What Consumer’s money saving tips for food shopping:
- Write a shopping list and stick to it. Don’t be tempted by clever offers such as ‘buy one get one free’ offers. The price of one may be more than double two of another brand. And do you really need it anyway?
- Experiment with cheaper alternatives. Often you will not be able to tell the difference between premium branded products and value alternatives. There is very little to justify any kind of price difference in basics such as salt, sugar, milk, flour and butter. Therefore buy the economy brand and you will lose nothing.
- Economy packs of fruit and vegetables are often the ones which were too small, too large or misshapen to get into the standard packs. There is no difference in freshness or quality
- You will see how much the inclusion of meat in any dish drives up the price. Experiment with substitutions such as oyster mushrooms instead of chicken, pancetta instead of bacon.
- Buy dried pasta, not fresh. The quality will be the same and will able to get that al dente effect. Shop around for the most reasonably-priced dried pasta – as with most things, there is a huge price difference between branded and supermarket own-branded. The only time I would recommend fresh pasta would be for lasagna as it significantly reduces cooking time
- Have you noticed how expensive boxed cereals are? Porridge oats are far cheaper, contain no added sugar or salt, and are nutritionally superior.
- Frozen is often much cheaper than fresh, particularly when it comes to fish.
- Items which are ready to eat or involve less preparation from you are more expensive. Examples from our list are things like frozen pastry blocks (vs fresh ready roll), custard powder (vs ready to serve). To save the most try making as much as possible from scratch.
- Rice is a much cheaper alternative to pasta and can be flavoured by boiling in stock rather than water.
- It is more cost effective and will save time to make a large amount and eat it over two days. Flavour can significantly improve overnight. Invest in some small Tupperware so that you can also freeze portions.
More on money saving:
- Eat well, save money – can you make it from scratch?
- The results of the What Consumer money saving study
- Money saving forum