boy hold shopping bag

How to shop smart

Smarter shopping can save us money and make our weekly shopping budget go further.

Think about where you can shop, can you use a local market and shop seasonally? Can you use your local shop?  Can you substitute ingredients in recipes for those you get easily and are cheap?  

In this article you will find our top tips on how to get the most out of your weekly shop. 

Top tips: 

  • Plan your meals and check what you’ve already got in stock. Think about what needs using up in the fridge/ freezer and in your cupboards. Make a shopping list before you go shopping and stick to it. 

  • Go shopping with a friend so you can split bulk-buy discounts between you – you’ll save the money but won’t end up wasting anything. 

  • Don’t shop for food when you are hungry or thirsty. This helps stop you from buying snacks and extra food that you don’t need. 

  • Check sell-by dates. Supermarkets reduce prices on products that are close to their sell by date and this can be a great way of picking up bargains. But before you fill your trolley, be sure you’ll use everything you buy before it goes off. If you can’t use the food by the sell by date store items that can be frozen in your freezer.  

  • Loose fruit and vegetables can be as little as half the price of pre-packaged items and buying loose allows you to buy the quantity you need.  

  • Seasonal fruit and veg can be cheaper – check out this handy guide from the BDA so you can choose recipes which match what’s in season. 

  • Frozen and dried foods are often cheaper than fresh food – and just as good for us.  Tinned fruit and vegetables are a great substitute for fresh and keep longer too. This recipe for mini summer puddings is ideal for frozen or tinned fruit. 

  • Stock up when there’s a good deal on store cupboard ingredients that last – like cans of pulses and tomatoes or packets of pasta, rice and cereals. 

  • Try online shopping – it can save you money as you are less likely to impulse buy. 

  • Give your list to someone else to shop for you, they will only buy what is on the list, saving you money on those little ‘extras’ that make their way into the basket.  

  • Double check buy one get one free (BOGOF) offers. Check the price by weight/item to make sure you find the cheapest option, as these offers can sometimes be misleading. 

Happy shopping! Why not try some of these tips on your next shopping trip? 

Additional resources 

Information on how to save money on your food budget can be found in this article from Money Aware.