Food Shopping: Money Saving Tips
TEN TIPS TO CUT COSTS
- Try supermarket brands: they may be just as good and much cheaper.
- Buy fruit and vegetables that are in season, and keep an eye on how the prices fluctuate through the year.
- Experiment with cheaper cuts of meat and poultry, particularly in casseroles and for use in slow cookers or pressure cookers.
- Use chicken thighs or drumsticks instead of breasts.
- If you like the taste of butter, use it where flavour is important – on toast or in sponge cakes, for example – and go for cheaper margarines when you won’t notice the difference.
- Do as much preparation as possible at home. Marinated meat, kebabs on skewers, peeled vegetables and other ready-to-cook foods are certainly time-savers, but will add to the cost of a meal.
- Buy a whole chicken at a time or a large joint of meat, rather than several small, individually wrapped packs. Cut it up into pieces at home and use it over a couple of days in different dishes. Alternatively, roast the whole piece, and serve the leftovers with saladsor in a curry or risotto.
- Spend your money on nourishing, unprocessed foods such as fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains, meat and fish. The more a food is processed the more nutrients it loses and the more expensive it gets.
- Don’t hesitate to substitute a cheaper fish of the same type for a more expensive one – plaice for Dover sole, for example. Always check fish prices – they can fluctuate rapidly.
- Buy dried pulses such as haricot beans, lentils and chickpeas instead of canned ones. They are much cheaper, but you’ll need to plan ahead to allow time for soaking (usually six to eight hours) and cooking (half to one hour for lentils, one to two hours for beans, two to three hours for chickpeas).