17th June 2015 at 4:29pm
Cutting your food budget
After a long day at the office followed by a trip to the gym it can be all too attractive a prospect to tap on your phone a few times and get a sizzling pizza delivered straight to your door. The thought of heading to the shops, choosing your ingredients and then actually preparing and cooking a meal can seem like a bridge too far.
No time to cook?
We’ve all been there, but ordering takeaways is an expensive trap to fall into. Paying £15 or thereabouts for a pizza most evenings can really add up. You could pick one up in the supermarket for under £5 – it takes less than 20 minutes to cook. Just think of the money you’d save. Pizza aside, there are some things you can do to keep your food costs down:
Plan the week’s meals before you shop
This can seem like a difficult task especially if you’re used to ordering whatever you feel like at any particular time. But once you get into the habit of planning ahead you’ll soon see the benefits to your bank balance. Once you’ve created your menu, write out a shopping list and make sure you stick to it. Never do the food shop on an empty stomach – who knows what you’ll come back with.
Make enough for two evening meals
Most meals (fish and seafood the exception) will keep for two days in the fridge. You could double up the quantities of a recipe and have the same meal twice in the week to save you cooking. If you need more variety you could freeze half and have it later in the month.
Take leftovers for lunch
Packed lunches at work could save you a huge amount. Say you spend on average £6 a day on lunch, that’s £30 for the working week. That’s £120 on lunches a month, not including the weekends.
Find a foodie friend
Together you can help each other plan meals and make spending less on food more enjoyable.
Be supermarket savvy
Supermarkets know everything trick in the book. Watch out for special offers such as ‘3 for 2’ – all designed to make you spend more. Consider scoping out your local shops, you could get a lot more for your money.
Go for the cheaper cuts
If you’re giving cooking a go then you could save money by choosing cheaper cuts of meat and fish. There are so many recipes available for these cuts and they’re every bit as delicious as the more expensive cuts when cooked properly.
Keep easy to prepare options on hand
This is essential for when you’re tempted to dial in a takeaway. It could be as simple as a block of cheese and a loaf of bread so you can whip yourself up a grilled cheese sandwich.
There are so many simple recipes out there designed to help savers, so check them out and start cutting your food budget.
Share your thoughts
The information in this blog or any response to comments should not be regarded as financial advice. A personal pension is an investment. Its value can go up or down and may be worth less than you paid in. Laws and tax rules may change in the future. The information here is based on our understanding in June 2015.