Category: Budgeting

How to manage on a Tight Food Budget

Many of us are trying to spend less money on food these days. It used to be the case that families spent most of their money of food after they have paid rent, but these days we spend money on many more things and therefore often will try to get our food bill down to a small proportion of our spending. If we do have a tight food budget, there are ways that we can manage and still have enough food without going over the budget.

Avoid food waste

Sometimes it can be easy to waste food. We might buy food and then not have time to cook it or even forget that we have it. It is a good idea to look through your food cupboard, fridge and freezer and make sure that you are not likely to waste foods. Use things up before their use by dates and near to their best before dates so that no food is wasted. Try to use up the food that you have so that you can spend less on buying new food. Think about ways that you can put together food that you already have to make meals so that you can use it up before there is a risk that it might go off. If you do not like the food that you have, then see if you can swap it with friends, neighbours or relatives.

Find cheapest supermarkets

It is a good idea to find out which the cheapest supermarket will be for you to shop at. You might think that it is obviously who the budget supermarkets but the cheapest one for you will depend on the type of foods that you buy. If someone tells you that theirs is the cheapest, that might be true for them, but may not be for you. Therefore it can be worth using a comparison website to check which might be the cheapest. If you end up buying form a different supermarket, not enjoying their food and throwing it away, this is a false economy so it may be worth trying a few things first to see how happy you are with switching supermarkets. Make sure that you consider the travel costs to get the different supermarkets as well, as if you have to go further away or make several journeys to different places in order to get what you want, then it may not be worth the savings that you make on the groceries.

Buy non-branded goods

It is normally the case that branded goods will be more expensive than non-branded goods. This means that if you swap your brands for supermarket own brands, you are likely to save money. You may decide that you do not like the supermarket brands as much, but it is worth trying them to see what you think. There are some supermarkets where there will be some branded products that are cheaper than their own, so do be wary of what you are buyng in order to make sure that you really are saving money.

Avoid unnecessary snack foods

We seem to all snack a lot these days between meals, Years ago this was just not something that was done or if it was done it was very occasional. Now it seems that it is really acceptable to do this. It is worth looking at your own snacking habits as well as those of your family. Think about whether the snacks that you are eating are really necessary or whether you can go without them. It might be that you are in the habit of eating snack foods, when you could just miss them out or that you are having more than you really need. If you still want o snack, think about what you are snacking on and whether you can find a cheaper alternative.

Be wary of special offers

Special offers can often really tempt us when we are shopping. We think that we are getting a great deal and so we buy these items. It might be that they are things we normally buy and so we definitely save money. However, often they are things that we would not buy and so we need to be careful that we do not these in addition to our normal shopping and then end up spending more money than we would have. If we buy them instead of something more expensive, then this makes sense. However, it is still important to be careful about 2 for 1 and other bulk buy offers as it could tempt us just to eat more, because it was cheaper and then we will not end up saving any money.

Cook from Scratch

It can often be cheaper to cook form scratch than to buy ready-made meals and processed foods. It is worth comparing the prices of the ingredients and the meals to see whether you could save by making them yourself. Sometime sit is certain elements to meals that make them expensive such as meat, fish or nuts. Therefore you may be able adapt a recipe to make it cheaper by using a cheaper cut of meat, frozen rather than fresh fish, beans or lentils rather than nuts. You can replace out all sorts of ingredients and come up with a similar thing which costs a lot less. Having expensive ingredients less often can make a big difference and so having some days when you do not have meat or fish could help to reduce your food bill. Perhaps just having smaller portions of the expensive things and having more of the cheaper ones, can also be a way around it.

Avoid Trendy Food

When you buy trendy or superfood you will pay a lot more money for it compared with other foods. This means that it is wise to avoid these if you can. For example, goji berries are expensive because of their antioxidant properties, but any other red fruit would have similar ones, in fact all fruit and vegetables have antioxidants. Vegan food is very trendy and so dairy alternatives, vegan ready meals and things like this are easy to find but they are dear. You can make these yourself or find cheaper alternatives which are much cheaper.