Food shopping on a budget

In our house, we go food shopping each week, mostly for the perishable items e.g. milk, then do a larger monthly (or sometimes bi-monthy shop) including frozen foods, toiletries and house hold items e.g. cleaning supplies.

I’ve been trying to properly budget the amount we spend on food shopping each week. Here are some of the things I’ve been trying and that work for me (some are recycled from my budgeting post):-

  • Don’t shop for food when your hungry! I find that most of impulse food shopping happens when I go to the shop hungry.
  • Compare brands and check prices. There is usually a store brand version of most items that is cheaper and of comparable quality to the big name item. A lot of the food we buy is now whichever stores own brand.
  • Make a food shopping list and STICK TO IT. We have a magnetic shopping list stuck on our fridge that we keep up to date whenever we’ve run out of an item. We then take it with us when we do our food shopping.
  • When comparison shopping, always refer to the unit cost rather than the retail cost. The unit cost is what the item costs per pound, per 100, per gallon, etc.
  • Don’t get caught up with discounts or multi buys.
  • Make the most of loyalty schemes – Artur and I have a Tesco Clubcard that we use every time we go food shopping there. You earn points every time you spend and receive vouchers and coupons every few months. Either for items you buy regularly or “cash” vouchers. The “cash” vouchers can also be saved up for money of tickets to events/places.
  • Shopping in cheaper supermarkets: Most of our food shopping is done in Tescos, but for some staple foods we also shop in Lidl, who also often have our washing machine liquid at half the price.

Any other tips/ideas?