Many of you have probably been in a situation one time or another when funds were tight and food prices were HIGH. I’m currently in this situation, I am a full time student and shopping on a budget is a must if I wish to eat well in a week and have money left over. I have come up with a few tips that I live by when shopping.
Top Tips for shopping on a budget.
- Go through your cupboards, fridge and freezer and see what you have left.
- Make a menu of the dinners you would like to have that week. (This can be hard as not everyone knows what they want for Saturday if it’s Monday but you can swap around the days)
- Make a shopping list!!!
- When you in the store, pick up a basket not a trolley as you will tend to fill the trolley more, but will only fill the basket up with essentials as you have to carry it.
- Compare brand names to the shops own brand as they are usually the same but one is a lot cheaper.
- Offers! Check the small print of the offers for example weight, as you may get more for your money on a product that isn’t on offer.
- Sell by dates: if you are buying in bulk check you pick up the dates with the longest time till expiry
- Freezer guidelines, another way to cut costs is buying products that can be frozen day of purchase, such as ready meals, bread and milk.
- Carry a calculator with you, to make sure you have kept on budget and you don’t get any surprises at the till.
- Bring your own bags this will cut down on the plastic bags being used and if you have heavy products it will make it easier for you to carry home if it is in a bag for life.
This is the menu template I use, I found this keeps me focused when shopping as this comes with me and I have found when I keep to my menu, I can had a treat such as a bag of chocolate or alcohol as I have money left over.
A great way to cut costs in regards to shopping for food, is to make your own packed lunch the night before. This can be leftovers from your dinner such as roast chicken sandwich, bacon and pasta or any pasta dish really!! Or to make a sandwich, roll or wrap to take with you wherever you are that day.
Great sandwich fillers:
Left over roast chicken or any chicken
Another way of shopping on a budget is cooking a meal from leftovers. I tend to do this a lot as I hate food going to waste and I make two portions of this so it can be eaten the next day for lunch or dinner.
One of my favourite recipes from leftovers:
Bacon, Chilli and tomato Pasta
Bacon – 3 rashers
Chilli flakes – a pinch (or more if you love spice)
1 onion (small or half an hour) – dice thinly
2 cans of tomatoes
1 tablespoon of tomato puree.
1 tablespoon of garlic puree.
1 tablespoon of paprika
2 cups of penne pasta (or any pasta you have)
Salt and pepper to taste
Cheese to grate on top
- Fry bacon and onions together till onions are brown and bacon cooked.
- Add the garlic into the bacon and onions.
- In another saucepan fill with water, once to the boil add your pasta, I use two cups of pasta.
- Empty the cans of tomatoes into the saucepan and add the puree.
- Let the sauce simmer, don’t let it boil.
- Add chilli flakes and seasonings to taste – I like it spicy so add more chilli
- Once the pasta is cooked, drain and add to sauce. Mix together.
- Grate cheese over the top.
- You will have leftovers if eating this for one, put into a Tupperware container, and leave the lid off to cool.
Top Tip: once you leftovers have cooled down, put an air tight lid on and keep in the fridge for the following day.
Jess & SGO