For most of us, the amount we spend on food every month is one of our largest financial drains, from our weekly shop ending up costing far more then we’d planned, to snacks we buy here and there adding up, and running up colossal bills in restaurants. In order to save money, you don’t have to starve yourself or deny yourself the enjoyment you get from food, you just need to take a smarter approach to what and how you eat.

Food Shopping

How you carry out your food shopping can make a world of difference to your financial security. First of all, make sure you do all of your food shopping in one weekly visit to a large supermarket, rather than more regular visits to a convenience store every time you want something. Supermarket prices are much cheaper and this way you’ll be able to buy in bulk. If you do ever need financial help to make ends meet, take a look at gobear.com. Make a thorough shopping list before you go and stick to it, don’t be tempted by other things you see or the cost will soon start to add up. It is also important not to shop when you’re hungry or you won’t be able to fight that temptation. To be able to make a list, you need to plan your meals beforehand, so make sure that this is part of your weekly routine.

Be careful which brands you choose as sometimes you’re simply paying for the label; take your time looking around for cheaper alternatives. Furthermore, try to buy non-perishables in bulk where possible as you will save more money over time, and make the most of sales by stocking up on your regular purchases. If you eat a lot of meat, replacing some of it for other forms of protein can really help to save money, and when it comes to buying meat, go for cheaper cuts for recipes like stews and pies where presentation isn’t important. And finally, take into account how far your food has travelled to get to you. Shipping costs contribute to the price of food, and if you’re buying food that is out of season in your country it will have either been transported from elsewhere or been contaminated with chemicals. The best option is to grow your own when it comes to fruit, vegetables and herbs.

Cooking

How you cook has just as much of an impact on how much you end up spending on food. Cook in batches and freeze it in portions to be used another day, this way you can buy ingredients in bulk. Make sure you use any leftovers so that you’re not wasting food and money. As a general rule, the more processing that has gone into the food the more expensive it will be, so it is more cost effective to buy ingredients and make things yourself. That said, if you’re constantly choosing complex, difficult recipes the cost of ingredients can end up being more expensive, so stick to simpler recipes. Preparing packed lunches for yourself means that you will save all the money you’d usually spend buying convenience foods when you need them. Similarly, carrying a few snacks around with you wherever you go helps you to avoid temptation when you’re out and about.
It’s easy to cut down on the amount you spend on food every month, by getting into healthier habits when it comes to how you shop and how you cook. If you’re looking for more ways to grow your money, madeinshoreditch.co.uk has some great ideas.