My second money saving tip is this: plan your weekly shop.
Now this is something that you are told when you go to university so that you don’t spend too much money, like buying supermarket-own brands. I lived in a house with 3 other people, we took it in turns to cook (I know, very civilised!), and planned ahead so that we could make a weekly Tesco delivery order.
I’m sure that probably worked out ok, but now there are just two of us and it’s me doing the planning. Until recently I just bought roughly the same things every week unless we had decided we were cooking a particular dish one night for friends or something. If my husband was with me we’d end up with cakes and biscuits as well. Then two or three months ago I discovered the lost art of planning the weekly shop.
I am now saving millions of pennies! Well, the shopping bill has gone down. I shop on a Friday so on Thursday night I sit down with the calendar and write down what we’re eating each evening during the next week. This is based around what we already have in the cupboard and fridge so that I don’t buy lots of extras. We’ve been using our recipe books more to find recipes that fit with what we have, and have a list of all the meals I normally cook so that we can just pick a few from it each week.
There are some things I still buy every week: milk, cheese, bread, fruit. But I make sure I’m not buying lots of extras by planning in advance and sticking rigidly to the shopping list. Oh, and not taking my husband. Maybe that should be another tip…?