Why does food shopping have to be so expensive? According to the Office of National Statistics, the average UK household spends around £4,753 on food costs each year! With prices on the rise many families and homeowners are beginning to feel the pinch. Refused Car Finance are here to help you save money while doing the weekly shop with the best shopping hacks on a budget!

Plan your meals

Take 10 minutes at the start of the week to create a weekly menu and decide what you’re going to have to eat on each day. Then write a shopping list that includes your essentials and all the ingredients for those meals. This will help you save money and stop any impulse purchases when you’re in the supermarket.

Buy frozen rather than fresh

If you want to save money and make your food go further, opt for frozen rather than fresh! Frozen foods are usually cheaper and last longer. Fresh foods are great but if you don’t use them in the first few days they typically end up in the bin rather than on your plate. When you cook with frozen food you only use the amount that you need which reduces the amount of waste. This is also more beneficial for the environment as well as your wallet!

Batch cooking

Not only can batch cooking save you money but it can also save you serious time! Got an hour to spare on a Sunday afternoon? Why not cook a big homemade meal which you can have for the next couple of nights? Or batch cook and then freeze for the days you don’t have time to cook! You’re also less likely to spend money on a takeaway if you already have a meal prepared.

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Understand best before and use by dates

If the best before date has been and gone, it’s usually going in the bin! However, you might actually be wasting food which results in spending more! Best before is mainly for quality and use by is for safety. Best before is an indication of when the food will be at its best quality and usually food is still safe to consume after its best before date. It just means it may have lost a little bit of its flavour, texture or quality. The use by date indicates when a piece of food may no longer be safe to eat. Food past this date may look ok but can be harbouring very harmful bacteria!

Don’t be a brand snob

There are many of our favourite branded products we can’t live without and that’s ok! However, many of the supermarkets own brands products use the same ingredients and are often much cheaper! Many shoppers are also turning to cheaper supermarkets such as Lidl and Aldi which mainly sells own brand products that rival the big brands at much lower prices. In a 2018 supermarket survey by Which, 68% of Aldi shoppers and 66% of Lidl shoppers rated them 5 stars for value for money of their products.

Use cashback websites

The use of cashback websites and apps is on the rise! You can earn cashback when you go through a cashback website and order your shopping online. The cashback is then paid into your account and you can withdraw it when its ready. Other websites allow you to do your shopping as normal and then take a picture of your receipt, upload it to the site or app and then receive cashback on certain items!

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Shop with cash

This is a really good one for anyone who relies on their credit or debit card. When you go shopping, only take the money you need for the products on your list and take it in cash! Shoppers are more likely to spend more on card as they see it as ‘unlimited’ money. You will only spend what you’ve budgeted for with the cold hard cash in your pocket!

mySupermarket app

This is a great app where you can compare the price of a product at different supermarkets! You can save up to 30% on your shop either online or instore. If you don’t mind doing your shop between different supermarkets then it can be a great choice for you. You can even scan the barcode of your favourite product instore and get an instant result of which supermarket is selling it at the cheapest price!

About the author: Refused Car Finance are a bad credit car finance specialist company based in the North East of England. They specialise in helping people with poor credit gain car finance and also provide many credit building and money saving tips across the web!

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