- Plan to go meatless!
There is no getting away from the fact that meat is expensive! If you can plan a meal that is meat free each week, you could save anything from £4 to £10 on just one meal! Therefore, if you were to do this more than once a week, or make this a regular activity, your saving over a month could run into double figures.
Meat free meals do not have to be complicated. Choose a basic base and pimp it up with your favourite veg and dairy products. If you are feeling adventurous why not add a few super foods, beans or pulses!
- Plan ahead
Prior to embarking on the obligatory supermarket trolley dash around the aisles, write a list! It will keep you focused, make your trip quicker and more importantly stop you buying too many things you just don’t need.
Supermarket deals maybe a bargain, but do you really need that box of Jaffa Cakes, 2 punnets of strawberries or a grab bag of m&ms, just because you are saving 20p?! All of the unnecessary extras may just add up to the same price as your favourite takeaway one night in the week.
Choosing fruit and veg that are in season can save you money as well as adding variety to your recipes. Seasons in supermarkets tend to mean promotions, take advantage and maybe they can even help you out on your meat free meal of the week!
Fun idea: challenge yourself to add a different promotional fruit or vegetable to your meal plan for the week, either as an accompaniment or key ingredient! Penny Fairy would love to hear your recipe ideas as the seasons unfold.
Don’t be put off by the freezer! Some foods are considerably cheaper if purchased frozen as opposed to fresh. Don’t believe us? Why not compare pizzas, chicken and desserts on your next expedition.
- Operation: Basket
It may seem obvious, but you can’t carry it all! If you find yourself always buying too much, or getting carried away with offers and promotions, ditch the trolley for a basket! If you can’t carry it, you won’t buy it! Priorities take over like a ‘need to survive’ instinct and your purse will thank you at the checkout!
- Buy in bulk
If you have the space and there are certain things that you always need, when they are on offer buy in bulk. Items such as toilet rolls, washing detergent and crisps are much cheaper when purchased in larger quantities.
- Shop around
If you have time, it is definitely worth going to a couple of different shops each week. All the major chains have different promotions on and likewise their pricing differs. Do your research and be smart, buy from where things are better priced.
You may find it is easier to shop online browsing different sites rather than visiting shops and scouring the aisles. If you are shopping online, choose mid -week or late night delivery slots for cheaper delivery charges.
- Same ingredients, different meals
Instead of buying ingredients for each meal, why not choose one meal and then look for alternatives that are using the same ingredients meaning you have less wastage and no half-packets unused.
- Mince – Spaghetti bolognaise, Chilli Con Carne, Tacos, Shepherd’s Pie, Burgers
- Chicken – Fajitas, Curry, Kebabs, Stir-Fry
- Mushrooms – Lasagne, Stroganoff, Pasta
The fun of cooking is trying new things and making meals your own. You do not have to follow recipes to every detail, improvise change ingredients to cheaper alternatives or something you already have. You never know you may just prefer it.
- Swap cards for cash
Psychology can aid in saving money. It is so easy to swipe a card or enter a pin at the till, however counting out and handing over cash makes the transaction all the more real. If you ned an incentive to stop buying unnecessary items, why not draw out cash prior to your shop and then pay with cash at the till. You never know handing over a wad of notes as opposed to a plastic card may just have an effect on your psyche.