We all lead busy lives these days and most of us will have got used to the art of juggling! We work, we cook, we clean and we try to fit in shopping, preferably without the kids. Before you go shopping think about what you are going to eat during the week and then make a list and stick to it. Sure, this takes a little time to plan but will save you time and money in the long run. And if you can manage to leave the kids at home, so much the better; you will not have the endless ‘Mom, can I have some…’ to deal with, and are far more likely to stick to your budget and your list.
Secondly, always go shopping after a meal. The psychology behind supermarket design is very clever; they deal with our sense of hunger by bombarding us with delicious scents and smells which can be particularly difficult to resist when we are hungry. So go armed with a full tummy and a bottle of water in one hand, list in the other!
Think carefully about where you are going to do your shopping. Unfortunately, (and despite the fact that we are all short on money,) there remains some ‘food snobbery’ around. Don’t discount budget supermarkets such as Heron’s, Aldi and Lidl. Since I have begun shopping at Heron’s and Aldi, I have managed to save at least £30 a week on my shopping bill; I am sure you can work out just how considerable that is over a year!
There was a time when my husband would not think of having food from such shops but since he has seen how much we save, he couldn’t be more behind me! But both he and my daughter still insist on some names, especially when it comes to beans, pop and crisps; they just won’t go for the unknown brands. Heron’s sell lots of named and branded products at a far smaller cost than the big three supermarkets. For example, this week I bought 2 litres of Vimto for £1, they are £1.68 in Morrison’s. I also bought a six pack of KP Discos for £1; they are £2.99 for 12 in Tesco, so I would have saved 99p if I bought 2 packs, and HP baked beans were £1 for 3 tins; Heinz average 50p per tin.
Aldi are superb for their fresh fruit and veg. At the end of the aisle, look out for their ‘super six.’ These are their special offers of the week. You can get eight salad tomatoes, six kiwi fruit, a 300gm pack of mushrooms, or a fresh pineapple…these are only a small sample of their offers and they change every week. If the particular fruit or veg item you want isn’t on offer, then try to re-think your menu for the following week so that you can adapt slightly to incorporate these specials. You will save a huge amount of money I promise, and it’s far better in your pocket than the likes of the retail giants!