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How to Save on Food Shopping
Budget Buys and Saving Those Pennies!

Dietitian, Juliette Kellow tells us how to buy in bulk and what special offers to look for to help trim the fat on our food bill and our waists.

How To Save Money on Food Shopping

By Dietitian, Juliette Kellow BSc RD

Bulk Buying

If you have room to store them, buy larger packets of food such as pasta, rice and cereals – it’s usually cheaper to buy in bulk.

Freeze Larger Quantites

Save pennies by buying larger quantities of meat and dividing it into suitable portions (for example, to serve one or two people) for freezing.

Alternatively, use all the meat to prepare a large pot of Bolognese sauce, curry or casserole, then freeze what you don’t eat in small portions.

You’ll have your own healthy ready-meals in the freezer for when you can’t be bothered to cook.

Save Money on Less Expensive Cuts

Look out for less expensive cuts of meat such as stewing steak rather than rump steak, or pork shoulder steaks rather than pork tenderloin.

Remove any visible fat and cook slowly such as in a stew or casserole.

If you buy standard mince (rather than extra-lean or steak mince), cook it without any oil and drain off any fat before using.

Bulk Out Meat

Cut back on meat and add beans, lentils and barley to your shopping trolley instead. These ingredients are inexpensive, low in calories and fat but packed with fibre, vitamins and minerals. Use them in dishes to replace some of the chicken or meat.

Whole Chickens

Whole chickens are more economical than chicken portions, so roast a chicken and use the meat for sandwiches, pasta dishes, soups and salads.

Fruit and Veg In Season

Buy fruit and veg when they’re in season. They’re usually cheaper and taste better than produce that’s been imported.

Avoid Pre-Packed Fruit and Veg

Avoid pre-prepared veg like ready-peeled potatoes, trimmed green beans, sliced mushrooms, bags of washed lettuce and ready-prepared stir-fry veg. They cost considerably more than the whole veg and may have lost certain vitamins due to all the washing and chopping.

Consider Frozen Fruit and Veg

Consider buying bags of frozen veg – there’s no waste and, because they are picked and frozen so quickly, they retain all their nutrients.

Ditch Frozen Chips

Ditch frozen chips and buy fresh potatoes to make your own wedges brushed with just a little olive oil. They take the same amount of time to cook but will be lower in fat than chips.

Homemade Fruit Salad

Make your own fruit salad rather than buying tubs of ready-made fruit salad that cost a fortune.

Save pennies by avoiding fruit that’s been pre-prepared, too, such as pre-sliced melon, fresh mango pieces and peeled pineapple – instead, simply buy the whole fruit and chop it up yourself!

Less is Sometimes More

Buy mature varieties or reduced-fat cheese – it might be more expensive but you’ll need less of it to get the same cheesy taste.

Cook From Scratch

Go back to basics and start cooking your own meals from fresh ingredients.

Garlic bread made from a Granary stick, a little low-fat spread and crushed garlic will cost a fraction of the price of a ready-prepared garlic bread  – and you’ll have greater control over the fat, calorie and salt content.

Emergency Ready Meals

Save ready meals for emergencies only.

Dinners such as beans on wholegrain toast, jacket potatoes with canned tuna and salad, or a ham and veggie omelette with salad and Granary bread take little time to prepare, cost less and may often be lower in calories and fat but more satisfying than a ready meal.

Make Your Own Sandwiches

Make your sandwiches for lunch rather than buying them – you’ll be able to keep them lower in calories and fat and higher in filling fibre.

Plus, over the course of a month, you’ll save a fortune.

Do You Really Want Organic?

Consider whether you really want to buy organic products – they often cost more money but are rarely ‘healthier’ than the standard product.

The term organic simply refers to the conditions under which a product has been grown rather than its nutritional value. This means organic biscuits and chocolate usually contain a similar amount of calories and fat to regular products.

Bottom line: eating organically might be better for the environment but it won’t automatically help your waistline!

Forget the Snacks and Drinks

Don’t fritter money away on calorie-packed snacks and drinks that leave pounds on your hips rather than in your pocket.
You only need to buy a 500ml bottle of cola, a Twix and a standard packet of crisps each day and in a month you’ll have spent a massive £54 and consumed more than 20,000 calories – enough to gain 6lb.

Swap these foods for less expensive, healthier foods such as fruit and veg and you’ll save both cash and calories.

Make Your Own Smoothies

Make your own smoothies by blending fruit in a food processor rather than buying expensive bottles of ready-made, designer branded smoothies.

Sugar Free Squash vs Fizzy Drinks

Opt for sugar-free squash instead of ready-made juice drinks or fizzy drinks – it’s a fraction of the price.

Save on Water

Invest in a dishwasher-safe water bottle and fill it with tap water to take with you when you’re out and about or at work, rather than buying expensive bottled water.

Save Money on Muesli

Make your own muesli from a bag of porridge oats, branflakes and dried fruit.

You’ll be able to ensure it’s free from added sugar and salt and it’s guaranteed to cost less than ready-made muesli.

Say No To Meal Replacements

Avoid meal replacement products such as soups, shakes and bars – they’re staggeringly expensive and nowhere near as satisfying or tasty as a healthy, balanced meal.

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WLR has recipes for making your own smoothies, muesli and more. Tap into a wealth of information on foods and healthy options. Try it free for 24 hours.

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