Tuesday, 25 October 2016

5 Tips for Grocery Shopping on a Budget


Hi all!! So whether you are absolutely skint like me (saving for a first home can do that to a person) or you just want a little extra cash in your purse at the end of the week for another holiday or some very expensive skincare (oops! guilty), I've got my five top tips for grocery shopping on a budget to share with you today. Now this might be quite boring and 'grown up' but its the kind of thing I'm always reading. I'm always looking for more tips and fresh ideas so if you have any pearls of wisdom please do share them with me in the comments, I'd love to hear them. So let's get down to the nitty gritty.

- tip number one is to make a list. Now this might seem like an obvious one but I take it up a notch. I start my list at the beginning of the week and add anything to it that I run out of as and when it happens. Then on the day I do my grocery shopping I add in all my regular items that I buy every week (eggs, milk, bla bla bla) and I make a meal plan (big spoiler this is the next top tip) and add all the ingredients to my list. Therefore I have a list that compiles everything I could need for the week ahead.

-tip number two as I have already given away is MEAL PLAN!! This is a biggie and I have found that it has really helped cut down on our weekly food bill. When I say meal plan I mean detail each evening meal that you will have each night of the week. When I do my meal plan I look through recipe books and pick the meals that I want to cook, I check my cupboards to see what I need and I write this down on my list to make sure that I do not duplicate buy anything. In my meal plan I reference the page number of the recipe and also how long it takes just so I can plan my day better. I also will pick one or two meals that are mainly freezer/ store cupboard ingredients so that if we are feeling spontaneous and want to go out we can have that meal the next week ( for this read if we get sick of healthy food and want a greasy takeaway). If you want I can do a more detailed post on this as I have become quite the expert, if I do say so myself, and I can share my wisdom with y'all.

-tip three is to shop online. let me just say that supermarkets make me CRAZY, I get so angry, I definitely suffer from road rage in supermarkets with a trolley. It's much safer for all involved if I just shop from the comfort of my own home. It is so much easier to shop online, you don't get tempted to buy any random stuff you don't need and you can compare prices without feeling someone is going to run you over with a trolley because you are spending too long looking at frozen peas ( I admit, that's me, sorry). The big bonus is it's free depending on which slot you choose to pick it up, I shop online and collect it from store all ready to go. So if you're supermarket does this I definitely recommend it.

- tip four is to go meat free a couple of nights a week. I would typically have meat about 3 nights and the rest would be vegetarian. This really cuts cost and it makes you a little bit more adventurous in the kitchen. I do feel like we need to eat less meat as a nation and  not every meal has to be centred around a big piece of meat, vegetables are tasty too and you have to be more creative with them as you can't rely on the meat to bring the flavour. Leading on from this I would highly recommend going to a butcher for your meat. It takes a while to find THE ONE but once you know, you know. We have found our ONE and she is amazing. A butcher is the best place to get your meat from, they know where it has come from, they know how to cook it, how to store it and can suggest alternatives if needed. The meat is usually better quality and cheaper than in a supermarket as well, yay!

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(This is an example vegetarian meal that I made that was super scrummy, spinach, squash, feta and fennel galette. Mmmmm, so good!)

- tip five is to use your freezer. This might sound a bit obvious but your freezer really is your friend. Frozen vegetables are amazing for adding to meals to bulk them out and adding a bit more nutrition when needed and they can be pretty cheap. My faves are frozen peas, sweetcorn, broad beans, peppers, spinach, broccoli and cauliflower. Using your freezer can also mean batch cooking, like making a big pot of soup and freezing some portions for a lunch one day or freezing leftover wine in small bags to add in to cooking at a later date (ha! there's never much wine left over at our house).

Okay so there you have it, my five top tips on grocery shopping on a budget. I did have many more and it was very difficult to narrow them down to five. If you want the rest some time- give me a wee comment. I must be the weirdest person who enjoys budgeting. I hope you enjoyed this post. I am definitely hoping to be blogging a lot more and I have some great ideas for this space. I am so happy to be back.

Talk soon and happy budgeting,