For many families and many people their monthly food budget is likely one of the highest lines on their budget! – But how can you lower your monthly food budget?
Whilst it is true that we need to eat and drink to survive, many people are spending more than they need to on their food shopping and with some fairly simple tips and tricks it is possible for everyone to lower their monthly food budget and free up some money for other areas of their life where they are required more.
Below I outline 5 simple tips I believe you can start adopting today to save you money.
Seems obvious right?
But how many times do you pop to the shop to pick up a few items?
Common sense would dictate that the less time you spend in the supermarket/food store the less money you are going to spend.
How many times did you run to the shops to grab 1 or 2 items that you needed but ended coming home with a basketful of stuff? Supermarkets spend millions per year trying to work out how to get you to spend more, one of the best ways to avoid it is to shop less.
You want to avoid buyer’s remorse!
Right out a meal plan at the start of the week before you go shopping and create a full shopping list for the week and only buy those things!
Make your first goal to not go food shopping more than once per week.
Swap Out The Big Brands
Have you noticed that many supermarkets out the named brand goods at eye-level and the alternatives either on the higher or lower shelves?
This is no accident!
These named brand items are generally higher value and higher mark-up products for the stores due to the fact that they are well known brands.
For many of these items that you buy, the non-branded products may be just as good!
Over your next few shopping trips you should look to swap our the named brands products for the unbranded ones and give them a try. Whilst you may not like all the unbranded alternatives, swapping out 50% of them could add up to a healthy saving over the month/year!
Alternatively, if you currently shop in one of the larger supermarket chains, why not give alternatives like Aldi and Lidl a try.
Pack Your Lunch
One of the biggest budget killers! – Where possible always take a packed lunch to work with you.
The average lunchtime spend is around £5.00 and many times it is a lot higher as you are more likely to buy more when shopping hungry.
If you are buying lunch every day of the working week then that is £25.o0 a week or over £1,000 a year!
If you are a couple saving for a house, that is an extra £2,000 a year you can put in your pot!
Plan lunches in advance and buy them during your weekly grocery shop!
As an example, I tend to lunch for around £1.20 a day by buying my lunch items in bulk at the start of the week.
Use A Smaller Trolley
This is a nifty little hack that can really help to save you money!
When next heading into the supermarket, don’t grab the biggest trolley, grab one of the smaller ones.
Having a smaller trolley will naturally mean you have less space to put things but it will also help to put you off buying things not on your list or that are not essential as you will need to leave room for the things you do need.
It may seem like an odd trick but I can vouch for the fact that it really does work.
Stick To Your Budget
If you are reading my blog then you are certainly a person that has a good budget in place.
When you go to the shops, make sure you stick to it.
Don’t be afraid to take a calculator to the shop with you or use the app on your phone to track the value of what you have in your trolley.
If you are close to hitting your budget for the week you can swap out and trade down certain items whilst still on the shop floor.
The worst part about finding out your total are the till is that it is too late to make a change.
By calculating your total on the way round it gives you control to bring your shopping in on budget!
You likely will only need to do this a couple of times to start naturally understanding what are the right choices for your budget.
I hope you find these 5 tips useful and implement them over the next couple of shopping trips to slash your monthly food bill.
Feel free to share your tips in the comments below to help others shop more frugally.
I have always been good with money – I budget well, avoid making impulse purchases and attempt to adopt a frugal lifestyle as much as possible. I love to share my personal finance tips with you to help you achieve your financial freedom as well.