Food is one of the highest bills for most families, and quite often it’s buying the right things at the wrong prices. As working mums, we tend to take ownership of the food shopping so it’s one area that we have control over and can make a huge financial impact on.
Here are a few tips to help you stretch your budget further still or save money on the food shop:
- Wear high heels when doing the shopping
Try wearing your highest jelled work shoes, as this will remind you how heavy unnecessary shopping is when you have to carry the load on the bus or train home. Even if you drive to the supermarket, trying to navigate a heavy basket or push an overloaded trolley in high heels will make you think twice about the load next time.
- Make a weekly meal plan
This will help you list everything you need before you go food shopping. If you can do a monthly meal plan, all the better – buying in bulk will help you save even more money in the long run.
- Be sensible about special offers
Just because the shop says they are giving you a discount doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll save money. And buying a bigger packet than you need and never using it all before the expiry date is also a waste if money.
- Make a list and stick to it
Make a list before you hit the shops so you know exactly what to buy and stick to it. If you get tempted to throw in the odd item into your shopping trolley, just remind yourself that you inky came into the store to buy what you have on your shopping list.
If being in store is too tempting, then try shopping online – it’s a lot easier to avoid temptation that way.
- Don’t shop when you’re hungry
We’ve all heard this one before, but it’s so true. If you like to do your shopping during your lunch break at work, prepare yourself mentally before you leave the office.
- Try not to take the kids shopping if you can avoid it
Every mum knows what children are like once they get into a supermarket. They have a shopping list of their own which has everything on it – toys, sweets, crisps and everything in between.
Avoid the stress and temptation to buy them one little thing to keep them quiet by leaving them at home.
- Try not to buy food your family won’t eat
With all the best will in the world, if your family hates cabbages, don’t buy it. It may be healthy and your new year’s resolution may be to prepare healthier meals for the family, but don’t waste on food that will only go in the bin.
- Don’t be a brand junkie
While you may recognise top food brands more than the supermarket’s cheaper options, you’ll pay above the odds for it when the quality is either the same or not far off with the cheaper alternative.
Some of this does take trial and error, and some supermarket branded products are better than others so shop around to shop smarter.
It’s quite easy to be frugal once you realise how much money you’re actually saving with these simple steps. Keep your supermarket receipts, so you can see how much of a difference you’re making and where you can improve still.