10 #SavingSwaps to help you eat well on a budget
Lots of our members are very savvy with their spending and have some fantastic tips to share on how to save money on food, grocery shopping and eating out. Here are our best picks of the bunch to share the savings knowledge around even further.
1. Brand heavy snacks for supermarket own
By swapping out your favourite brands for supermarket-branded alternatives the pennies can really drop off your weekly food bill. Start with the cheapest alternative to your usual product and if you don’t like that, try the next cheapest. There will usually be up to 3 supermarket own brand options alongside the branded product from their ‘basic’ up to their ‘best’ ranges with at least one option in between - all usually cheaper or better value than the brands. We bet you won’t be able to tell the difference!
2. Takeaways for ‘fakeaways’
Cutting out takeaways doesn’t have to mean not enjoying your favourite treats. Try creating ‘fakeaways’ at home such as curries, your favourite Chinese dishes, pizzas and even kebabs! You’ll find tonnes of inspiration on websites such as Pinterest for these delicious recipes which will help you save calories as well as cash!
3. Meal deals for homemade lunches
The classic and always one that we’ll recommend. Lunches at work can be up to £5 a day or even more if you’re partial to a pub treat or specialist burrito! The savings can be huge just from eating last night’s leftovers or whipping up your own sandwiches, soups and salads. Try it for a week, pop the money that you would have spent on lunch into a pot and on Friday, see how much you’ve saved.
4. Meat-filled meals for veggie-packed dinners
Bulking out dinners with vegetables, beans and lentils can be great ways to allow meals to go further without buying more meat that can push up the price per head. Try adding extra kidney beans to chilli con carne and bulky vegetables such as cauliflower and broccoli to delicious curries.
5. Expensive cappuccinos for DIY lattes
Whether it’s sachets of frothy coffee or a simple tin for the same price as your takeaway caffeine fix, ditching the coffee habit is a huge money saver. Whether your coffee is £2 or £4 a day, the savings will soon add up.
6. Big shops for online shops
A lot of our members recommended taking up online grocery shopping instead of wandering around the aisles. By meal planning and only ordering exactly what you need for the week, you won’t be enticed by interesting offers or tempted by treats. This also means that you won’t have a shock when you get to the till and see how much your shopping has all come to. You can easily keep tabs on how much you’re adding into your online basket and potentially take things out and re-jig recipes if you are on a tight budget.
7. Individual portions for super-sized joints
By buying pre-prepared packets of meat and fish that are only used in one meal you can spend over the odds. With larger joints of beef or whole chickens you can get a lot more meat for your money and create more meals with the leftovers. Think homemade chicken soup for lunch and Chow Mein for dinner on a Monday after your Sunday roast!
8. Weekly habits for monthly treats
If takeaways are your vice then reducing them down from weekly to monthly is a great way to save money whilst still having something that you really enjoy. Plus, we think you’ll enjoy it even more when it comes around! One of our savvy Facebook followers is aiming to save £60 a month with this trick meaning that she should save over £700 a year.
9. Disposable for reusable
Buying sandwich bags and clingfilm can really add up if you have a family to make sandwiches for and, they’re also not very good for the environment. By investing in reusable wax covered wrap you can reduce the amount you spend on disposable plastic. Carry around a reusable water bottle too and you’ll spend less on drinks and do your bit towards saving the oceans too.
10. Costly coffee shops for cost-effective catch ups
If you love to catch up with your best friends over a posh sandwich and a coffee, doing this regularly can become costly. One of our members said, ‘I’ve stopped meeting my friends in expensive coffee shops, we now take turns to visit each other in our homes, we have a much nicer time, have a good chat and save money.’ We think that’s a great idea.
Read our How to Save Money Fast essential guide for even more tips on how to save those pennies.
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