I’ll be honest – I have been a terrible food shopper in the past .I buy what I want, when i want, regardless of budget and without considering whether all the food will be used. Eventually I realised i could not afford to continue to this approach. Thus i tried to become more savvy when buying food. I have included my tips below to help your money go further. Food budgeting can make all the difference, especially as so much food is thrown away in the UK every year.
I am not suggesting you try and stick to a set amount. I suggest instead that you track your spending initially and then look at where you can make improvements to your spending habits.
Record everything that you spend on food, including impulse buys and takeaways as well as your regular supermarket shop. To do this you can use a budgeting app or a spreadsheet.
Be honest with yourself at this stage, as deliberately ‘forgetting’ the fact that you spent too much on lunch will only hinder future planning. Keep hold of your receipts and note down all costs timeously.
The unpleasant, unavoidable fact if you are struggling with what you spend on food and drink is that you may be required to make some cutbacks. The problem will not solve itself by turning a blind eye. Thus, you may need to cut out that weekly takeaway, the impulse buys of snacks and drinks, and be more disciplined.
There are many ways to make your food go further. Cook meals in bulk, and store on the freezer so you have ready-made meals when you don’t feel like cooking. Store perishable goods like herbs in the freezer too. And if you have leftover ingredients, look up some recipes that can use the items, rather than binning what is left over. Many items instantly have a longer shelf life once “cooked”.
Finally, try and avoid purchasing lunch from shops as much as possible, and prepare your own food. The difference in costs may amaze you. Food budgeting allows you extra money for life’s other pleasures.
Look out for any offers to save money! For example, if you do an online shop with a supermarket for the first time, they will always offer money off. Choose free delivery slots, and keep using any vouchers companies send you. I have used discount sites to purchase the likes of toiletries in bulk too – in the long run it has halved my costs.