The Weekly food shop can be a bit dull not to mention a very expensive task, with so much variety out there it is easy to fill your cupboards, while emptying your back account. Here are our top 5 nifty hacks for saving time and money while staying happy and healthy all at the same time.
1. Plan ahead
Going to the shops with no plan can lead to filling your basket with things that seem like a great idea but don't end up adding up to weeks worth of meals, it can also make your shop more expensive. To cut time shopping and buying things you won't use, write down 5 or 6 meals for the week and the ingredients for each one. It is also a good idea to try and match ingredients that will cover at least two meals. For example, If you buy a head of broccoli for one meal, then make sure you use it in another meal that week to avoid any food waste.
2. Make from scratch
Making things such as home sauces, pastry, marinades and dips from scratch will save you so pennies as the raw ingredients will last several meals and are usually cheaper than ready-made packets. Although this might mean sometimes spending a little more time making dinner, it can be fun and it is also healthier as you know exactly what's going into your food. You can also make sides like potato wedges from fresh potatoes and a homemade coating rather than buying a packet that ends up sitting in the bottom of the freezer. Switching up the way you cook things like this cannot only save some money it also means you will most likely be buying less plastic packaging which is much kinder to our environment.
3. Buy supermarket own brand
While this is not true in all instances, many supermarket brand products contain almost all of the same ingredients and nutritional value as other, more expensive brands and a lot of the time you're only paying for the label. If you are not sure the best thing to do is read the label, this will quickly tell you if you can change to supermarket brands of some products. A good place to start is with things like tinned items.
4. Save anything left over for your lunches
Ditch spending £3.00 minimum on a meal deal when you can have home cooking in a Tupperware. If you are not keen on eating the same thing twice in a row, you can always add a different sauce or make your meal into a wrap or salad for the next day. Most foods will also keep in the fridge for a couple of days so you can always mix and match so you don't get bored.
5. Be creative
If you get to the end of the week and have some stray ingredients left in the fridge, don't just bin them. Think of a meal you can make with them. You can learn some exciting and tasty new recipes from working with leftovers and it is the perfect way to make sure you cut down waste and get the most for your money.