Over the past couple of months, I’ve been learning to budget. I’m not perfect – I still spend too much on clothes for my kids (which I’m going to change) and a lot on the house, but I was sick of spending loads every week at the supermarket and then having nothing extra left for anything else.
So here’s how I cut down my shopping bills at the supermarket:
1. Switched to value range. I’ve found that most of the value range products are as good as the branded product, at a quarter of the price. £29p pasta is the same as £1.09 pasta, 33p yogurts are fine for my 3 year old, frozen savers veg is great to use on a cooked dinner, savers tinned kidney beans etc are fine.
The only things I don’t buy on the saver range now are mayonnaise, tomato sauce, baked beans, washing powder. And meat I tend to buy mid range.
2. Cut down on meat. I still but the mid range meat, but I’ve changed the cuts I buy (chicken drumsticks rather than breasts) etc, and I’ve reduced how much I buy. Now I do 2-3 meat free meals a week.
3. Buy bigger meat packs. Sounds silly, but instead of buying a cheaper tub of mince for example, I buy a bigger one, then make it into two or three meals, so in the long run it works out cheaper.
4. Shop around when I can. I can’t always with two children, but I go to aldi once every couple of weeks, and buy my nappies, fruit, veg and any other bits I see that are cheaper than morissons (my usual supermarket.)
5. Ignore the offers! If I don’t need it, I don’t buy it. Not sure if this does make it cheaper, but it works better for me as I don’t impulse by so much.
6. Take a list. I usually write one on my phone and stick to it (apart from a few bits that I forget to add to the list!)
7. Use a smaller trolley. I used to use the big trolley – I do still have to if I have my baby with me, but otherwise I use the smaller one as I can’t fill it so much!
8. Take your time. Plan for shopping to take a bit longer, and take the time to look for cheaper options, price things up and work out what works out better value.
I’ve reduced our shopping bill from between 70-80 a week to 40-50 a week for the 4 of us. Thats around £120 a month – a huge saving from making small changes. I think there may still be room for reductions, but I do love to bake (baking ingredients do seem to be expensive) but now we are shopping more within our means and have just a bit more left at the end of each month.
If anyone has any other tips for shopping cheaper, I’d love to hear them 🙂