Visits to the supermarket seem to get more expensive as the weeks go by, despite the lists of offers which tempt shoppers through the doors. With busy lives, ready meals are a large area of spend by many as well as snacks and drinks.
There are lots of ways to save money though with a bit of creative thinking, a little planning and the commitment to roll up your sleeves and start chopping, steaming, baking and freezing your way to a lower food bill each month.
No spend day
Commit to a day every week where no money is spent on food. That means no takeout, cups of coffee on the daily commute or popping to get a loaf of bread on the school run.
A no spend food day means you’ll really think about where your money goes and it will help you with your budgeting. Get the family involved and bake bread for the day and the lunchbox sandwiches, use whatever is in the cupboard, fridge and freezer for dinner and get creative with the vegetables lurking in the salad drawer to make a large, filling pot of healthy soup which can be frozen into portions for the next no spend food day. You’ll be helping the environment too as we throw away 7 tons of food from our homes every year.
Say cheese to great grating
Buying a block of cheese often means that members of the family help themselves between meals to large chunks and it’s gone before you know it. Either that or there’s a dried up chunk of cheese in the back of the fridge and it ends up going in the bin because you kept thinking you’d use it up in some way and never got around to it.
Make cheese go much further by grating it and then freezing it. You can then use handfuls on the top of dishes such as lasagne and you can use it from frozen as it defrosts in minutes. You can also use it in sandwiches in the same way.
To ensure you only spend what you have when you go shopping for food, take cash – as well as a shopping list. Keep a list of the prices as you go up and down the aisles and add them up on a calculator. You won’t be tempted to add luxuries to the trolley as you’ll know you don’t have the money with you.
If you need to go shopping but find your money for the month has been spent on an emergency such as the car breaking down, look at reviews on payday loans online from payday choice. There are a range of lenders who have a number of finance solutions available to help with a crisis such as an unexpected bill.
Changing shopping and cooking habits takes time and it also takes the commitment of everyone in the household for it to really work. Try different savings ideas each month to find out what works for you and it won’t be long before you’re making a real change to your monthly budget.
Image via ReneS