How to save money shopping for food and other household items
Food and other household goods make up a substantial amount of a families monthly expenditure. Yet it is an area we can all save money on the weekly shop and over time this can add up to a significant amount of money.
Definition of household shopping
- Food that we eat and cook at home
- Household cleaning products including washing powder
- Packed lunches
- Takeaway meals and eating out.
You might wonder why takeaways and eating out have been included in household shopping. Well for many families a take-away and even taking the family out to eat can be because you have run out of food or energy to cook a meal at home. Reducing the number of takeaways or meals out which fall into this category will save you lots of money.
If your monthly household shopping bill is £600 per month that is £7200 a year. If you could save money shopping by 10% over twelve months you would save £720.
To save money shopping you need to know first how much you spend
It is easy to be reactive when we are food shopping. Buying things we already have in the house. Being influenced by the marketing and advertising that is all around us whether we are shopping online or in the shop.
- Know how much you spend on food, cleaning products, packed lunches, takeaways and eating out.
- Keeping a running total of what and where you are spending your money can immediately make you question some of your incidental purchases.
- Use one of the many money apps that will help you with budgeting. Apps like Expense Tracker are available on iTunes and Googleplay.
- Do a monthly food and household goods audit.
- Get into the habit of checking what food and other household goods you have in the house already before you buy anything else.
Make lists and buy own brands
- Are there meals you can cobble together with ingredients which need to be used up? These recipe books are all highly rated for cooking with leftovers. Tiny Budget Cooking: Saving Money Never Tasted So Goodand Eat Well for Less: Family Feasts on a Budget
- Make a list. Before you go shopping either on-line or in person. Check what you already have in the cupboards. Make a shopping list – and stick to it.
- Save money shopping by downshifting on the brands you currently buy. Buy own label products and definitely avoid the premium brands. By downshifting on brands the average family can save up to £800 a year.
- Review the cleaning and washing products you use.
Invest time in planning you will save money shopping and also precious time
- Have a menu plan. If that sounds too daunting, then just have a menu plan for particularly busy days. Deciding what you are going to cook in advance on busy days will stop you spending money on expensive ready meals or succumbing to a takeaway.
- Having some quick recipe ideas that don’t take much effort up your sleeve will help you save money and time.
- Never purchase more than you need particularly of perishable goods. Ignore the BOGOFF, (buy one get one free offers).
- Cook what you need to cook. Any leftovers should be used for packed lunches or freeze for dinner next week. Ideally on one of your busy days.
- Check your fridge regularly to make sure that anything that is not going to be used before it’s “use by” date is put in the freezer.
- Buy those little luxuries when you do your big shop and when they are gone don’t top them up until your next big shop.
- Reduce the quantity of meat or fish you use in recipes and add in more vegetables. This has many benefits in cost, health and supporting the environment.