Looking to slash the cost of your groceries bill this year? Here are 18 Brand New Tips for saving on food and Groceries in 2018
This post contains affiliate links
Last year I wrote a post with 17 tips to save on your groceries in 2017 – it was a really popular post so I though I’d do the same again this year, with 18 Brand New tips that should help you continue to slash those groceries bills and save money week on week. I’m not promising you won’t have thought of some of them already, but hopefully some of these will help you start saving big.
I also have a money saving Facebook Group with a focus on saving money on groceries and household bills. You can find the group – I’d love for you to come say hello!
If you’re looking to save money at a specific supermarket the See this post which covers Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and M&S, Co-op and Lidl and Aldi.
1.Love a bit of Spice? Try the World Foods aisle or an Oriental Supermarket.
Buying the little jars of spices from the spice aisle in the supermarket is the most expensive place to buy them, especially if you make a lot of food from scratch and buy a lot of them. Head to the world foods aisle where they are often substantially cheaper – even in the same supermarket. You could also try finding an Asian Supermarket – while there aren’t many where I live in quite a rural area they are much more prevalent in big cities.
2. Bulk Buy Your Meat
Personally I tend to buy meat when I see it reduced in the supermarket but I know others aren’t always able to get there in the evenings when there are bargains to be had. One of the best ways to stock up on meat for less is using a company like Muscle Foods. Muscle Foods started out being aimed at those on high protein diet – but the prices are so good that many families have started ordering from them too. It’s always worth comparing with supermarket prices to make sure you really are getting the best deal, but general speaking they have some fantastic deals. Just make sure there’s plenty of room in your freezer!
3.Try Joining a Wholesalers Such as Costco
If you or your partner work in a certain profession, you may be able to get a membership to a wholesaler such as Costco.
- £28 for a 12-month Costco membership including a £14 in-warehouse voucher and freebies
- Membership also includes a complimentary 12-month spouse/domestic partner card
- Freebies include: Kirkland Signature Rotisserie Chicken, Kirkland Signature Chocolate Fudge Cake & Kirkland Signature 48pack of AAA batteries
Meaning you pretty much make the £28 back immediately. While some things are more expensive here, some are definitely cheaper too – in particular meat. It’s also a great place to stock up if you’re getting married – wholesale sweets are ridiculously cheap as are are things like napkins and candles.
4.Make the most of your Freezer Space
For me an essential part of saving money on food is having the space to store it in my freezer – whether I’ picking up reduced goodies or bulk buying from Muscle Food cramming as much in there as possible means I never miss a bargain. Decanting food from it’s bulky packaging and into sandwich bags or smaller containers really helps save space. You can read my full post on saving space in the freezer here.
While you should never shop anywhere just for the loyalty points if you are shopping, always be sure to have your card with you. Apps such as Loyalive store all your loyalty cards digitally, super handy if your purse is overflowing with them. Don’t forget it not just in store either – for example nectar points can be collected on Petrol, online at stores like eBay and you can top up your points by doing surveys with Nectar Canvas.
6.Asda Price Guarantee
While Asda don’t have a loyalty point system like the other big three supermarkets they do have the Asda Price Guarantee.
‘If we’re not 10% cheaper than Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, or Waitrose on your comparable grocery shop we’ll give you the difference. Guaranteed! It’s as simple as that!’ (taken from the Asda website)
You simply type in the code from your receipt (provided you bought enough qualifying items) and if they weren’t cheaper you can print out a voucher for the difference to use on your next shop.
7.Try some shopping Non Supermarkets for Groceries such as Poundland or B&M
While not all groceries are cheaper in Poundland, there are still some bargains to be had if you’re passing. For example, Pot Noodles are 2 for £1 – at the time of writing (28/12/17) most other supermarkets are charging £1 each. Foxes Viennese Melts (chocolate biscuits) are 2 packets for £1 – most other supermarkets charge £1 per packs and as much as £1.58 in Waitrose!
B&M stores also have a great range of branded food items for much less than many of the supermarkets. While you couldn’t do a full week’s shopping there, it’s worth keeping an eye for your favourite products. You could also pick up this Jo Malone Candle Dupe for £285 less than the branded version.
8.Have a ‘No Spend on Groceries Week’
This may not be for everyone but if you go shopping out of habit rather necessity having a no spend week on food may well help you get creative and use up what you have lurking at the back of the cupboard. Set aside a small amount for fresh essentials like milk and bread and see how far you can get with what you already have in
9. Make meals go further by Bulking out with cheaper ingredients
There are lots of well known hacks for making meals go further and they usually involve adding some sort of grain such as beans or lentils to soups and stews. My personal favorite hack is to add a cheap packet of dry stuffing mix – I do this in creamy pies (such as my post Christmas turkey, ham, stilton and stuffing pie) and it’s a great addition to a cheesey sauce that you might use for macaroni cheese or other pasta dishes.
