How to save money: make a shopping list
MAKE a shopping list to save money. Or at least that’s the advice here. Consumers waste thousands upon thousands of pounds a year in the supermarkets. The secret to not doing so is to make a meal plan, create a shopping list and only buy what’s on it.
Shoppers overspend by an average of £30 every time they visit the supermarket, and men aged between 35 and 44 are the worst offenders. Almost a third of shoppers have no set budget for food – meaning they more frequent visits to the supermarket and greater monetary waste.
I will admit that it’s rare that I spend £30 in a visit so I certainly don’t overspend by that. But then agreed, I’m not normal.
Ed Boyes, of HelloFresh.co.uk said: “Without a strict budget on a food shop, it’s a no-brainer that we’d buy products we don’t need. It’s so easy to get drawn into the special offers and discounts when you’re in a supermarket, but its false economy when the extra food you buy goes to waste.”
Lack of meal planning prior to shopping was another issue, with one in three people admitting to not planning.
The thing is, I can imagine this is true for some people. But not for those who know how to cook. If you don’t know how to cook, need recipe books for the simple stuff, then yes, I can see that needing to plan future meals works. I’ll have the curry on Thursday night, so I need a jar of sauce, some chicken tits and some okra. Friday lunch will be boiled egg sarnies so better get some eggs. Etc, etc.
However, if you do know how to cook it would be better to work it the other way around. There’s always something on sale (and hanging around the butcher’s counter near closing time or the fish a bit before will get you the bargains) and the secret to saving money on food is to be able to pick up said bargains at bargain prices when they’re available. Only then do you start to pick up all the other bits and pieces to cook the meal you’re thinking of. Which, of course, means that you’ve got to have in your head what you’ll need to cook whatever it is that’s a bargain.
You might go in with the idea of a chicken curry. But those lamb neck chops are at their sell by date and half price or lower. Might be good for a lamb curry, might be better as a lamb stew. But this is only going to work if you can, once you’ve spotted that bargain expensive bit, mentally tot up all the bits and pieces you need to produce a meal from it. Steaks are cheap: hmm, bit of pasta sauce and a couple of slices of mozzarella, steak pizzaiola (can have different names).
And so on and so on: you do need the meal plans and the lists if you don’t know how to cook. But the real way to save money is to know how to cook and start the meal planning after you’ve found out what’s being flogged off cheap today.