The Top 5 Smart Ways To Save Money On Food

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One thing that always catches my eye are the words ‘save’ and ‘money’ together. If I’m browsing Pinterest and I see a post that has something to do with saving, I will always check it out.

As far as I’m concerned this is just good practice! There are so, so many ways to save yourself a few pounds! I know that no matter how many times I come up with or try something new, there are at least three other methods I haven’t thought of and let’s be honest, a few pounds saved here is a few more you can spend there! *wink*

(Edit: This post was a preview of my eBook: Frugal Living for Lazy People, which goes into more detail and has more amazing tips, and is available now!)

The brief list below is just simple, easy to implement advice; many of these popped into my head when I realised; people I knew were spending through the nose on things I rarely paid pennies for. How could I not share?

5, ways, save, money, food, smart

  1. Make your own microwave convenience packets.

Here’s a small but effective example: A friend of mine wanted convenience and speed. As it turned out, she was paying almost six times more than me on rice per month! How? Buying microwave packets.

My solution? Buy a bulk pack of your chosen rice (which is immediately a huge saving on the multiple packs) and then to keep your convenience factor, pre-prep! Boil up a large batch, let cool, then divide into ziplock bags!

One portion is 1 cup, so you can try either single portions or family portions, depending on what you know you will need, then simple label and freeze!

I have a freezer drawer dedicated to pre-prepped sides; rice, mashed sweet potato, portioned sauces such as Thai curry paste, Pesto etc

By pre-cooking rice portions and then defrosting (in the morning or just in the microwave before dinner), you get the same microwave quick solution at a fraction of the cost.

2. Designated snack allowances.

chocolate, wrapper, snack, unhealthy

My husband is a snack fiend. I buy chocolate bars for his lunch at work, then helps himself when the fancy strikes at home!

I bought a 6 pack of bars, they were gone in 2 days. Two! Six chocolate bars in 2 days is not healthy for anyone and he was expecting me to get more at each weekly top up!

So, as i’m the one who does the monthly shopping and therefore see the big picture when it comes to spending, we came to a compromise.

I was more than happy to get him chocolate bars but I would buy enough for one per day, including non-workdays only. So for the sake of our example let’s say 30 bars.

That would be 5 packs of 6, or roughly £5 per month. As opposed to buying 2-3 packs per week like we were which was £10-15 per month! These treats add up right?

I told Husband this should be the set-up for the sake of prioritising our budget and he was fine with this, I now buy 5 packs at the start of the month and they have to last; when they are gone they are gone, no top ups!

If he is desperate for a sweet fix he can head to the corner shop himself for a cheeky bar and believe me, it works out a lot cheaper!

3. Bulk buy your meat.

I love Asda here in the UK for one reason; they have this constant deal where you can get 3 things for £10 in the meat chillers.

They always have a decent range of different types and cuts of meat, in good sized packs. While I usually shop at Aldi for as much as possible, this 3 for £10 deal can’t be ignored!

I will go for my big shop and buy two packs of mince, two packs of 4 chicken breasts and a random selection, usually something like bacon or fish fillets. Anything I intend to use in the next few days goes into the fridge, the rest gets portioned and frozen.

For example, the 4 pack of chicken breasts gets chopped and divided into two packs, of two breasts each as that is usually how much I’d use per recipe, the mince I always use to make bulk meals so that gets frozen in its full pack.

It might seem even more time saving to pre-cook the meat but as I tend to make extra to freeze leftovers I don’t really like doing this, as defrosting and re-freezing things multiple times is not recommended.

4. Plan.

to-do, list, pen, organise

I know I know, I can hear the groans and picture the rolling eyes from here! Never fear, I feel your pain.

I have tried over and over to come to terms with the meal plan. I really, truly have. It is just not something I can seem to stick to no matter how hard I try. However, there are ways you can plan without feeling restricted, which will save money, guaranteed.

Never shop hungry, hungry people impulse buy. Fact.

Always write a list.

At least for your main shop. However often you do it, having an idea of essentials you need saves having to run back later for things you forgot, which wastes time and possibly petrol. (Also that would also increase your chance of impulse buying!)

-On your list, have a basic idea of what you are going to cook this week/month. I may not write a plan but I know the go-to meals my family eat every month, I know if there is a new recipe I want to try and I always check my bulk meals/leftovers in the freezer to see what we are running low on.

My ultimate Chilli-Con-Carne recipe is my husband’s favourite meal so that always get made in bulk and frozen. Some months I don’t make any to avoid getting sick of it but if I know there’s none in the freezer, I make sure all my staples are on the list if not already in my pantry, just in case.

5. Bulk out!

Always, always bulk your meals out, people! This not only makes them go much further but typically makes them more nutritionally dense and healthy for you!

