Cheap groceries_ cut your food and drink bill with these tips and tricks

Prices on supermarket essentials are increasing — the cost of butter has jumped by 15%, fish up 8% and tea is up by over 6%.

The cost of fruit and veg has also risen as much of it is imported.

Grocery inflation climbed to a three-year high of 1.4% in the 12 weeks leading up to 26 February and from 0.7% in the 12 weeks to 29 January, according to consultancy Kantar Worldpanel.

These figures illustrate how quickly the sharp decline in the pound has fed into food price rises.

However, there are a few ways to beat the rises and reduce the overall cost of your grocery bill.

Sit down and work out exactly what you’re going to cook for the next week so that you know what ingredients you will need.

Write up a shopping list based around your weekly menu and stick to it – don’t be tempted to impulse buy and end up with a cupboard full of food you don’t need.

An obvious one, but never shop on an empty stomach – you’ll be far more tempted to buy things you don’t need if you do. Gordons sloe gin recipe Cut costs by shopping online

By doing your shopping online with you can track how much your shopping would cost at each of the UK’s four major supermarkets (Sainsbury’s, Tesco, ASDA and Ocado/Waitrose).

You can then select the basket of goods from the one that saves you most. Simple sloe gin recipe It will also tell you when you can ‘swap and save’ on specific items.

If you want, you can even compare the calories, fat, sugar and salt in items, so you can make the healthiest possible choices.

Choose from a host of meal planning apps, which cater to anyone from a single diner to a hungry family.

The Change4Life Smart Recipes app will give you loads of recipe ideas that are actually easy to fit around a busy schedule, feed four adults and cost less than a fiver a pop. Make sloe gin recipe Brilliant!

Have a go at BigOven for using up the leftover ingredients and those store cupboard items that you just can’t find a use for.

If you are prepared to your shopping online, you can often find money-off vouchers on HotUKDeals, and that more than cover the cost of delivery and can chop several pounds off your weekly shop.

It can also be worth signing up to supermarket websites even if you don’t shop with them, as supermarkets often send out discounts via email.

This isn’t the most steadfast of rules, but some people swear by it.

If you leave a couple of items in your basket and click away from the supermarket’s website, it’ll send you an email a few days later with a discount code for that very item. Sloe gin recipe gordons What a coincidence!

Some supermarkets give new online shoppers a sweetener with some money off their first shop.

For example, Sainsbury’s shoppers can get ?18 off their ‘first’ shop costing over ?60. Dried sloe gin recipe What’s more, you’ll get a tenner off each of your next five shops.

New Waitrose customers can bag ?40 off, spread over the first two shops. Kilner sloe gin recipe Orders must be over ?180 each and both orders need to be placed by 31 March 2017.

Some supermarkets offer special deals on delivery as well as delivery passes to save on the cost of getting your groceries to your door.

Read more at The cheapest supermarket online delivery deals. Sloe gin fizz cocktail recipe Hunt out the best supermarket deals

Most supermarkets’ websites will advertise special offers like ‘buy one get one free’ so you can find out what’s available before stepping into the supermarket itself.

If the offer is on perishable goods, make sure you have space to freeze whatever you don’t need immediately.

It’s also worth checking at the till if an offer has expired or not to make sure you. Sloe gin recipe sipsmith As we reported earlier this week, Tesco was found to be advertising many ‘live’ offers that were actually expired.

Usually if you do your supermarket shop towards the end of the day, the discounts will be greater. Sloe gin recipe almond Most supermarkets have a ‘reduced to clear’ food shelf, which is always worth a browse.

These items will have a shorter ‘use by’ date on them, so either eat them quickly, or freeze them if you can.

Budget supermarkets such Lidl and Aldi have become a big hit with many shoppers because you can often find better deals there than in the major supermarkets.

They manage to keep prices low by reducing shop overheads. Sloe gin and tonic recipe You’ll save money here, but don’t expect a free plastic bag!

Try to buy vegetables that are in season. Quick sloe gin recipe Check out the Eat The Seasons website to find out what’s in season now.

