Cost of living crisis: How to save £2,000 on food bills

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·Finance Reporter, Yahoo Finance UK
·4-min read
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Cost of living A person pushes a shopping cart next to the clubcard price branding inside a branch of a Tesco Extra Supermarket in London, Britain, February 10, 2022. Picture taken February 10, 2022. REUTERS/Paul Childs
Cost of living: 90% of shoppers make impulse purchases on their visit to the supermarket. Photo: Paul Childs/Reuters

With belts tightening in response to rising cost of living, most UK households are trying to find ways to save money.

The Office for National Statistics recently said prices of the cheapest food items in supermarkets have surged in the past year. The cheapest pasta products have soared by more than 50% since the start of the year.

But there are still ways to save money on food bills amid soaring prices. Here, consumer expert Jenny McCormac from BrandRated reveals food shopping hacks that together could save you over £2,000 by the end of the year.

1. Don’t shop hungry

Research reveals that consumers spend up to 64% more on goods when they shop hungry. On average, a family of four spends £128 a week on groceries, with a 64% rise to £209.92 when shopping hungry. The uplift in spend is so significant as it often extends to the purchase of non-food related products such as clothing and furnishings.

2. Change your shop

When it comes to grocery shopping, we are often creatures of habit, visiting the same store again and again. In store promotions change every week, often on a Tuesday. As a result, different stores are likely to vary in their affordability month on month. Before you partake in your food shop, take a few minutes to browse online to view the deals in various stores, and shop at which is the cheapest.

3. Down, and down and down

Shoppers will save up £20.33 a week if they swap branded products to the supermarkets own range. Often, own brand products simply feature less salt and sugar with less fancy packaging. If you traditionally purchase branded products, move one step cheaper than that of the product you usually buy.

Read more: Pensions: Workers not saving enough for retirement as cost of living crisis bites

Once you have tried that, if willing, move another step below on your next shopping trip. Simply stop when you get to the cheapest product that is to your taste.

4. Shop with wisdom

Around 90% of shoppers make impulse purchases on their visit to the supermarket. To avoid this extra expenditure, it’s worth being aware of several supermarket practices that appeal to consumers. For instance, children’s items are often on the lower shelves, within their reach. Sale items may be at the end of the aisles so that you are forced to walk past them and branded items (that are the costliest), at eye level.

5. Make a list … but not of what you wish to purchase

It’s common practice to visit the supermarket armed with the list of products you wish to purchase. This can lead to savings of £11 as shoppers are less likely to make impulse purchases. However, a list of items that you already have may save you even more.

Read more: Cost of living payment: 8 million to get first sum from 14 July

Consumers often look in their kitchen cupboards on autopilot and they are not fully aware of what they already have in stock. Before you leave, make a list of items that you already have in the kitchen. This will aid in the purchase of add ons, to cook a recipe rather than buying whole new dinners. It will also avoid the purchase of items that you already have.

6. Meat free Monday

1 in 4 people in the UK cook the same 4 meals every week. Switching things up and learning new recipes can be a great way to save some money. Adopting a meat free day saves the average household of 4 people £8.30 a week, £398.40 a year. Aim to have at least one meat free meal, if not day, a week.

7. Cut waste

Research shows that a UK home can throw away up to £496 a year in food. Making optimum use your the freezer reduces food waste, and gives you more meal choices throughout the week.

Watch: How to save money on a low income

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