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I have been a student for the last three years, so I've learnt some money saving hacks when it comes to grocery shopping. This post provides you with tips that I have discovered, which can help you save money.
Sometimes it’s worth paying for branded/ quality foods but with some food you can purchase shop-owned products and spend little amounts of money and still receive good quality food, so here are some of my hacks for spending less at the grocery store. Firstly, let's cover some some tips to consider which will help you eat well on a budget.
- Never go to the shops hungry. You’ll end up buying and spending more than you need.
- Writing a list will also help reduce the above.
- Check out local food markets where fresh food is often cheaper than stores.
- Go food shopping in the evenings where food is often reduced and many products running out of date can be frozen.
- Sign up for an account with your favourite store to receive a membership card where you can collect points every time you shop and receive vouchers.
- Don’t be a waster and be fooled by dates. Best before dated food is still edible after the date printed. Sometimes it just might not taste as good.
- Bread is suitable for freezing and use any food leftovers.
- Learn to cook from scratch.
- Avoid taking your debit/credit card and take cash so you don’t risk overspending.
You either love or hate porridge, but I enjoy it as it is healthy and a filling breakfast.
Instant sachets can be expensive and the quality of the oats is not great. Instead, buy a kg bag of rolled oats as they are cheaper and it doesn’t take any more time to prepare than the instant stuff.
Quaker Oats 10 pack = £2.45
Kilogram bags of plain oats= 0.75- £1.99 which gives approximately 20 servings. (Price varies per store)
They also don't have added sugars like the instant stuff.
Chicken & Fish
In most shops, it's cheaper to buy meat and fish from the frozen aisles.
2 chicken breasts from Tesco= £2.50
4-5 frozen breasts from Tesco= £2.50
Not everyone is a fan of fish but studies show that eating seafood twice a week can reduce your risk of heart disease and it’s brilliant brain food. It is usually also cheaper to buy frozen fish.
5-6 frozen pieces for £3.30-ish
(Other stores are available.)
As a previous student and now working long hours, I know that we don’t always feel like standing up long to cook or don’t always have the time to chop up vegetables ourselves. However, over time it works out cheaper to buy whole vegetables to prepare yourself rather than buying pre-cut vegetables.
For example: 1 kg of whole carrots are roughly 40-60p.
1 kg pre-sliced carrots are anything from £1 plus.
Sometimes, it also works out cheaper to buy frozen vegetables. Check out your local store to see what's the best prices suitable for your budget.
This works out the same for some fruits.
Dairy Alternative Milk
Normal milk is fine to buy fresh as it's not expensive, but dairy alternatives (e.g. soy and almond milk) are cheaper to buy from the long life aisles, rather than fridges. This is a great hack because long life milk doesn’t need to be in a fridge constantly so you can easily stock up on your dairy alternatives and, if you're in luck, sometimes the milk will be on offer, and you can buy in bulk.
I find that branded beans taste no different to shop-owned brands and they are more expensive. Shop-owned brands usually have less sugar and salt than some branded products.
I like adding spices such as cumin or paprika to baked beans for extra flavour.
To end on a nice note, it’s always good to treat yourself on occasions, so don’t be afraid to splash the cash.
I hope these few tips help you save a fortune when food shopping, while still eating healthy.