10. Go Meat Free once a week
This is something I’m slowly starting get my husband on board with. He’s a total meat fiend and tends to freak out if there’s no meat in the dish presented to him. However, it does seem the tastier the dish the less likely he is to notice – so far I’ve managed a stir fry that was packed with ginger and chili and no meat.
Meat free Monday’s are often promoted but Monday isn’t always the best day for a vegetarian dinner – if you have leftovers from your Sunday roast then Monday is the best day to get them used up! You pop them in the slow cooker using one of these tasty recipes.
11. Meal Planning With a difference
I’ve only just started meal planning and I like to think of it more as flexible meal planning. I’m not very strict about which days we have certain meals and I tend to make a list of what meals we can make with what’s in the fridge or freezer and then cross them of as we have them each night during the week.
Sometimes I’ll write something vague like ‘Mince’ and decide what to do with it later, depending on what we fancy that day. There is so much you can do with mince!
12. Remember it’s okay to have a treat
While being Frugal does have it rewards, don’t forget you don’t have to be perfect all the time and it’s okay to have the occasional treat – especially if you’ve been doing really well.
One of my favourite ways to treat ourselves is to have some food that’s a bit of a luxury – such as doing the £10 meal deal in M&S, which usually includes a main, a side dish, a dessert and a free bottle of wine (or on alcoholic substitute). I don’t drink wine but usually stash the bottle away in the gift cupboard. The deal also often includes a whole chicken which could easily be used for much more than one meal. I’ve also considered doubling up on the meal deal and using it to serve four as any easy way to do dinner party food.
Want to see how to get other Luxury Items for less? See this guest post I did for Kelly at reduced Grub
13. You can Freeze Chocolate
One thing that everyone in the money saving Facebook groups I’m in seems to be talking about at the moment is freezing chocolate. Whether it be chocolate leftover from Christmas that won’t get eaten, or cheap chocolate post Christmas, everyone seems to be chucking it in their freezers right now. Although chocolate does usually have a reasonable best before date, it does often have a high diary content which can occasionally cause issues if it’s eaten a long time after the best before. Obviously freezing prevents this up to a point.
14. Don’t forget your Carrier Bags
Might sound obvious but this is still something I often forget to do. If you do a big weekly shop and buy 10 strong carrier bags each time that’s £1 a week – or over £50 a year.
15. Co-ops £5 Meal Deal
I’ve written before about how much I love co-op, they have great late night reductions, good offers and an excellent loyalty points scheme. They also have £5 meal deal which usually lasts two to three weeks before changing and has five or six items in. There is usually one or two mains (such as pizza, fish or breaded chicken. Sometimes there will be an adults and a kids mains such as fish and fish fingers) two or three sides (such as onion rings, chips and peas) and a dessert such as a tub of ice cream or Jam Roly Poly. The value changes depending on what’s on offer and it’s usually a combination of branded and co-op brand products. Average RRP is around £12 making it a great way to stock up the freezer.
16. You can Freeze Whole Birthday Cakes
In my late night shopping jaunts to grab reduced bargains I often see whole birthday cakes reduced by around 90% – sometimes making them less than a pound. If you’ve ever seen these and are worried about them going off you can buy them and pop them in the freezer until needed – just allow a day or two to thaw beforehand.
17. Corner Shops have reductions too
While I do usually try to avoid corner shops at all costs due to how expensive they are, my local one do seem to reduce their fresh produce right down to pennies. In the last year I’ve had whole chickens for £1, £3.99 packs of mince for £50p and packs of sausages for 20p. Always worth taking a look if you’re popping in anyway.
18.Start Early on Groceries for Christmas 2018
Sounds mad but many Christmas foods will have expiry dates well into 2019 – buy them cheaply now and stash away for next Christmas
The first thing here to know the difference between Best Before and Use by. Best before is only an indicator of the potential quality of food. It is often delicious and perfectly safe to eat well after this date, provided it has been stored properly. Most tins, jars and dried goods will have a best before date. Use by is the date that food should potentially be used by and is used on fresh foods. While supermarkets and Restaurants are required by law to stick stringently to these dates, what you do at home is up to you. Something bought with today’s by date is not going to give you food poisoning at one minute past midnight. Using sensible judgement on the feel and smell of the food is fine. People not understanding this is something contributes hugely to food waste in the U.K
So what food should you be looking out for post Christmas?
I’ve already seen these reduced by up to 75% – perfect if you love a fancy pants pudding but wouldn’t normally spurge a tenner or more.
2. Jars of Mincemeat
Packed with sugar and booze these keep really well if unopened – with many having best before dates well into 2019. If you do have some open that need using up you could try this recipe for a delicious mincemeat and ice cream pie.