Yes, I already have an article on this subject, but we’re all looking for more ways to save money, so here’s a few more tips to help bulk up that emaciated wallet. Then the next time you’re at the pub and it gets to your round, your reaction will be to smile and rise dutifully, not have a sweat-inducing panic attack.
Buy in bulk
A real fast way to lose money is to buy single-portion sizes of food every day, and on top of that you can end up with awkward leftovers you eventually throw away (it can be a struggle to cook a whole bag of chillies over three days. Not that I can’t handle the spice or anything!) What you want to do is bulk-buy the ingredients for a meal you like, then cook a massive batch of it.
Let’s say you’re making chilli con carne – A bigger packet of meat costs less relatively-speaking (same for the cans of chopped tomatoes and kidney beans) and you can use the whole bag of chillis. Cook all of it in one go, then just divvy it out in single-portion sizes, put those into freezer bags, and put them in the freezer. Then they’re ready to just be heated up once you’re in from work too! All you need to do is cook the rice, or jacket potato, whatever.
Try vegetarian options
There’s no two ways about it – meat is expensive. Especially if you’re buying for a big family. But you’d be surprised how many times you can swap meat out for cheap vegetables and still have a delicious meal. Try something like a vegetable lasagne that uses sweet potato, courgette and peppers for a colorful and filling dinner. Or try using lentils for a cottage pie.. If nothing else it gives you a great excuse for when you pass gas on the sofa afterwards. Or try making your own vegetarian burger patties out of mashed kidney beans, grated carrot and coriander. It tastes different, but it’s still tasty, cheap, and healthy to boot.
Although it won’t taste totally fresh, it’s perfectly fine to buy things from the reduced section in the supermarket at the end of the day, then freeze it. Loafs of bread sell for 20-30p, and they freeze just fine. Don’t worry about having to wake up any earlier for work to make your morning sandwich – Slices of bread defrost in five-to-ten seconds in the microwave, and toasters frequently have defrost options.
If you can then buy meat cheap since it can be the most expensive ingredient in meals. Supermarkets have a hard time being able to predict exactly how much stock to get in, so plenty of perfectly good food will be made very cheap every single day. As long as you freeze it before it goes out of date it’s totally OK. But if you’re going to follow the employee doing the reductions around the shop, then do it sneakily from afar, so they don’t feel self-conscious.
Finding cheaper ways to shop doesn’t mean you have to deprive yourself. Just try some different things, and shop smart! Like they say: ‘A bargain ain’t a bargain unless it’s something you need.’ Like a massive TV, which you’ll be able to afford if you save enough money food shopping.