Food & nutrition

9 money-saving secrets for your food shop

Watching the pennies when you’re eating healthily is easier than you might think. Stick to your financial AND PersonalPoints™ Budget with these simple tips.
Published 21 October, 2015

With the cost of living on the up, keeping a close eye on your budget may become even more of a priority. One way to save money is to plan ahead when it comes to mealtimes, so that you can make a list of exactly what you need and become a savvy supermarket shopper.

Check out these tips to keep your food shop costs to a minimum:

1. Fresh isn't always best

Frozen and tinned fruit and vegetables are nutritious, cheaper, and last longer than fresh food. However, to ensure you stay within your PersonalPoints Budget and make choices that will benefit your overall health, it's best to avoid fruit in syrup, and choose vegetables which are cooked in fresh springwater. Similarly, tuna in brine is fine, but it's even better in water. 

2. Know your meat

You don't have to buy expensive cuts of meat, especially if you've got a slow cooker at home. Slow cooking means you can use cheaper cuts of meat, which adds up to big savings over time! For example, you can make a casserole with braising steak (cutting the fat off before cooking) which tastes just as delicious as pricier cuts. 

3. Try to avoid convenience buys

Those nicely packaged pieces of chicken might be easier to prepare, but you can buy a whole chicken, cook it and cut the meat off the bone, then make a broth with the carcass – and it will go so much further than a packet of chicken breasts. 

4. Take another look at value brands

You can make good savings by choosing less expensive brands. It's always worth reading the label, though, as cheaper brands sometimes have higher quantities of salt (but not always). 

5. Look past perfection

Consider misshapen or 'wonky' fruit and veg – okay, they might not look as pretty, but they will taste identical and will probably be cheaper, too. 

6. Make your own snacks

Shop-bought snacks are expensive, especially if everyone in the family is having one or two a day. Limit how many you buy, and make your own instead.

7. Bake your own treats

Baking your own treats is healthier (and more fun!) than buying them at the supermarket. Use the WW app for inspiration, get the kids involved and start experimenting! You could kick off with these fantastically fruity bakes, for instance.

8. Do a little maths

Supermarkets display the unit price alongside the product price. Compare these on similar goods, as often what seems cheaper isn't actually better for your budget. 

9. Eat together

Preparing separate meals for different people in your household can be more costly, and it may not help your kids develop good eating habits, either. Research shows that children mimic their parents, especially at mealtimes, so you're setting them a great example by preparing a healthy meal. If you eat as a family, you can also batch cook your meals, which will help keep costs down. Check out our Batch Cooking cookbook for inspiration!