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With rising fuel and food costs, everyone is feeling the squeeze. Here are our tips to help stretch your food budget…
1. Go shopping at the end of the day
If you go to the supermarket with your shopping list later in the day, such as late evening or an hour or two before the shop closes, you could bag some great bargains – in particular, keep a look out for reduced items.
2. Cook in bulk
Batch cooking is not just a money saver, it’s a time saver too.
3. Be adaptable
Rather than following recipes exactly or making foods the way you’ve always done, try looking for new ways to prepare the same tasty meal. You might find you can drop or reduce certain ingredients to make it cheaper, or even replace them with others that are reduced or on special offer.
4. Shop in less common places
When shopping for groceries, your local big supermarket chain probably springs to mind. Instead, try checking out places like a local Asian supermarket or no-waste store. Staples like spices and bulk packs of rice and noodles can be much cheaper there than in the big chain supermarkets.
5. Super-size it
This one needs a bit of forward planning – and some storage space – but buying the basics in large quantities is the best way to make sure you’re getting good value. Again, for things like rice, spices and other big-bulk staples, see our top tip above!
6. Rethink your leftovers
Before you scrape the leftovers of tonight’s dinner into the bin, stop to think whether it could have a second lease of life. Using up leftovers will help your weekly shop stretch further, and if you freeze them, it doesn’t have to mean eating the same meal two days running.
7. Stop buying treats
Don’t panic – we’re not suggesting you give up sweets and biscuits! But it’s cheaper to make your own goodies using basics you already have in the cupboard rather than buying from the confectionery aisle. If you have the right ingredients in the cupboard such as flour, eggs and sugar, you can easily make treats like cakes, biscuits and cookies.
8. Stop throwing food out
Past-its-best food may not always look very appetising, but it often still has life left in it if you know what to do with it. For example, using the chicken leftovers and offcuts from your roast dinner along with some bendy carrots that have seen better days, you can make a tasty soup! Try to get out of the habit of binning food that looks a bit suspect and into the habit of thinking creatively about what could be done with it.
Important note: don’t eat anything that’s turned blue and furry!
For more ideas and links to recipes: