Ever go to do your weekly shop and stand astonished at the checkout, wondering how it has come to so much money? You’re not alone. Most families spend a lot of money on their food shop, with the justification that everything is necessary. But, is it? One of the biggest issues with our modern day shopping habits is the fact that we are so easily enticed by brand marketing – another is that we simply buy more than we need. The money that you unnecessarily spend on food that only goes to waste could go towards something special, like your child’s college education or the family vacation of a lifetime. If you are tired of your pockets being rinsed dry every time you visit the store, take a look at some of these handy tips and see if you could cut your food bill in half.
Don’t be drawn in by big brands
The food industry is one of the biggest businesses in the world, worth billions of dollars. It is little wonder, then, that it is a saturated market. Thousands upon thousands of different brands, many doing similar things, are all vying for the customer’s attention, and many do this by using completely shameless, bogus marketing techniques. An example of this is companies which use very loose ‘health’ facts on the front of their products to trick the customer into thinking they have made a healthy choice. Take a look in your kitchen cupboards and work out what is actually worth the extra money, and what isn’t. There is no reason why we need to be scared of store ‘own brand’ products – just because they are cheaper doesn’t always mean they are of poor quality.
Don’t take sell-by dates too seriously
What do you do when you see food in your fridge with a sell-by date attached that’s been and gone? If you’re anything like most people, you probably throw it straight out. This is a natural reaction, as no one wants to be feeding their family out of date food. But most of the time, supermarket sell-by dates are simply a loose guide and should be treated as such. Feel and smell the food in question to see if it’s still edible, rather than relying solely on the date. Even if your fruit is looking a bit squishy and bruised, you may still be able to get some use out of it. Try reading some info about reconditioned blenders and make a smoothie with your ‘out of date’ fruit – once it’s all blended up you won’t know the difference!
Bulk out your meals
Buying expensive cuts of meat and fancy vegetables is a disaster for those trying to save money on their food bill. There’s no reason why you still can’t have these things but try and limit them for special occasions. Try going to a local market to buy your vegetables instead (guaranteed they will taste better too) and instead of meat, bulk out your meals with beans and pulses. They are cheap and a great source of protein too, so you don’t have to go without.