18/09/2018

6 WAYS I'M FOOD BUDGETING LIKE A PRO


After a few weeks of doing ~£35 weekly food shops, I realised I was doing something right. Visiting the supermarket once a week, spending never more than £40, for two people, is pretty good (if I do say so myself). And, as much as I love my mum, it's certainly not something I get from her. I somehow seem to have clicked into a perfect routine of efficiently spending money on food but for maximum value. Here's how I do it:

Double Up.
When I witness a person place two tea bags in two mugs to make two cups of tea... I wince. In my opinion, one tea bag should be able to serve a minimum of two cups of tea. And, don't be a fool - if you think 'no way would one of my tea bags make two cups of tea', then you're buying the wrong tea bags. Oh, and FYI, I drink builders cups too; none of this dainty tea-party malarky. Here's how the pricing works: PG Tips Tea Bags typically only serve 1 cup of Tea making 200 tea bags = 200 cups of tea. This works out at 2.8p per tea bag*. On the other hand, Ringtons Traditional Tea typically serves 2 (or sometimes 3) cups per bag making it 100 bags = 200 cups. This then equates to 1.6p per tea bag. Get it? Understandably, Ringtons have the inconvenient delivery charges but I'm pretty sure they're popping up in some supermarkets now and then (but don't take my word for it). 

Own Brand.
Admittedly, not everything is best by own brand but a lot of things certainly are. Crisps, for example. Lidl's Snacktastic range has basically 0 difference to Walkers or other crisps. Similarly, the brilliant cupboard staple: Tinned Chopped Tomatoes. Take Morrisons, for example, their basic Chopped Toms are 4 for £1.36* or the branded ones are 4 or £2*. The difference? Nothing. Even better, pop to Lidl where it's 4 for £1.16†. On the other hand, tea bags are one of the products that I believe can improve by brand as ou saw me mention above. So much money can be saved by giving the switch ago - you definitely don't know until you try.

Batch Cook.
If I do say so myself, this one is the one I've perfected. To be honest, it's so easy. It's often cheaper to buy things in bulk, especially vegetables and spices, etc. so it makes so much sense to batch cook. Some dishes that I have been cooking lately includes a Katsu Curry sauce which I just double the measurements for then once cooked and cooled, I pop it in a freezer bag, flatten it out and freeze it for another day. I also do this with the likes of Chilli Con Carne and, when I have leftover vegetables like tomatoes and pepper, I'll whip up a basic tomato pasta sauce, blitz it, and freeze that flat too. Not only is batch cooking cost effective, it's perfect for when you come home with no idea or energy to cook and you just want to grab something out of the freezer. The tomato sauce, for example, will just need to sit in some hot water for a short while then added to some cooked pasta. Preparing this way makes your life so much easier and I can guarantee it will be a LOT better for you than just having a frozen pizza. 


 Freeze Like a Pro. 
As I just previously mentioned, I do a lot of freezing with my food. My freezer currently contains all sorts from Banana Pancake mix, Katsu Curry Sauce, Chilli con Carne, and a Shepards Pie. One thing that I particularly like freezing is meat. It's something that I was never taught to freeze as a child. My mum is and always has been a bit particular when it comes to meat - in her books it has to be fresh and certainly not reduced. I, on the other hand, fled home with the understanding that this wasn't the best outlook to have, especially if I wanted to budget. Meat can be kept fresh for so much longer with the use of a freezer. For example, we bought some wonderful looking breaded chicken fillets that were 'reduced' in Lidl due to their expiry date approaching in a few days. If you freeze the meat before its expiry date, that is safe. As long as you don't put something in the freezer that has exceeded the 'Use By' date, you will be fine. As well as that, though, we tend to buy the likes of fresh mince in bulk then separate it into portions before it goes in the freezer - again, as I mentioned, it's cheaper to buy in bulk and also really easy to bring out exactly what you're going to eat.

Meal Plan.
This is something that I was taught to do from the get-go. In fact, I don't think it was a case of being taught, it was just all that I knew. I remember when I first started my relationship with Jamie and I found really strange that he wouldn't know what was for tea that night - I would've been able to tell him what I was eating for the following week. Now, living away from home, it is something that I've brought with me and definitely something that is helping with my budgeting. 
I was very kindly gifted this meal planning fridge pad from a friend that you can see on the picture above but you can just use a pen and paper. The reason why it's so beneficial for keeping costs down is that it makes you use everything you buy. It's so, so rare that I will throw food out. Our little household has so little waste when it comes to food. It's also just nice knowing what you're eating that evening and, if you really don't fancy what you've planned, at least you have backups in the freezer, right?

Lidl it.
Ok, just quickly because I'm aware that everywhere I go I somehow end up preaching Lidl. I promise, I'm not sponsored by them, I just bloody love them. You can get so many bargains in there. Just give it a go. 

How do you food budget?


* According to shop websites on 10/09/18
According to one of my own receipts. 
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8 comments

  1. So many amazing tips on budgeting. I freeze meat all the time and we buy it in bulk too to save. I don't think you can underestimate meal planning and then working out what you actually need to buy from that. It saves a real fortune!

    Jodie // jodieloue.com

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    1. It certainly does! I couldn't imagine not doing it that way :P x

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  2. One of my favourite budgeting tips is to shop around. My boyfriend and I tend to do an Iceland shop before doing our weekly aldi shop, as there's quite a few bits that are better value. I also note down eat by dates and use that to influence my meal plans for the week as it means nothing is wasted.

    Have a great week,

    Chloe x

    http://www.yourschloe.co.uk/

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    1. Shopping around is a great idea too! My Dad has a Supermarket App that compares prices of individual products - it makes things a little bit more complex but can definitely save in the long run :) x

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  3. Its amazing what you can do when you work on a budget! I still live at home so have the luxury of the food shop being done for me but I'm sure I'm gonna need to refer back to this in a year or so! Lidl is definitely the best for a bargain, I can vouch for that haha!

    Lucy | Forever September

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    1. When you move out you should definitely food budget - you can eat so well without spending loads, I love it :D x

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  4. So many helpful tips! I know I'm definitely going to refer back to this post in the future when I move out, and tell my mum them too! We're also lovers of Lidil in our house! Totally agree with the own brand products too. I I don't know if you watched it but on the programme 'super shoppers' a few weeks ago they showed how some products in the supermarkets own basic range were actually the exact same products sold in the premium range! Shocking when you think about it xxx

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    1. Definitely going to be looking for that on Catch Up haha! It sounds right up my street x

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