Five expert tips to save money on your food shop

Along with everything else, food prices have been slowly (but surely) rising over the last year or so.

In fact, in the four weeks leading up to April, food price inflation in the UK reached the highest it has in a decade, with shoppers now paying 5.3% more on food than they were a year ago. 

Soaring food prices plus the energy price crisis and the general cost of living crisis mean that, according to analysis by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, households with two workers could be around £392 worse off per month by September 2022. 

With this in mind, saving money where possible seems like the only immediate solution. 

Natalie Mitchell at Homehow, which helps homeowners save costs on their housing, has shared five money-saving tips to help cut down your yearly food shop bill by around £782.96 by December.

From yellow stickers to meat-free Mondays, here are some simple hacks to cut down your grocery bill.

Five tips to save costs on your food shop

Make a list

Wasted food equals wasted money. 

According to Mitchell, each household throws around 30% of their food shop away each year, equating to around £280. 

Making sure you have a shopping list, so you only get what you need, is a great way to cut down on waste.

‘Grocery shopping armed with a list protects a household from making impulse purchases,’ she says.

‘It’s often impulse purchases that pave the way to food waste as a household obtains too many perishable goods that are not used in time and therefore, thrown away. 

‘Build a shopping list throughout the week to ensure that you don’t purchase any unnecessary goods.’

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Time it right

You can’t beat a yellow-sticker bargain. 

If you’ve never found a pack of chocolate eclairs for 30p in the reduced aisle, you’ve honestly never lived.

According to Mitchell, purchasing just three reduced items a week can save up to £13.40 a month, or £107.20 by December. 

‘Supermarkets begin to reduce items at the same time every week,’ she says. 

‘Get to know the times that your local supermarket does this so you can plan your visits accordingly.’

Try meat-free Mondays

Buying meat from the supermarket can be expensive.

In fact, ditching meat for just one day a week can help save the average person £17.67 per month – that’s just over £140 by December. 

‘Of course,’ says Mitchell, ‘it doesn’t have to just be one day, and adding more meat-free days will potentially save even more money.’

Extra tips and tricks to save money

Avoid buzzword labelling

Whether a product is boasting that it’s high in protein, gluten free or packed with electrolytes, buzzword labelling can increase the price of a product. 

If you wish to purchase a product that holds any unique features, read the labelling. 

Sometimes, the ones that hold the most features are cheaper.

Avoid eyeline brands

Supermarkets tend to place the most expensive brands within eyeline. 

Cheaper products can be on the higher or lower shelves. 

Be sure to scan all the shelves and not to reach for what is in your eyeline.

Utilise loyalty schemes

Several supermarkets hold loyalty schemes that reward shoppers over the course of their shop. 

Ensure that you keep up to date with all of the loyalty schemes of your local shops.

  • Natalie Mitchell, Homehow

Get organised 

‘Organising your kitchen can pay dividends,’ says Mitchell. 

‘Not only will it inevitably reduce food waste, it’s easier to meal plan and prep.’

Mitchell advises segmenting your cupboards, labelling containers and getting yourself a spice rack.

This will make it easier to see what you have, what you need and avoid duplicate purchases. 

‘Research shows that those with organised kitchens save up to £4.75 a week,’ she says.

That’s £152 by December.

Use the world food aisle

The world food aisle is full of wonders – from Twinkies to 30p chickpeas and huge bags of Jasmine rice, it has to be one of my favourite aisles in the supermarket. 

And, as it turns out, shopping in the world food aisle can actually save you money. 

‘Products in the world food aisle such as soy sauce, rice and spice can be up to 75% cheaper,’ says Mitchell.

‘Shopping in the world food aisle can help you save an average of £3.20 each shop, or £102.40 by December.’

If you want more tips and tricks on saving money, as well as chat about cash and alerts on deals and discounts, join our Facebook Group, Money Pot.

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