How to save money on food
Hi everyone! I wrote a money saving tips blog a couple of months ago but I want to focus this post solely on food as it is so easy to squander money on it when not careful (from too many 3am Vialli’s takeaways to lunches on campus). In-fact the average UK household bins around £700 worth of uneaten food a year! Apart from the money-saving side of it, I hate binning food so here is what I do:
I never buy lunch on campus and this saves me so much money! I usually take a ham butty or salad (which I prepare the night before), crisps, fruit and a yoghurt. Some days, I‘ll take a microwaveable snack pot meal from Tesco such as vegetarian chilli or curry which are £1.25. A meal deal at Rootes is about £3.99 which I find SO expensive. I’m probably just not used to the southern prices as the takeaway in-front of my college did a burger and chips for £1.50 or at the pound bakery 2 pies were £1. I’m going to start mixing my lunches up a bit more as my friends have leftover pasta, curry, spring rolls etc.
Shop at Aldi/ in the evenings
I usually shop at Aldi with my housemates because we‘re lucky enough to have a car (if not the walk from North Leamington would be too far) but Tesco is also a 10 minute walk from our house. We go once a week and I check my cupboards for stock before we head off so I don’t buy stuff I don’t need. Occasionally we have gone to Morrisons after 8pm and there’s a lot of reduced food. We’ve bought a pack of doughnuts reduced to 5p and salmon for like 30p at this time. The reason I prefer Aldi is because you’re in and out quickly and at other supermarkets I get attracted to buy more junk food which I then regret as I try to eat healthily! Aldi prices are also cheaper if you’re not fussed about brands. Also, don’t go shopping on an empty stomach!
I think freezing food is a fab idea! Before my times of freezing, half of my loaf went mouldy, my meat went out of date and I wasted time cooking every night. Now I will buy big packs of meat and divide and freeze the meat I don’t use. I also buy a 1kg frozen bag of chicken breast fillets from Aldi and it works out so much cheaper than fresh chicken which I’d freeze anyway. When I cook (bolognese, soup, chilli, curry etc), I make big batches and freeze the leftovers in small portions. This saves me so much time on the days I’m busy and stops my housemates tempting me to get a takeaway as I always have a meal in.
Cook with housemates
We generally do this for the first couple of weeks of term and then our lifestyles become so hectic that we aren’t really together during the evenings. With 4 of us, it means we can cook one/two meals each a week and have a variety of healthy, good quality food for the price of 2 meals. Last time I cooked bolognese for 4 (5% lean mince meat was £3.19 from Aldi and 50p for bolognese sauce) and fajitas (the fajita kit and chicken thigh was £4 from Aldi). So for £8 I get a weeks worth of teas. Along with breakfasts, lunches and snacks, this means I’ll spend under £15.
Take home leftovers from a restaurant
My friend will do this without a fail wherever we go. She also hates wasting food and only at her house will I find half a leftover sausage on a plate in the fridge. When we went to Wetherspoons, she took home a couple of leftover chips, peas and a bit of fish. To be honest, I wouldn’t have thought to take this home but they came back with some packaging and it did her for lunch the next day. Or when we went to Nandos she took some chicken which again was used for lunch with some bread the day after, and Las Iguanas the same. When I take pizza home, I oddly enjoy it even more the day after. I’m not sure if it’s the relief of having one less meal to cook or if it just tastes better.
I hope this helps someone and thanks for reading!
See you all soon 🙂 x