As the recession deepens, the purse strings tighten and it’s a wily shopper who knows how to get the most out of their disposable income when buying their weekly food.
Going to the supermarket can be an expensive trip. When you are looking to buy
grocery items and everything you need for your home and funds are short, it’s time to put some plans into action to stretch every penny to ensure that meals are plentiful, healthy and inexpensive.
Downshift your brand
The place to start is to look at the items in your basket already. If you buy branded items, downshift to the store own-brand. If you already have store own-brands in the larder, look to buy their basic range. If you like the item of grocery when you try it, keep buying it. If you don’t like it, then go back up a level until you find the item that suits you and your family the best. There are many anecdotes of family members refusing to switch to more budget-friendly foods, but the canny shopper secretly puts the inexpensive item in the bottle or jar of the favoured, more expensive brand and family members are often none the wiser.
Batch and freeze
Buying seasonal and fresh are important words when it comes to budgeting for the family grocery shopping. Processed foods may be quick and easy to make but are expensive. Cook up large batches of family favourites from scratch, then portion and freeze.
Going to the supermarket with a list is vital. Meal plan for the week ahead by writing a list and sticking to it. Draw up a grid with breakfast, lunch and dinner down one side and the days of the week along the other. Fill the boxes with items already in the cupboards and freezer and then fill in the boxes with the planned meals. Compile a list of the ingredients needed to ensure only the essential items are bought.
Juggling a budget can be difficult, so if you need ideas on how to create meals which will stretch the money that little bit further, see the BBC website for their food and recipe ideas.