5 Easy Ways to Chop Down your Food Bills

The last time you went searching for a personal loan via somewhere like MoneyWorld.co.uk, it probably wasn't because you fancied a pizza, or you were worried about this week's supermarket shop. However, it's hard to ignore the impact that your food shopping can have on your finances. We often think that it's the bigger things that we need to change when we want to make a difference to our budget, like cancelling gym memberships or changing broadband provider. However, simply adapting the way that you eat can make a huge change too.

Think about how much you spend on food for you and your family a week, and how much you could save towards your future if you could reduce that amount by just 10-15%. The following tips will help you to start chopping down your food bill in no time.

1. Discover the Power of Prep

Meal prepping might not sound like the most exciting way to spend your Sunday afternoon, but it's one of the most valuable things that you can do if you want to save money. It's so much cheaper and more efficient to prep your meals in advance. Not only will you be able to plan your lists for the supermarket more carefully, but you'll also be able to reduce your risk of ordering too many takeaways too. If you have meals already ready and available in your freezer when you get home from a hard day at work, you can just throw them in the oven and eat in no time. That makes it much harder to justify ordering in.

2. Learn How to Make a Takeaway

If it's the food you're craving from a takeaway, rather than the convenience, why not learn how to make some of your favourite foods? Usually, you can make a delicious pizza, curry, or anything else you fancy with much better ingredients, and save a fortune in the process. Consider pre-making some pizza dough the next time you're food prepping and asking your kids to join you in a fun and waist-friendly pizza making session. You can also consider buying some of the cheaper pizzas from your supermarket in the frozen section and adding your own toppings.

3. Explore the Reduced Aisle

Most supermarkets in the UK will have an aisle full of reduced items that are almost about to go past their best-by date. Obviously, you'll need to be careful about what you buy here. Some of the items that are available will really only be able to be eaten that day. However, you might be able to get some great deals on foods that you can grab now and freeze for later.

To make sure that you get the best share of the bargains, do some investigating and visit your supermarket at different times during the day. This will help you to track down when the largest selection of foods go on sale.

4. Don't Fear the Frozen

Fresh foods are great, but frozen is definitely the cheaper option. A lot of families, particularly in today's fast-paced world, don't have the time to use the food that they bought fresh. They might end up making quicker meals through the week when they're rushed at work, then discover that they need to throw meat and veggies away because they've gone bad.

Though you don't have to give up on fresh foods entirely, you do need to be honest with yourself about whether you're going to be able to cook the fresh items that you buy before their sell-by date arrives. If not, go for frozen.

5. Don't Trust the Sell-By Date

Obviously, sell-by dates are there for a reason, and no-one wants to risk getting food poisoning. However, rather than just throwing your food away because your packaging tells you to, it's a good idea to really find out for yourself whether the item is good or not. For instance, if your bread isn't stale or mouldy, then you don't need get rid of it just because a little label tells you to.

One thing to keep in mind is that 'best before' date references when an item is freshest – it doesn't necessarily mean that the food isn't edible. On the other hand, the 'use by' date is closer to when the manufacturer believes that the item will no longer be safe to eat; use your common sense.

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