Smoothie
- Food shopping – the affordable way