Over the past few months the cost of living has continued to rise, and one of the most notable areas where we’ve seen increased prices is in our Food bill. We don’t eat out often, certainly not as much as we used to and my rather talented Fiance, Tina is cooking pretty much everything we eat from scratch so we know exactly what we’re putting into our bodies, but the price of the raw ingredients is just going up and up.
During the spring, summer and autumn, we try and grow as much as we can ourselves as far as Salad crops, fruit and vegetable are concerned, but in the winter, our frozen stocks diminish and we have no choice but to buy from the supermarket.
So this past month, we’ve been on a bit of a mission to minimize our food bill as much as possible and there’s one particular way we’ve managed to decimate the amount we spend rather dramatically… Buying from the reduced counter.
Ok, maybe it’s being cheap… or just Yuk… But stop and think for a minute… Our local supermarket reduces a ridiculous amount of bread, normally two days or more prior to the “Best Before” or Display until date (and we all know those dates mean pretty much nothing), and the reductions are massive… Warburtons loaves reduced from £1.60 to £0.80p or lower… And the stuff is fresher than the bread we normally get delivered from Tesco when we shop online!
Fruit and veg is another big one… Huge bags of spinach at less than 1/3 their original price, celery, aubergines… The savings are phenomenal! Ok, it may not last as long as if you bought from the new stock that’s just been put out, but if you buy and use it that day, or with bread and fruit, pop it in the freezer, you’ll save a fortune.
We now have a months supply of bread in our freezer and it all cost less than £5… saving us at least £5 if not more! And the savings we’ve made on meat for Sunday roasts etc is just crazy.
Golden Rules To Pocket the difference
Next time you’re in the supermarket, drop by the reduced counter and see what’s there, you’ll be amazed I can assure you. But to make sure we don’t get distracted, we’ve got a few golden rules we go by…
- Only buy the things you would normally eat. Or if you’re tempted by something you wouldn’t normally chose, check the ingredients for additives and other man made nasties.
- Don’t buy more than you need. If you can’t freeze it or eat it before it goes off, don’t buy it. You don’t want to end up binning it as that negates the whole point of the exercise.
- Save the difference – Make a note of the money you’ve saved and put it to one side. Put the money you would have normally spent into a coin jar or transfer it to a savings account if you paid electronically. You’ll be amazed how quickly the savings add up.
- If you’re buying reduced meat, make sure you use it on the day or get it put straight in the freezer.
- Lastly, be sure the price is a real reduction… Could you get the normal, full price product cheaper anywhere else. It’s unlikely, but you never know. Supermarkets are crafty!
Next time you’re in the supermarket, be crafty… go check out that reduced counter and see what you can find. Get over the use-by date thing and use your noddle. If it looks ok, smells ok and tastes ok… 99.999% of the time it is…
Have you got any other ideas for Frugal food shopping? Feel free to post them in the comments below and share them with other readers…