Top tip : Make your shopping list with your other half and kids before leaving so they don't feel left out and still get some treats from the food shop. Popping to the shops to get one or two things can often lead to another long shopping list, the temptation being too great once you're there. If you can, try and limit popping to to shops for extra ingredients outside of your big shop like fresh fruit and veggies.
Top tip : If you do find yourself topping-up your shop, make a note of the common things you need to buy and add them or a bigger quantity to your regular shopping list. One sure way of sticking to your shopping list is by doing it online. You can enter exactly what you want without the worry of being tempted by other products.
Top tip : Make sure you check which shop offers you the cheapest price for your basket before ordering - and don't forget to consider the delivery costs. If you do like to do your food shop online, mySupermarket is a great website to try.
Not only can you save your basket of food, you can also easily swap between the big supermarkets to see which one offers the cheapest price. Top tip : All of our recipes carry a 'buy the ingredients now' button which will help you compare prices via mySupermarket at all the top stores. If you're spending the cash already - you might as well make a little money from it. Cashback sites like Quidco often have deals where you can earn money on your online shop.
All you need to do is click a link that takes you to the site. Top tip: Google the supermarket that you plan to use with the words vouchers, offers and discounts to see if you can find a discount code to use on your shop. It only takes a couple of mins and could easily save you some cash. You don't see many coupons about these days, but they are still out there! An easy way to cut down the costs of your meal, coupons can often be a big part of supermarkets' and brands' advertising campaigns so it's worth checking for a few before you head to the shops.
Top tip : Most coupons can be found online and you can print them off when you need them. Some money-saving websites even tell you where to find all the coupons so it couldn't be easier. Before heading to the shops, it's good to really look through your cupboards, fridge and freezer to see what you already have in. There could be something lurking in the back, that you don't want to double up on. Top tip : Do a monthly clear-out of your cupboards and freezer so you can find items that you might've forgotten about. It's handy to have a notepad, whiteboard or something to write on in the kitchen.
That way, when you think of something you need, or something runs out you can keep a track of it. This will result in less top-up shops.
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Top tip : Paint a cupboard door with chalkboard paint for a fun way to keep track of items you need. This obviously depends on the size of your shop - we're not suggesting you carry a full month's shop on your own! Having to carry the food home will make you think twice about buying anything you don't really need - you just have to imagine the extra weight on your hands and it will quickly go back on the shelf! Top tip : If walking isn't an option, you could get set yourself a limit for how full you want your car to be - or how many trips from the car to the house you want to make when unloading.
Even if you're not shopping online, it can be good to do a little research before you head out. Knowing which supermarket will be cheaper for the foods you want to buy is an easy way to save money before you even get to the shop. Top tip : check price comparison sites before leaving the house, so you know where to get the best deals.
Food adverts are everywhere! It's hard to remember the discounts they shout about when you actually get to the store. When you see one that would be good for you, either tear it out of the newspaper or magazine or write it down and consider going to that store to pick up the bargain. Top tip : Don't let one good offer tempt you to shop in a supermarket that would otherwise be too expensive for you. The amount you save will not cover the extra cost of other ingredients.
It doesn't have to be an exact guide of everything your family eats who has time for that? If you're always throwing away something, you probably don't need to buy as much of it as you thought. Top tip : Starting a compost heap is an environmentally friendly way of making the most of wasted food, if you've got the space.
Cheaper supermarkets like Lidl and Aldi are getting better and better. If you've never been in before, you'll be surprised by the amount of quality products they have at low prices.
They could dramatically reduce your weekly food bill, while still providing you with all the food you need - you never know until you try. Top tip : Shops like Poundland sell branded household products and some food items - worth a look if you've got one close to you. Every shop has a rota for when it will start reducing items.
If you often find gems in the reduced section of the shop be careful with best before dates , it's good to know when to visit a shop to get the first pick of marked down goods - all you have to do is ask! Top tip : Don't get carried away in the reduced section - even if it's cheap, you still need to ask yourself if you will actually use it before it goes off.
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They may only occur a few times a year, but Bank holidays are a goldmine for reduced items. They're the only days when supermarkets are forced to be closed so it will undoubtedly lead to more items that need to be sold before they go out of date - that reduced section has never looked so full! We often grab the receipt, stick it in a bag and never think of it again.
Receipts are the most accurate way of documenting what you actually buy and it's always good to have a proper look over what you spent. Top tip : Keep all your receipts in a folder and compare cheaper ones to the more expensive to see how to cut corners. Loyalty cards are a great way to earn a little extra while you shop. Sainsbury's Nectar Card is also available for use in other stores like Homebase and now on eBay, so it's easy to build up quite a few points.
Tesco's Clubcard points can be transferred into higher value things such as days out and family meals. You're in there already, you may as well earn some money!
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Top tip : From time to time, supermarkets run special money back offers. You normally have to return to the same store to get the discount but they're good deals to look out for. Top tip : You can normally haggle prices at the market so be brave and go for it!
You never know unless you ask. Your local butcher or fishmonger could be your ticket to saving cash. Not all are cheaper than the supermarkets but it's worth trying out the ones near to you - especially for when you need to buy a lot of meat. They often have deals and the meat can be of a much higher quality. Top tip : Get to know your butcher. Once you're on friendly terms they can help you choose cheap meat and may even save you some of the nicest cuts. As supermarkets get a little bit greener there are incentives for bringing in used bags instead of getting new ones.
Sainsbury's offers Nectar Points for every old bag used for example. Have you ever really stopped to think about what you are putting in your basket and why? There are some easy swaps and things to consider, just click through to our ideas.
What’s Really in Your Basket An Easy to Use Guide to Food Additives and Cosmetic Ingredients
Other tips to browse: - How you shop - How you store your food - Cooking your food - Using up your leftovers. Frozen fruit and vegetables are often cheaper than fresh and they last much longer. People often think that frozen foods aren't as fresh but the vegetables and fruit are frozen as soon as they're picked so they're actually fresher! Top tip: A bag of frozen peas can come in really handy when you don't have much in - they can be used as the main ingredient in risotto, soup or a frittata.
Related Whats Really in Your Basket: An Easy to Use Guide to Food Additives & Cosmetic Ingredients
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