“Food brings people together on many different levels. It’s nourishment of the soul and body; it’s truly love.”
– Giada De Laurentiis

Food is an important part of anyone’s life. Therefore, if you are on a budget, here are some ways that you can save on food shopping:

Meal planning:

Plan your meals in advance so that you know exactly what you will be making (and for how many people). This will help you buy the exact quantities as well as reduce wastage.

Avoid duplicating items

Before food shopping, always take stock and make a shopping list. This way you can avoid doubling up on what you already have in your cupboards, fridge and freezer.

Make a shopping list… and stick to it!

This will help you stop impulse-buying and also save on multiple trips to the supermarket if you forget to buy something.

Say no to impulse buying

In addition to a shopping list, go shopping alone (without someone who keeps pestering you to buy something); avoid shopping when hungry and perhaps shop online to keep you focused.

Understand dates on food

To avoid throwing food away unnecessarily, make sure you understand the dates on the food you buy.

Use-by — the product should be eaten before this date
Sell-by — the product should be sold by this date, but it will still be safe to eat for quite a while after that
Best before — the product is at its best quality before this date, but can still be consumed for a long time after it.

Regularly check use-by dates

Check your fridge regularly for food that might be going past its use-by date. If an item is nearing its date, use it up — or freeze it, if you can.

Make packed lunches

If you are going to work; packing your child’s school meal; or going on a day out, it’s cheaper to make your own packed lunch than buying a ready-made meal.

Get creative with leftovers

Make new meals out of leftovers by adding canned vegetables, for example.

Stop snacking

Snacks, like crisps, biscuits, sweets and chocolate, are expensive and don’t fill you up. Instead, you could save the money — and your appetite — for a more substantial meal.

Choose raw vegetables

Raw whole vegetables cost less and last longer than pre-prepared ones.

Buy supermarket own brands

Supermarket own brands are cheaper and often taste just as good as the big names. The budget ranges can also bulk up your meals for less money.

Take your own bags

If you keep buying a plastic shopping bag each time you go shopping, the cost adds up plus it’s not good for the environment. Therefore, taking your own bags will help save costs. If you choose a ‘Bag for Life’, you can get it replaced for free when it wears out.