Compare cashback credit cards with loveMONEY Ditch the supermarket

Growing your own fruit and veg, as well as herbs, could knock a large chunk off your grocery bill!

If you don’t have a garden, call your local council to see if they have an allotment available.

Alternately, help to grow a local community garden. Sloe gin recipe uk Check out the Federation of City Farms & Community Gardens for more information.

Foraging for seasonal food – a sort of wild equivalent to pick-your-own – has also increased in popularity during the recession.

The British countryside is packed with edible vegetables, fruits and fungi, and as long as you adhere to a few basic safety rules, it can be a fun day out as well as a money-saving exercise.

There are some great wild food recipes on this page of the Woodland Trust’s website. Sloe gin recipe river cottage And if it’s blackberries you’re after, there’s a free downloadable guide from the National Trust dedicated to spotting them, picking them, and turning them into all sorts of delicious dishes.

The Go Self-Sufficient website has various guides dedicated to foraging for seasonal greens, berries, meat, fish, mushrooms and nuts. How to make sloe gin recipe And finally, check out foraging tips from Galloway Wild Foods.

Local farmers’ markets can be a great place to buy fruit and veg for less. Sloe gin recipe hugh fearnley whittingstall By cutting out the middle man, they can offer good quality food at supermarket-beating prices.

Alternately, check out your local greengrocers and butchers to see how prices compare.

Local greengrocers and markets can work out far cheaper for fruit and veg than supermarkets. Sloe gin recipe jamie oliver Find your nearest one here.

Why not consider out of date food websites such as Approved Food? These fabulous websites sell short-dated and out-of-date (but safe) food and drink, and as a result, the prices are a lot lower than you’d find in the supermarket – particularly if you’re buying in bulk.

If you are completely put off by the idea of eating food out of date, it’s also worth noting that, in some cases, you will still get items that are in date by several months.

On OLIO, you leave a post about the food you have that’s going to waste and then somebody comes round, or you meet in a mutual location, to pass it on.

All the food should be given away for free or for a small donation to charity.

Bulk-buying food and drink can offer genuine savings, especially if you share out the produce among friends and neighbours.

Sacks of rice, for example, are extremely cheap from Asian grocers.

If possible, try to buy food that isn’t wrapped up in loads of packaging as it’ll be cheaper. Recipe for sloe gin river cottage Buy your fruit and veg loose, and also purchase more from the deli counter – cheeses and meats are likely to be cheaper here than those wrapped up in plastic on the shelves. Sloe gin recipe bbc It will also taste fresher.

Some cuts are cheaper than others, perhaps because they take longer to cook. Sloe gin fizz drink recipe But if you’re prepared to invest a little more time in your cooking, buying cheaper cuts of meat is a great way to save!

Supermarkets’ own label products often contain the same ingredients as their big brand equivalents. Sloe gin fizz recipe egg white They can taste just as good too – and cost a lot less!

You can see how certain products compare in both cost and taste by checking out the Supermarket Own Brand Guide website.

Make good use of coupons that come through your door and that you cut out of magazines. Recipe for sloe gin jamie oliver Teaming those with special offers can save you a hefty amount.

Getting home to find you’ve been charged twice for an item you’ve only got one of can be frustrating. Sloe gin jam recipe And more often than not, we can’t be bothered to trek back to the supermarket to complain. Jamie oliver sloe gin recipe So make sure you check your receipt at the checkout to find out whether there are any errors.

It’s always worth checking how much an item costs per 100 grams / kilogram, Sometimes, you may find it actually costs more to buy a larger packet than a smaller one.

Supermarkets will try anything to tempt you to buy more than you need. Best sloe gin recipe ever So keep your eyes peeled for cunning tricks such as the smell of freshly-baked bread, confusing store layout, clever product placement and relaxing music.

Don’t spend hours and hours wandering around the supermarket aisles. Sloe gin ice cream recipe The longer you spend there, the more you’re likely to spend. Bbc sloe gin recipe Just get what you need as quickly as possible, pay, and leave.

