Keeping food bills down. My top 5 tips.

I have been in full time work for two years, but still have the habits of shopping from when I was a student. Being short for cash in uni, I found ways to create yummy food that didn't break the bank. I am still very good at keeping food under £10 a week whilst still enjoying everything I want. Here are some of my tips to keep a reign on your food shop.

1. Go to the supermarket at the right time.

This one is a biggie for me. I know the times the supermarkets near me reduce their food down every night and try to visit them at that time when I need meat or vegetables. It can be easy to get carried away with bargain food, but make sure you only get what you need, or things which can be frozen to avoid wasting it. Another point to make is I find alot of ready meals and junk food are reduced, but don't be lured into them. They may be cheap, but they probably aren't nice.

2. Utilise the freezer

My freezer is one of the most used items in the kitchen. If I find things cheap at the supermarket, I stick them in the freezer so they don't go off. I also often make extra at dinner and then freeze for future meals. If things like broccoli are on offer, I have started to blanch it, drain and pop it in the freezer. You can do this with lots of veggies, and can save it going off.

3. Make you own lunches

An average worker spends over £7 a day on their lunch, drinks and snacks (source). This mounts up over the year, and takes a huge chunk out of your wage but can be avoided. Just dedicating a little time whilst making dinner the night before, or whilst making breakfast to create your own lunchbox can help. This could be making more dinner and having leftovers, or simple throwing a quick salad together. Once you get into the habit of spending a little time doing this, it makes lunchtime more exciting as you already know what you are getting.

4. Visit food markets

If you have a food market near you, then be sure to give it a visit. The produce is often much fresher and tastier whilst being cheaper than supermarket food. In my nearest market, they sell produce in bowls, not allowing me to pick the quantity which is a little annoying, but means I am more inventive with the same ingredient.

5. Discover new foods

Looking in the tins or grains aisle, you can find an abundance of great food which can be used to make super cheap but tasty meals. Things like chickpeas, butter beans, and pearl barley are all cheap items that can be thrown into salad or putting into yummy soups. I love finding new ways to discover cheap ways of using food, or making leftovers exciting by adding something else, and this is what helps to keep my food bill down. 

Hopefully these tips can help you to lower your food bills. Throughout my blog, I am sure you will see mentions of each of these tips in practise. Let me know how you keep your costs down.

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