Tips for saving money on your food shop

Food is so hard to resist it’s often tempting to pay much more than you can afford. Many a man has gone bankrupt because of a conveniently located takeaway.

saving money food shop 1

But if you’re savvy about it, it’s possible to dine like a king whilst saving money. Below are a few tips for saving money on your food shop, whilst still eating the things you love.

Shop online

Shopping in a supermarket is dangerous. No-one can look at that many delicious things all in one place and still have the discipline to walk out of there with a salad.

Whoever has walked past a packet of crumpets or some Moroccan topped houmus without immediately adding it to their basket or trying to rip the packaging apart with their teeth or swallow it whole like a wolf is probably not human. It’s one of the classic signs they’ve been replaced by a body snatcher from outer-space.

If you shop online you don’t get this. Sure they have the “suggested items” down the sidebar, but you can’t smell suggested items (take it from someone who’s tried), or see how large and delicious they are. You’re less likely to make impulse buys.

You also don’t risk being distracted by brightly coloured packaging. Without pictures of cartoon monkeys offering you coco-pops, you might find that “chocolate style puff products” are just as delicious and a lot cheaper.

You can also occasionally take advantage of loopholes in online deliveries, and get £60 shops for only £15. You’re pushing trolleys when you should be using a mouse finger at most.

If you do go in store, look out for yellow stickers

There are three reasons why something gets reduced at a supermarket: It has a short date, it’s superficially damaged (e.g. the tin is dented) or it’s no longer being sold (e.g. advent calendars in February or Easter eggs on Halloween).

Two of these reasons won’t actually affect the quality of the food you’re eating, and the third is solvable.

If you have a large freezer, you can dine like a king by getting high quality food when it’s been reduced by up to 75%, shortly before the sell-by-date and then freezing it as soon as you get home.

Shop immediately after a meal

Endless research has consistently shown that shopping on an empty stomach is a bad idea. The emptier your stomach is, the more food you will buy and the higher priced food you will spend your money on. If you’re trying to save money, you can do it by gorging yourself on food just before you go out to the shop. It’s the time that you’ll least want to think about food and you’ll buy what you need rather than what you want, because the only food you’ll want at that time is indigestion tablets.

And shop at key times

If you are looking for supermarket reductions and want to get in there first, before all the good stuff has gone, here is a handy little schedule of when they go up:

saving money food shop 2

Happy shopping.

More on: Guides