Saving Money on Food Shopping

Quick update before I launch into the full post. Saving is going well so far and I've not really spent any money this week and I still have christmas money left for treats (I really do know how to spin it out!)
Anyway I'm doing another sort of money saving guide this week much like the one I did on film and cinema which you can have a read of here. So this weeks topic is...

Food Shopping

Being a student (or on a budget) doesn't have to be about empty cupboards and living off takeways, ready meals and pot noodles infact this can be more expensive (not to mention ready meals and pot noodles are horrible although I am partial to the odd takeway!). With the right tactics and knowledge you'll have cupboards full of tasty things in no time.

 Follow these tips to have full cupboards!

First off don't be a label snob, secondly and closely related to my first point is don't be a shop snob. There's nothing wrong with own brand products, infact I often prefer supermarkets own brands to things such as Heinz, McVities etc also there's nothing wrong with shopping in places like Aldi or Iceland. Aldi has some really great stuff and very cheap prices and Iceland isn't just about frozen ready meals and cheap pizza's they also have some great bargains, for example we can get a 890g pack of lean mince for £5 in there which makes 5-6 meals (by this a mean portions not 5-6 seperate meals).

We don't tend to actually go to a supermarket for our shopping as there is an Iceland just around the corner from us and a Sainsburys 10 minutes away (it's not a full sized one but it's not a little one either it's somewhere inbetween) so we manage with those as we've found Sainsburys surprisingly cheap and they often have lots of offers on. This also brings me onto the point that you shouldn't shop in the most convenient places either, we have a Tesco express at the end of our street and it's majorly overpriced on the vast majority of things, we can pick up the stuff much cheaper in other places that are just a small walk away.

Another good idea is to set a monthly food budget and try to stick to it. On the 1st of every month take your budgeted food money out of the bank and put it somewhere safe, that way when you want to go shopping you'll have the money to hand rather than been tempted to pay on your card. When you pay on your card it's really easy to ignore how much you're actually spending but if you pay in cash it's easy to monitor and puts it into perspective. 

Don't buy more than what you need, I know this sounds obvious but it's really easy to just pick up 4 pints of milk or a full loaf of bread then discover you've only used half of it by the use by date. So just take a minute to think about what you're buying and pick up a smaller loaf or less milk, that way you're not essentially throwing your money in the bin. Another good tip for not wasting food is to freeze it, if you live on your own or just as a couple you can find a lot of meals you make will serve four so rather than wasting what is left over buy some foil takeaway trays (we get ours from Poundland) and freeze what is left.

 Foil trays are ideal for freezing food in

Smaller loaves of bread means there's less waste

The same tips go for drink as well, it's cheaper to buy own brands rather than Smirnoff vodka or Malibu rum for example. Iceland do really good alternatives to a lot of things such as Smirnoff, Malibu, Baileys and Sourz and at a fraction of the price. A recent (cheap) drink discovery for Josh and I is own brand French lager from Tesco's, I don't like lager but I find this so nice and for 8 bottles it only costs £3.11 (it may be even slightly cheaper in large Tesco supermarkets) the Co-Op also do their own French lager which only £9 for 24 bottles so you really can't go wrong with prices like that.  

 Tesco's French lager

 Iceland's version of Baileys

One final tip is to try cooking your own meals, as part of my Not Quite 25 Before 25 list I've set myself the challenge to make more homemade dishes. Buying herbs and spices can initially be a bit costly however once you've got them they last ages so this really cuts the cost down, plus it's good to learn something new!

So they're my tips for food shopping. I hope you have enjoyed this weeks post and if you've missed any of the previous posts you can catch up here


  1. Thanks for the tips! I seriously spend tooo much money on food...just popped to tesco express cos supermarket is too far away and spent a fortune on hardly anything. I think i need to try the budget trick x

  2. i really like your blog! maybe we could follow each others?


Thanks for your lovely comments!