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How on earth do you save money on family food when it feels like all the family could eat a horse – each!
On a daily basis?
It really adds up, doesn’t it?
And that’s before you add in those too-tired-to-cook takeaways and I-just-don’t-have-time ready meals.
Plus coffee and lunches and snacks and whatever when you’re out and about.
Before you know it you’re spending hundreds of pounds a week on family food and my goodness that gets to scary amounts over the whole year!!
Two years ago our grocery bill was seriously out of control and I mean seriously!!
But I have made a massive effort to save money on family food and we have literally saved thousands.
Read more: How to Slash Your Grocery Bill – ten easy to implement hacks to save big!
With Christmas coming up, (it is!!), I wanted to see if I could save another £100 a month which over the next few months could really help cover a chunk of that extra seasonal spend.
So wrote down everything I’ve done to save money on family food in one big long list and looked to see what we’d slacked on and where we could tighten up. And then begged and borrowed from friends all their fave money-saving tips to see if we could cut that weekly spending just a little bit further..
Read more: How to make QUICK savings on your grocery shop – 8 simple hacks to quickly save money
And in case you’re trying to save money on family food as well here it is … my huge list of 50 totally manageable tips that really will cut your weekly spend … and don’t worry, you don’t have to do all of them, even 5 or 10 every week, really will make a difference …
Save Money on Family Food
- Have at least one meat free day a week
- Buy cheaper cuts of meat
- Avoid large cuts of meat, very good quality mince and stewing meat will go much further
- Stop being brand loyal – look for the best price
- Follow brands on social media to get best offers & coupons
- Keep an electronic shopping list – I keep in my Cozi a totally brilliant free app specifically designed for busy mums which I can totally recommend
- Keep track of what you use up so you only buy exactly what you need … I have a chalk board on the inside of a cupboard that we note things down on as used up or getting very low
- Record your best price for everything in your shopping list so you know whether a special offer is really a good deal
- Shop online to make it easier to find offers
- Shop less frequently – we saved by doing the supermarket shop every fortnight rather than every week
- Set a hard limit on your supermarket spend and don’t go over it – keep slicing a little more off the limit every week or so
- Bulk buy pantry goods that keep well
- BUT always look out for better offer prices on smaller packages
- Look for frequent buyer schemes e.g. Amazon’s Subscribe & Save (UK) on food stuffs that you don’t want to buy in bulk because they don’t keep e.g. nuts, seeds
- Create a simple meal monthly meal plan and rotate it
- Go through your fave recipes and see if you can switch out expensive ingredients for something cheaper
- Stop buying special ingredients you only use occasionally and end up throwing out
- Bulk cook & freeze core items you can use in lots of meals e.g. mashed potato, cheese sauce, pasta sauce
- Always cook double portions and freeze one
- Wash and chop up veg all in one go and freeze portions so you stop chucking out soggy veg at the bottom of the fridge
- Try and fill the oven whenever you put it on
- Go to the market at the end of the day and haggle for discounted meat and fish
- Buy yesterday’s bread from a good baker – good quality bread will last but baker has to sell it separately
- Buy slightly bruised, mishapen veg going cheap for cooking stews and sauces – our greengrocer sells “cooking” peppers and tomatoes for less than half the price as so many people won’t buy them unless perfect and they taste better for being slightly over ripe
- Cook with beans and pulses whenever you can to provide healthy cheap protein – if the family claim not to like blend into sauces and soups
- Grow your own courgettes (zuchinni) – even if you’ve got a tiny garden and you’re a totally amateur gardener (like me!) you’ll get a glut
- Grow spinach and chard … as zuchinni v easy and will keep going into the winter
- Pick your own soft fruit and freeze them
- Pick your own apples and store them
- Forage for wild blackberries, elderberries, damsons and more and freeze them for pies and crumbles
- Make your own jam
- Pick your own veg that are too tricky to grow
- Eat fruit and veg in season
- Get a flask and never buy coffee out
- Take packed lunches to work
- Take picnics on days out
- Buy a water bottle and always carry it – if you’re tap water tastes horrid get a bottle that filters it. Luci and I have both got these Black & Blum bottles with charcoal filters
- Cook smaller portions – particularly of carbs so you don’t end up with bits of left over pasta, rice and potatoes or cook double so you’ve got a decent helping read to eat
- Include 4 or 5 trusty ways with leftovers – that your family will actually eat! – in your meal plan
- Check fridge twice a week for leftovers that need eating
- Get anything perishable that isn’t going to get eaten into the freezer
- Keep an eye on the bread bin and freeze bread that isn’t going to get eaten in time … if it’s slightly dry grate and freeze as bread crumbs
- Make quick soup with odds and sods of leftover veg – just put it all in a pan with stock (and parmesan rinds) and blend up (removing rinds first)
- Make “secret” smoothies with left over fruit that isn’t get eaten
- Stop buying ready meals
- Make your own cakes & biscuits
- Stop buying prepared foods e.g. coleslaw, houmous
- Don’t go to the supermarket when you’re hungry – you’ll end up being tempted by stuff you really don’t need
- Don’t take the kids to the supermarket with you as you will then be focused on getting out of there as quick as possible rather than getting the best deal
- Talk to the family about food waste and get everyone involved in trying to reduce the amount of food thrown away
I really hope these tips help … and we would absolutely love to hear all your fave ways to save money on family food … do share below …
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