Bank account looking as unhealthy as your fridge? A guide to reducing your food shop spend.
Checking the balance on your banking app after Freshers’ week can come as a bit of a shock. The money you splashed on a Pint of Fun at Hive with your flatmates or on shopping sprees on Byres Road might be money well spent, but it can be easy to go overboard. Reducing the cost of your food shop is a simple way to save, letting you spend more on the things that count, like a coffee on the way to class or an extra night out at the pub. Here are some top tips to reduce your food shop spend.
- Have a snack: Firstly, it is important to not go shopping on an empty stomach. Filling up on a packet of biscuits or whatever else you can find leftover in the cupboard, will put you into a rational state of mind, making you realise that maybe you don’t need to buy the entire shop ‘just in case’. Good financial decisions are never made while hungry, so make sure you grab a bite to eat before you pop to the shops.
- Stay away from Lidl’s middle aisle: Making a list is the best way to stay on track. Wave goodbye to the days of going crazy down the middle aisle in Lidl. A list will tell you exactly what you are going into the shop for, and what you are going to leave with, reducing the temptation to buy a brand-new blow torch or two-person oodie that you really will never use.
- Fill up your freezer: Pot noodles and pesto pasta might be staple student meals but it is easy to forget that you do sometimes need to try and get in your five-a-day. However, fresh fruit and vegetables go off quickly or end up in a sad and forgotten-about pile at the back of the fridge. This can be avoided by using the frozen version. By replacing expensive punnets of fresh berries with a frozen bag, you can save pots of money and reduce your food waste. You can also add a handful of cheap frozen peas to any meal to make it healthier for very little effort and cost.
- Make friends with the reduced section: On days where you can’t decide what you fancy, the reduced to clear section can be your best friend. Often you can rummage around and be able to find a ready meal for only 90p, or get a cheap sandwich late in the day. You might even find some low-priced ingredients that will inspire you to cook a meal from scratch. The opportunities are endless!
It might take some time to get into the swing of things, but after a while you’ll be a super saving shopper, reducing what you spend on food, even if that money ends up in your pub fund instead.