Updated: Feb 2
When my partner and I moved in with each other, were we regularly paying £80+ per week on groceries. This is what we have learned over the last few months and halved our weekly food bill to £40, including fresh fruit and veg, meat, fish and posh chocolate!
Step One - Shop Your Kitchen!
Write a list of everything in your fridge, freezer and cupboards. This is now your starting point. You'll get better at this and soon remember what's in there, but a great place to start is just to write out everything already have in your house, then you can build around it. It's likely that you already have some meals you can make already, or maybe you're just missing one ingredient!
Step Two - Keep Meals Simple
One of our favourite books is "5 Ingredients" by Jamie Oliver, and believe me, there are tonnes of recipes with even less ingredients. Don't be afraid to cycle the meals you like, you don't always have to be trying something new because you saw a nice looking dish on instagram. Keep it simple! Here's a great simple recipe: Tomato and Mascapone Sauce Recipe for Pasta
Step Three - Keep Lunch Even Simpler
I have three ingredient lunches, so does my partner. We tend to have the same lunches for a month and then cycle to the next lunch idea. Currently I'm on jacket potato, beans & cheese. A classic. My partner is on salami and sauerkraut sandwiches (yes, he is a bit odd), but last month I had taco salads.. I bought huge bags of frozen mince, onion & mixed peppers and made my own seasoning out of herbs and spices we already had.
Step Four - Love Yellow Stickers
Our favourite section is the reduced section. Who's isn't! But learn the tips and tricks. If there is any kind of fish or meat, buy it and stick it in the freezer, it might not be on your shopping list this week but you can add it to your inventory list for next week and next week shop gets even cheaper! Fresh fruit and veg is also good to stick in the freezer, some react better than others at being defrosted, but once you stick some other ingredients and sauce / seasoning in, you'll never know! Bread is forever in the reduced section, and it very rarely goes off within the week. Learn the difference between Best Before or Use By! Something has a yellow sticker on and says Best Before? Snap it up, good chance is it won't go off for a while!
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Step Five - Make a List, and Check it Twice
Now you have your inventory together, you've picked out some yummy meals and reaped the rewards of last week, or last fortnight's yellow sticker haul, write your list. We like to write out which means we're doing on which day and then write a list underneath. Take your list with you to the shop, have it out while you're walking around and take a pen to cross off as you go! This will help you stay on track as you have a destination in the store rather than wondering around. There's less chance to see their tempting offers on desserts!
Step Six - Change Where You Shop
A big part of our grocery bill being so high was that we were shopping at Waitrose due to convenience. It's the closest supermarket to us, and during the lockdown period, it was the only one we could get to as we didn't drive. The minute we were able to go on public transport again, we started shopping in Tesco and our food bill went down to £60. After a bit of refining via the methods above we got it down to £40. We've tried Sainsbury's and it went back up to £60! Unfortunately we're unable to visit an Aldi or Lidl but we all know we could cut even more off if we were able to!
Click on the image below to buy my meal planner for the limited time price of £1.