If You Need to Save Money, Your Food Shopping List Is A Great Place To Start
Think about how much money you would save if you could be satisfied with just a rice and beans diet. Sadly it’s unlikely many of us will have only rice and beans in our grocery budget.
But there are plenty of things I’ve taken off my food shopping list and saved a ton of money in the process.
My grocery budget will never be just a few pounds as we like our food and we eat plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and fish. However I have saved hundreds of pounds by cutting the following items from my food shopping list and it was so easy, I know you’ll be able to save money too.
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18 Things We Cut From Our Food Shopping List To Save Money
1. Individual Portions of Food
Did you know a 1 portion porridge pot costs more than a whole kilo of oats? If you want to take porridge to work, pot up some oats, milk and (maybe) sugar up and make it yourself when you get there. Plain oats and milk need just a couple of minutes in the microwave.
No need to pay more to get someone else to put your porridge in a colourful pot. You also gain eco friendly points for taking your own porridge, not a plastic coated pot to get rid of in the trash.
2. Stop Impulse Buying
You pop out for that missing ingredient for the meal you have suddenly decided to make and end up with a basket full of food. Not only do you end up spending money you hadn’t planned on but you waste time and use fuel to get to the shops.
Meal planning will stop you from having missing ingredients as your food shopping list will have listed all the ingredients you need for the meals you have planned.
You’ll save big money if you don’t shop midweek, after all it’s only a few days until you do your weekly shop isn’t it?
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3. Paper Towels
Stop buying paper towels and napkins and move to using cloths instead. Cleaning cloths and napkins can be washed and reused many times which is better for the environment and better for your bank balance.
4. Plastic Shopping Bags
Save the 5p, help the environment and bring your own reusable bags. When the UK brought in the 5p carrier bag charge there was an uproar from people feeling hard done by.
Yet now every week we hear another news item about how plastic rubbish is engulfing our oceans and we all want to do our bit.
Why not buy reusable cloth bags which are multi-functional for many other uses and you can bung in the washing machine to clean if they’re looking a little grubby?
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5. Excess Food
Stop buying stuff! So many people keep buying more food than they need or want and end up throwing away the excess. At the end of the week if you have food still unused, make a plan to use it up or freeze it.
Don’t waste it, eat it. Don’t put it back on your food shopping list if you didn’t eat it last time you bought it.
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6. Brand Specific
Brands spend an absolute fortune on marketing and making us believe that their brand is best. Yet how many times have you seen blind tests where the big brand fails to be 1st choice?
Yes the brand may taste different but different isn’t necessarily better it’s just different. And even if it is a little better, is it worth paying up to 400% more?
Years ago Mr2p swore by branded ketchup, these days he is happy with Aldi’s own and we save £1.50 on every bottle! Spread that saving across more brands and you can easily make significant reductions to the cost of your food shopping list.
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7. Biscuits & Cakes
I’m a sucker for a gorgeous biscuit at the weekends and tend to like the more expensive options. These days the nicer packets of biscuits are nearly £2 and you only get 8 or so biscuits.
Home made biscuits are so easy to make, even for someone lazy like me! They taste fabulous and cost pennies in comparison to those expensive shop bought ones.
Cook a couple of batches of biscuits and freeze the extras. Stops you from eating too many and saves them for later in the week.
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8. Bread And Rolls
These days a decent loaf of bread can cost you £1.50 or more. Artisan loafs are upwards of £3 a loaf. Many people don’t make their own bread or rolls because they think it takes a long time and it’s a lot of effort.
Nothing could be further from the truth! I’ll be honest and tell you that I cheat and have this bread maker. I throw in the ingredients, turn it on and 1-3 hours later I have the most amazing smell in my house and gorgeous tasting bread.
If you don’t have a bread maker then there are recipes out there for 5 minute artisan bread. These really do only take a few minutes to prepare as Mr2p can confirm. He prefers to make bread by hand rather than use our bread maker.
If you are baking bread, why not make a batch of loaves and freeze a couple? That way you’ll never run out of bread.
Don’t buy takeaway, pre-made or frozen pizzas, make your own instead. You can buy pizza bases and add your own toppings. Alternatively make your own pizza dough for the fully authentic experience. You can even make pizza dough in a bread maker! I can be very lazy sometimes!
Home made pizza tastes a whole lot better than store bought and it’s one less thing on your food shopping list.
10. Pasta Sauce
I think pasta sauce is probably one of the easiest things to make and is perfect for making in bulk and freezing. Make your own from tinned tomatoes, onion, garlic and a few herbs. Freeze it in meal sized portions and you’ll never be stuck for a quick meal on a busy night.
11. Cartons of Soup
Soup is my go to comfort food on a cold winters day. The choice of delicious soups you can buy made giving these up a little difficult but once I switched to home made I haven’t looked back.
Home made soup made with your own fresh stock cannot be beaten. Batch cook soup and it is a winter lunch staple, at home or at work.
12. Fresh Stock
Many recipes require a small or medium amount of fresh stock which is a pricey item. I make our own stock from meat bones and freeze it in recipe size portions. Fresh stock on tap!
13. Fresh Herbs
Buying packs of fresh herbs that only last a week is such an expensive way to add flavour to your recipes. Pot up your own herbs on your windowsill and have fresh herbs on tap.
Some herbs don’t do so well in winter in which case freeze enough to keep you going through the winter and start again in early spring. All you need is a sunny windowsill.
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14. Meal Portions of Meat
Chicken is our go to meat but the price varies significantly depending on whether you are buying breast (most expensive), wings or the whole bird.
I used to buy my meat in small packs for one family meal but this works out the most expensive way. Now I stock up when there is a sale on and split larger packs into meal sized portions.
Often I buy whole birds as these are much cheaper lb for lb and come with the bonus of being able to make my own stock from the bones which then forms the basis of our home made winter soups.
15. Chocolate and Sweets
I used to regularly buy these so there was always a supply – in case we needed/wanted something sweet. Guess what? We always wanted something sweet so these became a staple. No more though as let’s face it, we don’t need chocolate or sweets.
I do still buy one bar of chocolate a week which we have a couple of squares after dinner each night. It has helped my waistline not having these in the house as my will power is pretty low when it comes to chocolate!
16. Take Away Meals
Friday night takeaway was a staple in the Tuppenny household now it is off the food shopping list and we are saving £80 a month. If we want takeaway food we make it at home. This book is great for all your classic takeaway recipes.
Friday’s are still fish and chip nights only it’s home made so better for both our waistlines and our bank balance. We do still have the occasional takeaway but it’s more like every few months, not weeks.
17. Meals Out
Eating in a restaurant can be a very nice experience but if you just need a meal to re-fuel it’s a very expensive way of doing so. Eating out for anything other than a special occasion does not happen in the Tuppenny household and we have saved a lot of money as a result.
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18. Processed Potato & Chicken Products
You know the types: potato waffles, face shapes, chicken goujons etc. These are what I call beige food and are not particularly healthy. They are usually very processed, with chemicals and salt and sugar included.
They also cost a lot more than a wholesome potato or a piece of chicken taken from a whole bird. Yes, they are convenient but at a cost to your pocket and potentially your health.
So there you have it. 18 items we cut from our food shopping list and are saving money every week as a result.
What have you cut from your grocery budget to save money?