No matter what our food budget, there may be times when we need to watch the pennies and curb our spending. Here are our top 5 tips for saving money when out food shopping.
1) Shop little and often
With the busy lives we lead, it’s very difficult to plan every meal for the week ahead as something often comes up and scuppers these plans. Also, trying to predict on Saturday morning what you’ll feel like eating on Thursday night doesn’t always work and can lead to ingredients being wasted. By shopping 2 or 3 times a week you’ll be able to plan better, eat what you fancy and eat fresh food.
2) Take regular audits
Make sure you know what you have in the cupboards at home so you don’t buy anything you already have, but also so that you can plan meals around these ingredients. So, if you fancy a fresh pea risotto, but have a glut of courgettes in the fridge, why not just try using them instead?
3) Ignore best before dates
Most supermarkets use best before dates on their fruit and veg but, in our experience, we’d be better off ignoring them! Your carrots may have reached their best before date, but unless they’re showing any signs of decay, it would be a shame to waste them.
4) Have a list, but be flexible
Take a note of the meals you want to cook and all the ingredients you need, but be prepared to adapt recipe ideas whilst in the store. So, when you’re planning lamb chops for tea, but spot some gorgeous fennel, just rethink those plans and go for fennel friendly pork chops instead!
5) Eat seasonally
Eating produce when it’s in season means you can enjoy it at its very best. And, whilst in season, there should be enough supply to meet demand, so it’s often at its cheapest too. Better still, eating seasonally means you’re more likely to be buying food from farms and growers local to you, so you’ll also be supporting your local economy.