10 Ways to Cut Your Food Bill in Half

Ever since I decided to become debt free, I’ve been looking for ways to reduce my spending. Since the beginning of June, I have cut my food bill in half, and today I want to share with you how I made this happen.

1. Make a shopping list

I use an app on my iPhone to make my shopping list. I list all products that I need to buy for the week ahead and make sure I stick to the list when I’m out shopping. Organising the products you need by their location in the store is also a good idea – this way you will stay focused and avoid wandering around the store looking for things.

2. Meal plan

I try to plan my meals for the week ahead. Meal planning makes it easier to create a shopping list; this way I know what items I need to buy. Although I’m fairly flexible with my meal planning, I have a good idea of what meals I’ll be making, which helps exclude the products I won’t get to use in a dish from my shopping list.

3. Use your loyalty card to collect points

Whenever I shop in the store that has a loyalty program, I always scan my loyalty card to get the points for the purchase I’ve made. Normally, you can exchange your points into vouchers on a quarterly basis – you can use them to pay with in store or online.

4. Set a pattern

I find that doing my food shopping once a week over the weekend has helped me save a lot on my shopping bill. I do my food shopping on a Sunday, and I take my time to shop around to ensure I get the best value on all products that go into my shopping basket. I don’t like rushing – I’d like to avoid grabbing the first item I set my eyes on which tends to be more expensive than it needs to be.

5. Look out for reduced items

Many stores will try to get rid of products that are close to their sell-by dates and sell them really cheap. Why pay £1.00 for a loaf of bread if you can get it for £0.10 and freeze it. Bargain! This may not be for everyone, but it’s definitely something to consider doing occasionally.

6. Buy in bulk

Personally, I don’t usually buy in bulk because (1) I have limited storage space and (2) I find that I tend to eat more when I buy in bulk. What can I stay, I simply cannot resist the temptation of eating three bars of chocolate all in one go! That said, if there is something on offer that I buy regularly (2-for-1, buy one get one free), I normally go for it as it saves me money over time.

7. Take a set amount of cash with you

If you have a £20 budget to spend on food, take a £20 note with you (and some spare change just in case) and leave the rest at home, as simple as that. This way there’s no way you can overspend and impulse buy as you simply won’t have enough cash to pay with at the checkout.

8. Downgrade to store own brands

I have saved a ton of money by downgrading to store own brands. I buy ASDA’s own rice, pasta, beans and some other products, and believe me when I say they taste the same as branded ones. I must admit though, I won’t give up buying some branded products as nothing can beat Hellmann’s mayonnaise or Nestle’s Milkybar, but I’m all up for trying cheaper alternatives if there’s no difference in taste.

9. Price compare

There are websites out there that allow you to compare food prices. The one that I use is MySupermarket. I normally do all my food shopping in ASDA which is just around the corner from me, but there are some products I still get from Tesco’s on my way home from work as they are cheaper there.

10. Do not shop on an empty stomach

This simple technique works wonders as my eyes are bigger than my stomach. I am less likely to impulse buy when I do my food shopping on a full stomach.

What are your supermarket saving tips and tricks? I would love for you to share your ideas in the comments below.

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    1. I can’t go shopping with my stomach full, otherwise nothing looks interesting enough to buy for me and I spend ah hour in the shop still having empty basket. When I’m hungry I have a lot of ideas what I would like to eat and which things would go together well. So it isn’t a rule for everyone

  1. Great post! I also use My Supermarket for comparing prices and do a menu plan too. It’s amazing how much can actually be saved on food and groceries. Our food bill has been greatly reduced since we paid more attention and planned what we were going to buy and consume.

    1. I agree, it is amazing how much can be saved and it does not require much effort either. Where do you normally do your food shopping? I shop at ASDA and find that prices are normally cheaper than anywhere else. Unfortunately, I don’t have a food market nearby, but I know that you can get fruit and veggies at a market really cheap. Oh well, I guess you can’t have it all 😉

  2. Such an important post! I think you’ve got it all covered here! The only thing I’d add is to eat what you have before you spend money on more. I used to throw so much food out because I didn’t get to it before it went bad. Being mindful in this area is such a simple way to save!

  3. Great post! I don’t look at the reduced bins enough, I need to do that more! One trick I tried on my last shopping trip was to pick out the dented cans and then ask the cashier for a discount. I did get about 1/3 off the regular price, but the cashier did seem a bit annoyed at me. 🙂

    1. Thank you Laurie! Your comment made me smile. I don’t think I’ve asked for a discount at the check out (I should totally try it out though), but I always mention that an item is discounted if a cashier accidentally (?) scans it at a full price. This can be embarrassing with the whole line of people behind me but I don’t let it bug me, I want my discount! 😉

  4. It’s amazing how much grocery expenses impact a monthly budget. I really like these tips and employ several of them myself. I do ask for discounts on occasion, I don’t get the attitude though because the same cashiers have been working at both of my grocery stores forever!

    1. I am glad you liked these tips. They really helped me save so much money on my food shopping! I know I shouldn’t be shy asking for a discount if packaging is damaged for example, I need to give it a try sometimes.

  5. I’m a big fan of meal planning! One of the reasons I end up ordering out so much is because I can’t decide what to make or I don’t have food to cool. I find it alot easier to plan a week ahead of time, come up with ideas, and then do the shopping.

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