As prices rise towards the end of the year, we are all looking for ways to reduce our costs. And the food store is a great place to start, especially when we’re ready for the holidays.
The penny-pinching people at NetVoucherCodes.co.uk point out that just because you spend doesn’t mean you go hungry. This means shopping smarter, shopping around and buying just what you need.
Here are their tips for keeping your food costs low.
1. Shop with a list
Don’t just walk to the supermarket and start putting things in your trolley. This is especially dangerous if you go shopping for food when you’re hungry – you’ll end up with a bunch of snacks and things you don’t need.
Instead, write down a list of things you need to know before you leave home. Better yet, plan your meals before you go shopping. If you already know that you will be making pasta tonight, you can find out what ingredients are missing, such as sauces, grated cheese or vegetables.
2. Don’t be afraid to try brand new
Expensive is not always good. If you always buy the same product, try using the store’s own brand instead of next time – you will find that their products are just as good.
NetVoucherCodes.co.uk recommends trying the ‘Downshift Challenge’. Basically, just drop a brand level with what you’re buying. If you can’t tell the difference, stick to the cheap alternative. It works especially well with basic staples like rice, cosmetics and cleaning products.
3. Snap up discount products
Many stores offer yellow sticker discounts for products that are about to expire or are about to expire their ‘best before’ date. In many cases, the discounts are big and the products will be as good as the day before
According to the Food Standards Agency, “the best pre-dates are not quality and safety.” This means that the texture or smell of the food may not be the best after that date, but it will still be perfectly safe.
4. Use cashback sites
Places like Quidco and Topcashback will give you a percentage of your purchase back if you buy things through their links.
5. Change the way you look for things on shelves
According to NetVoucherCodes.co.uk, supermarkets strategically place their most profitable items at eye level. To find better deals, look up or down to see if the products are cheap.
It’s worth checking out the World Food Corridor. Things like spices and sauces are often cheaper than buying local brands.
6. Take advantage of coupons
If you ignore the coupon, you are missing out. Couponing should not be difficult or time consuming. You can start looking for voucher discounts on the packaging of your purchased products or even on your supermarket receipts.
7. Make sure a discounted product is actually cheap
Simply identifying something as ‘on sale’ does not mean that it is cheap. In fact, you may still be able to get a different brand at a lower price than the discount. Always ask questions about great deals and look for alternatives before making a decision.
8. Don’t read for clever marketing
Things like ‘Value Pack’ and ‘Mini Pack’ are designed to appeal to your sense of convenience and interest in saving. But none of this is cheaper than buying regular sized packs. Make sure you read the labels and compare weights and prices when shopping.
9. Do not waste residue
The British waste 250 million pounds of food a week – and the rest is something they don’t know what to do. You can always freeze batches of food for later. However, you can also use pre-cooked vegetables to add to pasta, sauces or soups. Or you can mix the remaining rice with beans or eggs for a quick meal.
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