One of the easiest ways for most households to cut back on their spends is to look at their grocery budget. The weekly food shop can be an area where budgets can often be broken because temptation can get in the way. Supermarkets are clever at persuading you that you need stuff!

I’ve got 5 tips to share with you today which I think help keep our grocery costs down:

1) Meal plan. I’ve already written a post on meal planning and how it helps to keep costs down (see here for that post). It’s such an easy thing to implement with a bit of planning before, and once it becomes second nature, your costs will come down.

2) Buy in bulk. For certain food items that we know we use a lot, we tend to buy in bulk as it’s cheaper. When shopping, look at the cost per KG and look for the cheapest. This normally means a larger pack/sack of things. Examples of foods we buy in bulk are dried pasta, rice, tinned tomatoes and spices.

3) Watch your portion size. We’re definitely guilty of eating more than we should, especially when it comes to sides. I now measure out portions of pasta/rice so that I know we’re not eating too much of it – it’s very easy to do, especially with rice! And because we’re eating the correct portion size, the packets of food last longer.

4) Go veggie for one or two nights a week. Eating meat has been proven to be bad for you if it’s eaten every day, and in addition to that, meat is more expensive than other vegetarian options. If you have one or two vegetarians meals a week you’ll be getting more of your 5-a-day and it’ll be cheaper to eat. One of our vegetarian dishes at the moment that we love is vegetable fajitas. You can use pretty much any veg in these, including those ones lurking in the bottom of your fridge, to make a tasty meal. Another one is spaghetti puttanesca, which I shall post a recipe for at some point. Very simply dishes and the price is reflected in that. Still tasty though!

5) Eat things that are in season. It’s much more expensive to buy fruit and veg that isn’t in season, as it has to be imported from somewhere else. A good example of this in the UK is strawberries. It’s strawberry season at the moment in the UK and you can buy British strawberries from the supermarkets and farmers markets. In the colder months, strawberries are still available but at a much higher price, because they’ve been grown abroad and shipped to the UK. This comes at a cost and it shows when buying. Buying in season is also a benefit to the environment, as the food as has had to travel less distance to get to their destination. Remember you can buy things in season and then freeze them for out of season times.

How do you keep your grocery costs down? Any other tips? I’d love to hear from you in the comments! 

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