Let’s be honest. When we go food shopping it’s usually with the best intentions.
Whether we’re hoping for a productive week with lots of healthy meals to keep us going, or we’re wanting to sit down as a family and enjoy a variety of meals together, heading to the supermarket is the easy part. However, it’s not so easy when you’ve had a bad day and the last thing you want is to cook everything from scratch, you’ve forgotten an ingredient or you didn’t budget properly and now you can’t get the kids their favourite cereal…it all goes downhill from there, right?
Creating a food budget and sticking to it, is one of the simplest ways to save money. It goes hand in hand with switching your energy supplier – if your home is heated by oil check out SuperSaver Oil for the latest prices and advice – saving water and switching to LED lights. But how do you go about creating a food budget that you can stick to?
Well, read on for a little inspiration!
Keep track of what you’re spending each month
Before you begin, you need to find out how much you’re spending on food each month so you can make a more realistic food budget. If you eat out then keep the receipts. Discovering how much you’re spending on food and drink throughout the month will help you see where you’re overspending and what could be done to help you save money.
Plan your meals
Heading into the supermarket with a vague idea of what you want to eat this week is setting you up for a fall. So, sit down with your kids or partner whoever, check out some cookbooks or online recipes and decide what you want to eat. Planning your meals means that you’re less likely to eat out or order in!
Lists are your new best friends
A list for the contents of the fridge and the contents of your cupboard are your new best friends. Not only will they stop you from doubling up on items and purchasing duplicates, but you can also use those items for dishes for the following week, thus eliminating waste and having to buy more fresh ingredients or produce.
Love those leftovers
When you’re planning meals, it’s a good idea to choose dishes that make good leftover dinners for either later in the week, or even lunches to take to work the next day. Chillies, lasagne, even spaghetti Bolognese – invest in some good Tupperware and your meals will taste just as good as the first time you made them. You’ll save a fortune!
Checkout the sales, but don’t overstock
It’s a great feeling when a particular fabric softener or your families favourite brand of cereal is on offer. It’s tempting to simply add a few extra items into the basket and believe that you’ve saved yourself a few pounds. But it’s not strictly true. Unless you need it, don’t buy it. Adding those extra items simply inflates your grocery bill and you’re trying to save money!