I very often find new recipes to try which sound delicious but drive me crazy, when I realise; that ‘One Pot Creamy Chicken’? is literally chicken in sauce.

Serves 4 at only £2 each, huh? All you need to do is chop those chicken breasts up, add some chopped carrots, onions, peppers and perhaps courgettes or something similar and voila, serves 8 at £1.50 each and is packed with extra nutrients and vitamins.

Adding veggies also makes the taste so much more exciting and varied! Win-win, people!

vegetables, basket, food, healthy

There you have it! Super simple ways to save a little money and make your life easier and healthier in the process. I hope you like it and can find something to work for you!

For 5 more smart ways to save money on food, check out the second post previewing my awesome eBook!

But in the meantime, why not share your own tips in the comments, I’d love to hear how others manage to save!

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22 thoughts on “The Top 5 Smart Ways To Save Money On Food”

  1. Loving the tips, sounds like the ebook will be awesome. 🙂

    Here’s my favourite money saver- I only buy certain things when they’re on offer, and then I buy them in bulk. I’m a Yorkshire girl, so have been brought up to be mindful of the pennies and keep my eye out for bargains, so I do this whenever possible. It means comparison shopping and a bit more effort (unless you just get it all delivered!) but is really worth it.
    I only ever buy one brand of kitchen roll- the others just feel like tissue paper- but it can be SO expensive! At the moment in one supermarket it’s £2.35 for one roll. One! However they also have an offer on for a triple pack at £3, so just choosing that pack saves you £4.05. There you go, with the money you’ve saved, you can buy another pack and still have change. I usually cross-check with other supermarkets to make sure I’m getting the best bargain.
    At one point, somewhere was selling my favourite tinned beans for something silly like 50p per can when they should have been double that and I remember several trips home with the entirety of my pushchair basket accommodating something like 20 tins. If they’ve got a good long use by date and you have somewhere to store them (even if it’s under the bed!) you might as well take advantage. 🙂

    1. I love these tips, thank you! I also take advantage of the sales, I’ll be sure to include that tip in a follow up post 🙂

    1. Thank you! I’m so glad you found something that might help you, I also have more ideas for follow up posts soon! x

    1. Thank you Melissa! I’m glad you found them helpful. It really is amazing how snacks can add up when you aren’t looking! I will be posting more tips in the future that I hope you will find helpful also xx

    1. Teresa I shouldn’t laugh but that is a wonderful image! I’m so glad you found it helpful, I promise there are more coming soon! xx

  2. We are trying to cut down our grocery bill and came to the conclusion that the snacks are definitely a large amount on the expense. Trying to get my husband to snack on one cookie box in a week instead of 2 days 🙂

    1. It’s an uphill struggle, isn’t it? Snacks seem like such a small thing but add up so quickly! The ‘when it’s gone, it’s gone’ threat is pretty effective in our house! Hope it helps xx

  3. Great ideas. Making a list is essential – if you stick to the list! Easier to do if you don’t bring the kids along to the store.

    Something we do, in line with the snack allowance . . . my husband and I have a monthly allowance to spend however we choose. If I want to go out to lunch, buy a candy bar, or buy a new blouse, I can do any of that. But, it’s a fairly modest amount, and once it’s gone, it’s gone. It has definitely reined in any impulse buys.

    1. Hi Karla, thank you for sharing your tip! We also do this, we each put a set amount of our monthly income into our joint account which all of our bills and our mortgage etc comes out of, and what we keep in our personal accounts covers petrol, phone bills and extras like you listed. It really is an excellent way to keep spending under control and keep priorities, well, prioritised! I actually discuss this idea quite in depth in my eBook, I can’t wait to share it with everyone x

  4. A great set of tips! We always bulk buy meat – my husband then chops it up and divides it into the little sandwich bags for freezing. My best tip is the reduced section in the supermarket with all the bagged up meats and fish from the counters – we pick up so many bargains here, steak, tuna, monkfish, I have no idea why everyone doesn’t scour it straight away! We head straight there and then plan our meals around what little gems we can find. Thanks so much for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove – I hope you’ll be back again next week!

    1. Thank you! Hitting the reduced section first then planning meals around what you find, that is a great tip i’d never have thought of! And yes I most certainly will be back 🙂

  5. Great tips! I am not good a bulk buying, but I do meal plan. I only started about 6 months ago and I do it so that I can be organised and know what I am cooking for the girls each day and don’t panic at 4pm and realise I have nothing. It has massively helped with what I buy each week and not having wastage. I saved money without trying. Thank you for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove Laura x

    1. Thank you! 🙂 It’s amazing what we throw away when we don’t plan, glad it’s working so well for you! Claire x

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