Sign up to a loyalty card, such as a Tesco Clubcard or Nectar card, and you’ll earn points whenever you go food shopping.

You can then spend these points on groceries in the future, or redeem them against days out, fuel, gifts or hundreds of other goodies.

If you find an old Tesco Clubcard you can use it to scrape back unused points from the past two years.

If you can afford to pay off your credit card bill in full each month, use a cashback credit card to do your shopping and you’ll earn a bit back every time you spend!

Just make sure you definitely pay off the balance in full each month – otherwise you’ll be hit with a hefty rate of interest which will outweigh any cashback benefits.

A slow cooker will allow you to buy cheaper cuts of meat and turn them into delicious stews and casseroles.

Check out these 22 superb slow cooker tips and tricks from our sister site, loveFOOD.

Cooking large amounts of food all at once should save you time and money because you’re using less energy in the preparation. Sloe gin jelly recipe Once it’s cooked, divide it into meal-sized portions and pop them in the freezer.

As you’ve probably guessed, our sister site loveFOOD has tons of budget and batch-friendly recipes.

Buying in bulk is all well and good if you’re going to use it all. Sloe gin hugh fearnley whittingstall recipe But if half of it ends up in the bin, it’s not worth it. Recipe for sloe gin fizz drink Learn to preserve food by freezing or canning.

According to the Government’s Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP), UK households throw away 6.7 million tonnes of food every year.

WRAP’s website – LoveFoodHateWaste – contains lots of handy tips for reducing food wastage. Recipe for a sloe gin fizz Check out the official guidance on the difference between ‘use by’ dates and ‘best before’ dates, for example. Recipe for sloe gin or vodka Swap and save

When it comes to food shopping, we all know that buying in bulk and choosing own-brand goods help save the pennies.

But there are plenty of other ways to squeeze your costs. Sloe berry recipes Here, I’m going to look at food swapping – how slightly altering the goods in your trolley can dramatically slash your food bill.

Many of the dried fruits and nuts in the ‘healthy snacks’ aisle can be found costing a lot less in the ‘baking ingredients’ section. How to make sloe gin fizz recipe Don’t be taken in by the pretty packaging!

We’re big fans of homemade crumble. Damson gin recipe hugh fearnley whittingstall It’s easy to make, you can rustle up a huge one for well under ?2, and you’ll even be getting one of your ‘five a day’.

When was the last time you tried longlife juice? It’s actually very nice as long as it’s properly chilled.

This switch should boost your health as well as your bank balance, as you’ll really be cutting back on your sugar intake.

Many wholegrain products cost no more than their white equivalents. Best sloe gin cocktail recipe And they’ll work out cheaper in the long run, as they’ll fill you up for longer and you won’t be as likely to buy pricey snacks between meals.

This is another switch that’s good for your health as well as your wallet – turkey is one of the leanest meats around.

These days, vegetables are frozen in ways that mean the nutrients are properly retained. Dried sloe berries gin recipe Fresh veggies are lovely, but if money is tight, try substituting them with cheaper frozen alternatives once or twice a week.

Again, you won’t want to do this all the time – but it will shave a few pounds off your bill and there are now plenty of tinned fruits that don’t come in syrup.

Keep an eye out for meat and fish off-cuts. Sloe gin jelly dessert recipe The bits cut off to neaten up slices are often packaged up themselves and sold at a really low price. Blackcurrant and sloe gin jam recipe If you’re going to cut it all up anyway, what’s the difference?

Pulses are generally much cheaper than meat and provide lots of low-fat fibre and protein. Mary berry sloe gin recipe If you don’t want to skip the meat altogether, use half as much and add pulses to bulk out your dish and freeze the rest of the meat for another day.

Creating your own pizza will save you a couple of quid – and you’ll also be able to choose the exact toppings you like.

Get money back on your supermarket shopping with a cashback credit card. Sloe gin fizz recipe uk Compare deals with loveMONEY right now.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *