How to cut food costs is on everyone’s mind right now. Inflation is driving every day items up in price. Butter went €1.19 to €1.49 and lactose free milk went €0.99 to €1.19 over night.
How to cut food costs
10 ways to cut food costs
- Look at swapping to store brand products.
- Shop around.
- Make a meal plan.
- Make a shopping list.
- Reduce meat consumption.
- Use your freezer like a pantry.
- Check out reduced to clear food items.
- Never grocery shop while hungry.
- Batch cook.
- Bulk buy when on offer.
Swap to store brand products
Own brand products are substantially cheaper than brand named products in most cases. Not only are they usually cheaper they usually contain less sugar. Better for your pocket and for your health!
In recent years with stores such as Aldi and Lidl becoming so popular there has been a mindset shift when it comes to own brand products. For the most part these lower cost products are great quality and packaged beautifully.
Unless you’ve got a gift card that needs using for a specific store you do not need to be loyal to any grocery store. Shop around and compare prices. You will see that while some retailers sell the same products the price can vary massively. In my post – Price per unit – you will see that the same product can be priced very differently by each retailer.
One of the most important steps to cutting food costs has to be meal planning. You don’t need to be paying for food that’s never going to be eaten. Buy what you will use. Check what you already have in your home and make a meal plan around those items.
Make a shopping list
Once your meal plan is made it will be simple to make a shopping list. If you only need one ingredient for a meal that’s the only ingredient for that meal that goes on the list. No fluff or filler. Only buy what you have on that list.
Reduce meat consumption
Meat is expensive. There is no debating that. A simple way to cut food costs is to reduce the amount of meat consumed. Meals can be bulked out with beans or alternative protein sources can be used instead of meat altogether.
Use your freezer like a pantry
Think of your freezer as the plug in the hole. When it’s used right money wont be leaking from your food budget. Label, date and rotate everything in your freezer. You want to know what’s in your freezer and use it before it gets spoiled.
Check out reduced to clear food items
Short dated food items can be reduced by as much as 90percent. A saving that would go a long way to cutting your food bill. Look for produce that has no visible sign of spoiling such as bruising, mold or bulging packaging.
**Disclaimer!!** Check safe food practice and follow the guidelines. Make an informed decision based on your own research.
Never grocery shop when hungry
When you shop while you’re hungry you will inevitably buy high sugar and processed foods. The biscuit aisle will be calling your name from the carpark. Eat a light meal before shopping so that you can concentrate on sticking to your shopping list. Avoid eating a heavy meal as it will make you sleepy and you won’t be able to focus on your task.
Batch cook is one of the greatest ways to cut food costs. It is easier to say no to fast food if you have a delicious meal on hand that just needs to be reheated. Batch cooking will save you time and money as you are using your cooker as efficiently as possible and avoiding food waste.
Bulk buy when on offer
This tip will only save you money if you use the produce up before it spoils. Buying canned goods or long life cupboard staples on offer is a great way to lower the grocery budget. It makes sense to buy produce at the best possible price in order to save money. Food such as onions and garlic freeze remarkably well. They are worth stocking up on when on special offer. Bonus tip – check out the freezer aisle for inspiration on what foods you can freeze.
If you found this post useful you might also like 10 tips to save money on your food shopping written by Claire. She shares some clever tips to cut food costs and has an interesting series on her blog dedicated to frugal living.
I also have a number of posts that you might find useful, such as..