There are many areas of our household spending that it is possible to cut and the food shop is probably one of the easiest. We have to buy food, so we will always need to spend money, but there are ways that we will be able to reduce what we pay out, which can help us to more easily be able to manage our other bills, loan repayments and rent.
It is wise to compare the prices of the items that you are buying when you are shopping. It can be so easy just to put all of our normal items into the trolley without looking at the prices at all. However, if you start to look at prices you will begin to see how much they can vary. Between branded and unbranded goods the price difference can be pretty big for a start. You may like certain brands but it is good to try cheaper ones every so often and see whether you can tell any difference. Doing a blind taste test between the two can be a really good way to tell whether you really prefer one over the other. If you know which is which they you may just think you will prefer your usual one and it will bias your opinion.
Comparing prices will mean that your shop takes a bit longer, especially if they are hard to compare, but it can be worth it. You may need to take a calculator for some as you may find that some veg are priced per item and others per 100g and so in order to compare the price properly you may have to weigh the single items and calculate the price per 100g so that you can compare properly.
Use the cheapest retailer
It can be easier to just visit the cheapest retailer and then you will know that you are paying the least you can. Of course, the cheapest retailer is not the same for everyone, it will depend on the sort of things that you buy. There Is a comparison website mysupermarket.com which you can use though. You can put in a typical shop and it will let you know how much that will cost in various paces. This is very handy, but you need to bear in mind that some items will not be available in all supermarkets and they may not have equivalents. If this is the case then the bill may be artificially low because those items are not included. Therefore, you will need to analyse it carefully. You should though, be able to see whether there would be a significant difference if you went elsewhere. It could mean that you will need to get a majority of your things in one place and then go elsewhere for the bits and pieces you cannot get there. This could be annoying and it may cost you more in fuel to have to travel to several places. Consider whether you are happy doing this. It might okay if you need to get things which you can stock up on such as tins so you only have to visit the other supermarket occasionally but if you need to go often then it may not be worth it.
Reduce food waste
Many of us waste food because we buy more than we need or do not eat it quickly enough and it goes off so we have to throw it away. If you can stop doing this, then you will be able to save the money that you would have spent on the food. If you make sure that you plan your meals and only buy what you need for those, this will help. Also make sure that you use foods up as they are starting to get close to their use by date. Check the fridge before meals and then use the food that needs to be used up rather than just randomly using things. Some foods can be frozen and so check if they are close to their use by date and freeze them so that they do not need to be wasted.
Buy less processed foods
Processed foods such as pre made meals, cereals and snacks are expensive compared to making those items yourself. Not only will you save money but it will also be healthier to make these meals yourself as well. This means that you will benefit in two ways. It can be convenient to buy ready made meals as it can to order take away food or eat out but normally it is healthier and significantly cheaper to cook yourself. It will take time but it is possible to cook a meal in 10-20 minutes and it can be very satisfying knowing that you made it yourself. You could make large batches and put some in the fridge or freezer to have another time and that will save you time in the kitchen.