Money Makeover Part 2 – The Food Shop

Food prices have soared in recent years and feeding the family now takes a large portion of the income of many households. With prices still on the rise and food waste still sky high, there’s no denying something has to be done.

Step 1 – Know What You’ve Got.

Week after week we drag ourselves to the supermarket with no idea what is in our cupboards and no idea of what we actually need to get. By the end of the trip we are in such an exhausted (and often hungry) state that anything we spot that we’d usually buy makes it into our trolleys. I have so many tubs of passata in my cupboard it practically needs it’s own shelf yet I still catch myself wondering “Should I get some passata?” every single week. So before your next trip be sure to check your meal plan and take a quick peek in your cupboards. Make this a habit!

Step 2 – Make Offers Work For You.

You won’t go shopping anywhere without seeing some form of special offer – BOGOF, 3 for 2, 10% off and extra loyalty points are some of the most common. Knowing which ones to go for is key to keeping that weekly shop open. Ask yourself –

  • Will we use it?
  • Is it worth it?
  • Does it keep well?
  • Do I have the space/cash?

If you answer no to any of those questions, ignore the offer and walk away.

Step 3 – Make A Meal Plan.

I find making a meal plan one of the easiest ways to reduce the cost of food. I know exactly what ingredients I need so there’s no waste and I always know what to cook so takeaways become almost non-existent. It doesn’t work for everyone (Martin hates meal planning) but if you can do it, it’s worth the effort. When making your meal plan, be sure to think about what days are busiest so you can plan a quick, easy meal to suit.

Step 4 – Shop Online.

No matter what time I go shopping I always end up tired and insanely hungry by the time I’m done. Most of the time, with three equally tired and insanely hungry children in tow and that’s not even counting Martin, whom I often mistake for one of the children! This usually means a stop at McDonalds on the way home. It’s our magic potion that lets us put the shopping away in peace while they chomp away on their happy meals. It’s also bloody expensive – £20 a time and sometimes more! When you compare that to a £5 delivery fee and the hours you don’t spend shopping, it’s really a no-brainer.

Step 5 – Get In The Kitchen.

While ready meals can be gloriously convenient, they often lack both taste and value for money. Get in the kitchen and start making your favourite meals from scratch – they’ll taste nicer and more often than not they’re cheaper too. While you’re at it, why not discover some new meals to enjoy with your family? There are lots of websites out there that offer loads of budget-friendly recipes.

Step 6 – Grow Your Own.

My last tip is for you to grow your own ingredients wherever possible. Whether it’s a few herbs on the windowsill or an entire allotment’s worth of veggies it will save you money and be friendlier for the environment too.

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