Sometimes just making small changes to the things we do on a regular basis can help cut down the cost of our weekly food shop.
With winter on the way, reducing what we have going out can help us make the best of what we have coming in. Especially when January can sometimes be a challenge, if like many people, you were paid earlier than usual in December and have a much longer run until the next payday.
Here are five simple tips for a food shopping budget in winter:
- Plan ahead and budget – It could be something as simple as making a shopping list, so as not to overbuy at the supermarket, or it could be comparing prices in shops, across websites and with available discounts before you make a large purchase or sign up to a utility. And keeping up to date with when your credit bills are due can help you avoid the risk of missing payments.
- Supermarket shopping rules – BOGOFs (buy one get one free) are very attractive, but it’s best to only get what you will actually use – and that won’t ‘go off’. Other simple wins could be to try and ignore impulse buys, and not to shop for food when you’re feeling really hungry! Check voucher websites too for useful ‘percentage off’ code campaigns, or cashback deals.
- Simple daily saving – Simple things like making your own packed lunch instead of nipping out for a pricey baguette can save a packet over the course of a year. Likewise, walking, running or cycling to work/play where possible. Not to mention cutting out gym membership you hardly ever use, or satellite TV channels you never watch – it can all add up!
- Throw away less if you can – With food banks frequently in the news, it can feel wasteful to be throwing good food away. Try to remember to freeze food where possible, and to remember that in many cases the ‘best before’ date is simply a guideline – it doesn’t always mean that the food will be ‘off’.
- Pay your credit bills on time– If you’ve been shopping on credit, remember that your Experian Credit Report could show you if you’ve missed some payments on cards or loans you have. Late or missed repayments stay on your credit report for at least six years, so it’s a good idea to make your repayments on time.