Shopping on a Budget

July 14, 2013

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Our Weekly Meal Plan Whiteboard

 Hello ♥

As I was trying to decide what meals to make this week along with our shopping list, I thought that perhaps this is the kind of post that would be good for the blogosphere. So here I am, sharing my tips and ideas on how to have a meal plan and not overspend when you go shopping.

We don't have a huge budget for grocery shopping. In fact, we don't have a huge budget for anything really but it doesn't mean that we have to live uncomfortably or not have enough to eat. There are lots of things you can do to reduce your shopping bill or at least help maintain it at a reasonable level.  Of course, there are only two of us (and pooch) therefore our costs will always be much lower than a family of four but all these tips can be applied to your situation regardless of how many mouths you have to feed.

1. Make a Meal List
Every Sunday the other half and I sit down and decide what meals we are going to have for the week.  This might sound difficult, and sometimes it is, but it means that when we come to actually buying the food we aren't drawn to unnecessary items. It also helps us to balance the amount of fresh produce we need to buy so that we don't have a lot of food wasted by the end of the week.

2. Make a shopping list
Don't go to the shops without a list. I have found that, in the past, if I don't have a shopping list I'm likely to pick up all sorts of junk that either we don't need or is unhealthy.  With a shopping list in hand it means that the likelihood of impulse buying is much lower. Plus, it means you'll zip around the supermarket so much quicker.

3. Always check use by dates
Sometimes purchasing food near to a use by date can be a right money saver, shaving a few pounds of certain items.  If you are planning on using the reduced food within the dates this is a brilliant way to save money. However, there is nothing worse than buying items that go out of date long before you manage to use them.  Not only does this waste food but your money too.

4. Never shop on a hungry stomach
Doing so is likely to make you pick up all sorts of snacks that you don't really want or need. I suggest shopping when you are in no way tempted and not deviating from your list if you want to keep costs down.

5. Treat yourself
Some days, no matter how healthy a diet you have, you will want something sweet or unhealthy. Make sure to include some kind of snacks such as biscuits, sweets or crisps in your shopping list but only enough to last the week. This should stop you gorging on the oh so delicious food that is unhealthy or nipping out to the shops midweek unnecessarily to satisfy your cravings.

6. Check offers
Whilst supermarkets often offer great deals be careful to check that they are actually going to save you in the long run. Occasionally I have found so called deals actually charge you more than if you were to buy these items separately. Take a couple of minutes to do a little maths and check that what claims to be a great deal really is just that. Having said that, offers can be a great way to stock up, particularly on non-perishable items.

7. Buy supermarket brands
I know that it is tempting to buy the big brand names when you go shopping. I mean, surely that means they are better quality or have a better flavour, right? Not necessarily. Often supermarket brands make very good imitations of all your favourite foods for a fraction of the cost. I tend to buy a mixture of supermarket brands and the well known ones but with the supermarket brands often taking president. I know if I only bought brand name goods my shopping bill would be considerably higher.

I'm sure there are many other money saving tips when it comes to doing your weekly food shop that I have missed but these are just a few of them that I implement myself on a weekly basis. They really do help to keep our food bill down which is good is it means we can save a little more each month for the really exciting things.

Do you have any money saving tips for doing your grocery shopping? Let me know as I'm always looking to keep the cost down, particularly when things are so over priced!

Until next time!

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  1. Great tips! :)

    Lynsey xx

  2. This is a great idea for a post! Luckily I still live with my family so my moms in charge of all this but I'm terrible when I go shopping I never look at use by dates. Then when I am on my own I always get stuck for ideas for meals!

    1. I've been living away from home for almost two year now and making a meal list has been a life saver!

      Debi x

  3. this is such a great idea! i'm so bad at thinking of ideas for food when it comes to meal time. following your blog now btw <3

    from helen at thelovecatsinc | bloglovin'

    ps. check out my new givaway to win a goodie bag of drugstore favourites! click here

    1. It is tough to come up with lots different meals but it saves so much money in the long run. Plus it means that you don't need to worry about to make because you already know! Ha

      Debi x


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