Life can be expensive. Unexpected costs can occur and you can often be found having to be strict on your wallet.
The following tips can be modified and applied to your own personal circumstances.
If you are experiencing food insecurity please visit our Partners page and useful links for available support in your area.
Sitting down as family and planning out the weeks meals can really help you create an idea of what food items you need to purchase. It can also help to reduce food waste as well as helping to cut down on costs. It’s also a great way to get children involved and excited about food.
Writing out a shopping list based upon your meal plan for the week can help stop you from picking up items you do not need for the week ahead which may become wasted.
If you and your family eat meat and fish try and have days or meals which are meat free as these often less expensive. Why not see our recipe idea page (insert link) for inspiration. Reducing your intake of meat can also have health and environment benefits.
Food items which are frozen, tinned or dried (including meat, fish, fruit, vegetables and many more) are often less expensive and can be stored for longer before they are eaten. They are still full of goodness so don’t worry! Why not try searching through our recipe pages [link to recipes pages] for some great ideas to make use of these store cupboard essentials.
Most supermarkets have a value range which is often a lot cheaper than other brands but often still of similar quality, just without all the fancy packaging. Choosing these can really help your pockets!
Trying different shops for different products can really help your pocket. Different supermarkets and local shops have different prices and there is certainly no harm in going to multiple shops for different products or you might find you have a firm favourite for your whole shop!
By food products in larger packs is often cheaper than buying smaller packs more frequently. Staples such as flour, rice and pasta are available in large packs and provide a great value base for many meals. Try looking at the world food aisle of the supermarket as these quite often carry bulk packs of rice and common spices. Larger bulk packs of meat can be split into smaller quantities and frozen for later use. You can also bulk cook meals, and freeze the leftovers in portions for handy quick meals (if safe to do so- always check) For ultimate savings why not arrange to share the cost of bulk purchases with friends and families to really save money.
Rather than buying ready-made meals and food items why not make your meals completely from scratch- even involve your children for a fun family activity! Cooking from scratch, while slightly more time consuming, can really help you save them pennies. Some meals can be split into portions and put in the fridge or if suitable frozen to create your very own delicious ready meals. (See our cooking skills page for more info)
Making your money go further is key, follow these tips to see how far you can spread your income.
Write out your monthly (or weekly) income and minus your essential costs (e.g. your rent, bills, any debt repayments, your food shop, and school uniform costs) allows you to see how much money you have left over for luxury items.
It’s important that you are realistic with yourself when budgeting. Unfortunately most people’s monthly food costs are not going to be £5 so be honest with yourself to ensure your budget is accurate.
Check out our useful links for where to get financial, benefit and debt advice in your area.