Food & Grocery Money Saving Tips

How to Save on Food Shopping

Keep a notebook & pen in your kitchen ideally magnetic on the fridge. Make a note when you run out of something.

Check out sale items at the supermarket as they often save you alot of money.

You may be able to freezee them until you need them later. Plan meals around sale items. ie if minced beef on sale, can buy enough for 3 meals: chilli con carne one night, beefburgers another night, shepherds puy the third.

Aim to only visit the supermarket once a week. The more you go the more you’ll buy

Buy late in the day at supermarkets & market stall holders as they are often trying to sell things off cheaply.

Always look for own brands as often as good as branded food.
Avoid sweetened cereals- frosted cornflakes can cost almost 40% more than unsweetened.
You can shop online for your shopping which may prevent impulse buys

Try to downshift in quality to save yourself some money. Sometimes it doesn’t taste any different. In fact in a recent Target programme a family voted the value bread from Woolworths as one of the best tasting bread in a hidden taste test. Sometimes a brand name may even make the supermarket own brand product .

Sometimes with value products you’re not paying for the fancy marketing or packaging of the expensive brand products.

You could try it for only a week trying the a lower step in product to see if you notice any different. If you don’t with certain products but you do with some, only change the products you don’t actually like the taste. You will be surprised over time how much you can save.

Shop at the end of the day when products due to expire soon can be substantially reduced.

When you cook a meal make an extra portion, freeze it and when you’re feeling lazy you can just warm it up in the microwave rather than buying an expensive take away.

Reuse sandwich bags so you don’t need to keep buying them

Make your own lunches, sandwiches or salads.

We waste so much food that reaches it best before date before we eat it, fruit & veg, milk or bread that goes mouldy or off. Instead of running round the supermarket to buy food, go there with a list of what you’re going to prepare for a meal for the week and buy all the exact ingredients you need.

So meal plan, batch cooking & freezing are a great way to save costs.

So when cooking look in your cupboards to see what you can cook with whats in there.

Organise your cupboard so that you can easily find things otherwise you may buy the same thing over and over again.

A great website to find out what to buy with the products you’ve got in is Here you type in the ingredients and it comes up with a list of recipes.

This doesn’t have to mean making yourself miserable, its just about making you more aware of what you’re eating and spending on.

Beware of the bigger size value packs if you’re not going to eat it all. It’s better to buy a bag of what you’re going to eat then buy more just to throat it away.

Check out the unit price. Sometimes a smaller product can appears better value as it’s cheaper and peopel don’t realise its smaller so if you shop has it always check out the unit price (ie price per 100g or per 100ml etc). That way you know you’re comparing like with like.

How to shop at the supermarket

When shopping if you have only come for a few items don’t pick up a shopping basket as this is likely to make you buy more shopping.

Expensive items are often at eye level with the cheaper products above & below.

Ready made meals are often expensive compared to what you can make fresh yourself.

There are often impulse buys at the till so just try not to tempt yourself.

Never buy badly dented cans as the seal could be broken and the contents could be dangerous

Check out the supermarkets own magazine before you start shopping. There may be money off coupons or offers inside.

Collect your loyalty points at the supermarket.

Online Supermarket Shopping

Some stores are consistently known to be the cheapest so it is best to try and shop there if you can.


Cheaper wines can be poor value as most of the cost of these is in tax on the alcohol so choose carefully.

Most table wines sold in supermarkets & bottle stores are designed to be drunk within 1-2 years. After this they will often dry out, let air in and spoil.

Pour leftover wine into a smaller bottle and seal with tight fitting cork. Or use apump that removes air from half finished bottle.

Opening an inexpensive bottle of red by letting it breath for 2-3 hours before drinking.

Check out the 12 bottle for the price of 11 if you’re having a big party & bottle stores may lend you wine glasses.

For everything you need to know about whisky check out Scotch whisky

Heat spoils wine so always keep it cool.

Sell by dates

Fresh food bought loose, usually has no sell by date.
Sugar, salt, dried pulses & canned food will store for a long time.
Olive & vegetable oils keep well after the bottle has been opened, but walnut & other nut oils become rancid after 2-3 months.
Dried fruit stores well
Nuts should be used up as they quickly lose their flavour
Fruit & Veg
Buy in season fruit & vegetables when you can as they can often be much cheaper at that time.
Try picking your own if you can as it may be much cheaper.

Try to shop at local greengrocers as often have cheaper fruit & vegetables. Supermarkets often buy unblemished items of similar size to loook more attractive in packaging. Greengorcers & market stalls often buy less visually perfect produce. But remember to select the individual items with care.

Also there can be local weekend markets that have even better deals. Find out where your local farmers markets are found. Always try to buy fruit & vegetables when they are in season as they are often cheaper.

Pre-packed bags of prewashed salads can be 50-70% more than mixing & making your own salads.
Salads with added dressing or croutons can be over 30% more expensive
A sack of potatoes or onions can be stored through winter.
Can you freeze it?
Freezing fruit & veg that is in season and food in general and then eating later on can save you lots of money.
Yes: Raspberries, skimmed, semi skimmed & double cream, tomatoes for soups & sauces, spinach, fully cooked potatoes, fresh meat, fish or shellfish, creamy deserts
No: Whole melons, bananas, full fat milk, lettuce, uncooked potatoes, previously frozen meat fish etc.
Food Shopping when on holiday
What to buy abroad
France: cheese, honey & olive oil. Mustard, cooking chocolate & strings of garlic. Wines of most types.
Belgium: Chocolates high quality
Italy: Salami, Parmesan, Parma ham, panforte, sun-dried tomatoes, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, pasta maker. Aperitifs- Campari & Limoncello
Spain: saffron, Pata Negra dried ham, dulce pimenton (smoked paprika), turron (nougat), olives, sugared almonds & sherry
Asia: Chinese & Indian teas. Unusual spices. Decorative serving bowls, kitchen utensils or decorative china
Middle East & North Africa: Spices. Herbal, floral or fruit teas, hone olives, Turkish delight, whle nuts in honey, dried fruits. Greek or Turkish coffee pots.
Choosing the right pan can save you alot of money. Stainless steel are good value & are easy to care for.The steel should have chrome/nickel content of at least 18/10.
Aluminum pans are fliiser but less susceptable to wear & tear if coated.
Box sets are best value, so check them out in the sales.
A good quality knife is made in one piece. Sabatier, Henckels & Global are good quality. Kitchen Devil knifes have been recommended for best value for money.
Saving in the kitchen
Just fill the kettle to the amoutn you need.
Put a lid on the suacepan when boiling.
Roasts or casseroles can be started in acold oven if they need to be cooked for more than an hour. Only baking needs preheated oven.
The cheapest & fastest way to bring water to the boil for cooking in a saucepan is to use the kettle.
Try to put as much in the oven when cooking, as it is the same price no matter how much you fill the oven with
Pressure cookers reduce cooking time by almost 2/3rds. They are better than microwaves for cooking large quantities.
Steam fast cooking vegetables in a basket over a pan in which you are boiling slower-cooking ones like potatoes.