The Dreaded Grocery Shop: Making your Biggest Expense more Manageable

food-wasteThe cost of living is increasing at what seems an exponential rate and this is particularly problematic if you’ve just taken the jump into working from home on a self-employed basis or even for a company. With potentially varying income and in all likelihood an initial drop in income as you begin your business, managing the dreaded grocery shop, one of the biggest daily living expenses there is, becomes essential.

What’s more, the way most people shop is causing a huge amount of food waste with over 7.6 million tonnes of food and drink thrown away each year in the UK alone. Every individual family is believed to simply throw out £680 worth of food and not only is that hugely wasteful; it amounts to a massive waste of money too. Below is all you need to know to avoid waste and save cash on your grocery shopping too.

Never Underestimate Planning

The power of the meal plan is something many people underestimate but it gives you the opportunity to set down in stone what you’ve planning to eat on a weekly or even monthly basis and shop accordingly. Use up the items in your store cupboard and freezer and buy simply what you need. You simply need to write out your meal plan and then check the ingredients you actually need. You then need to be strict and stick to this ingredients list when visiting the supermarket.

If you don’t know where to start with meal planning there is a huge range of resources via the Moneysupermarket.com Complete Menu Plans Collection where there’s plenty of inspiration and ideas.

Use Buy, Best Before

Did you know there’s a difference? Thousands of shoppers think the use by date and the best before date mean the same thing but this simply isn’t the case. A use by date states the date by which food needs to be eaten to be considered safe whereas a best before date is simply advisory. It’s telling the buyer that this product is best eaten before the date listed but it will still be safe after the date. Don’t throw out food the day it reaches its best before date or you’re simply being wasteful.

Freezer Favourites

Don’t forget your freezer. It’s much more useful than you might think. Buying fresh fruit and vegetables can seem like a waste of money when you end up throwing them out in a few days so consider picking them up as and when you need rather than in bulk. This way you won’t end up binning half of what you buy.

Equally bread wastage is extremely common too so rather than throwing away that slightly green and furry half-loaf, why not save it before it reaches that state? Keep bread in your freezer and get it out as and when you require it.

Compare for Savings

You probably have your favourites – a favourite supermarket or brands you simply won’t sway from. Now is time for a change. For the sake of your purse and your household budget, consider trying something new. Try out different products, move down a grade from branded to supermarket products or even compare the range on offer.

You might see that you can find your favourite products cheaper somewhere else. If you shop online then mySupermarket is the premium tool for ensuring you get the best deal on every last item as it compares all leading supermarkets for their prices on branded items and gets you the best value you results.

The golden rule of saving in the supermarket is NEVER shop on an empty stomach. If you’re armed with your list, your menu plan and our other top tips you can never go wrong.