10 of the best ways to shop on a tight budget
10 of the best ways to shop on a tight budget
Did you know the average weekly grocery bill (including basic laundry, food items, and toiletries) is £80 for two adults? If you think you are blowing your grocery budget then check our handy tips to save more and spend less on your weekly necessities.
Make your own food
Making your own food can be much cheaper than going to a restaurant or buying ready meals from the supermarket. It might seem like grabbing a takeaway from the closest restaurant is a quick solution but it can be much faster to cook at home, especially if you plan ahead. Your meals can also be more nutritious than a takeaway if you choose healthier ingredients.
Involving the whole family in meal preps can also bring everyone together, and for your children, it can not only be a fun thing to do but also a great way to learn healthier habits.
Shop with a list
Planning is the key to avoiding overspending at the supermarket, so get yourself a diary and start listing the items you need to prep for the meals in the coming week. Having a list makes it easier to avoid impulse purchases and stick to the aisles that have the items you are looking for. If you’re following our tip number 1, above, then a shopping list will help you to think of new recipes and cook a variety of dishes for your family.
Moreover, a list will help you stay more organised and save time while doing your weekly shopping.
Don’t shop when you’re hungry
If you’re hungry and in a supermarket, then everything would look good. For hungry shoppers, high-calorie food appeals more than usual and you will find yourself shopping for salty or sugary snacks in a hurry so that you can eat them ASAP. So always attempt to go shopping after a meal.
Do one weekly shop
If you’re armed with your meal plans and the shopping list then it is easier to do one big weekly shop to pick up the things you’ll need. You will notice that you end up spending more if you shop frequently and without a list. You’ll be tempted to buy those special offers in the centre aisles if you nip into the shop 2-3 times a week to buy your groceries.
Don’t be afraid to try cheaper alternatives
It’s not surprising that big brands charge more for their products compared to lesser known or store / own-labelled brands. For instance, tomato ketchup may cost more if you buy a branded product compared to an own-labelled brand like Tesco or ASDA offer.
You don’t need to burn a hole in your wallet to get the branded product and it is worth trying cheaper alternatives as they can lead to massive savings on your weekly bills without compromising on the quality of the product.
Don’t bring your kids to the supermarket
This is definitely a tough one, but if you can manage to leave the kids with their grandparents, neighbours, friends, or do your shop whilst they are at school, then it can get a lot easier to shop without getting distracted by impulse demands of your children - sweets, crisps, toy surprises!
You need to stay focused on the shopping list you’ve already created and try not to have more items added to the list while you’re driving to the supermarket or while shopping in one of the aisles.
Having loyalty cards and signing-up for promotions and discounts for your local supermarket can help you save in the long run. You can get discount vouchers through the mail, online coupons, fuel points, cashback points, etc. Just swipe your loyalty card each time you shop.
Most supermarkets offer free loyalty cards so don’t miss out on the benefits!
Be smart about quick-fix meals
Remember, good meals don’t have to come with a heavy price tag. You can get yourself cheap and healthier quick-fix meals just by raiding your fridge that may have leftovers, frozen food, vegetables, milk, eggs, bread, or cheese. There are tons of quick-fix recipes on the internet that you can get inspiration from. There is no need to run to the nearest McDonald’s every time you struggle to find something to eat. It’s not an impossible dream - not with a little planning and some essentials in your fridge.
Budget for bulk
There are certain items like cereals, grains, household items, that you can buy in bulk at the supermarket. Opt for bigger packages and overtime, you’ll be spending less money every week on your food shop.
Review your grocery expenses each week
It is worth reviewing your expenses every week so that you can track your spending and stay on top of your finances. It’ll help you to identify where have you spent the most and whether there is any need to cut down on some of the items or source for cheaper alternatives.
If you have a U Account, you can use the Money Manager tool to visually track your expenses or simply use the mobile app to quickly review your latest spends.