Has covid lockdown left you pinching your pennies?
Luckily, money-saving expert, Tom Church, Consumer Expert and Co-Founder of money-saving community LatestDeals.co.uk, has offered his top tips on how to save on your food bill.
The bargain hunting expert admits that it pays to be ‘disloyal’ to supermarkets and revealed he shops at seven different places to do his food shopping and save money.
Here Fabulous Digital shares his top tips…
Tom said every supermarket is good for different items and a clever way to reduce your monthly food bill is to utilise the different shops.
He said: "I shop at seven supermarkets to get the best prices.
"I do it because I’ve discovered that it pays to be disloyal. Each supermarket is good for different things.
"Iceland is cheapest for good quality meats. Aldi is cheaper on average for everything, but especially its award-winning wines for under £5.
"Tesco has the biggest range at low prices, which is good when you’re cooking curries or international foods.”
"Marks & Spencer is the best for yellow-sticker reduced items because it has a higher price point so the savings are bigger."
Tom, who shares his expert hacks with his 1.5 million member money-saving community, uses Iceland, Aldi, Tesco, Marks & Spencer and more shops, to reduce his food costs.
Another clever way to slash your monthly food bill is to shop at Poundland, says Tom.
The expert revealed people often overlook the famously cheap high street store and forget that it is also a supermarket with great money-saving bargains.
He said: "Don’t overlook Poundland for food. Many don’t think of it as a supermarket but it’s the best for naughty treats.
"You can get a triple pack of Jaffa Cakes, their own version of Toblerone (Twin Peaks) or a Cadbury’s Milk Tray for £1."
Expert Tom also revealed that saving small amounts on little things adds up to a big monthly saving on your food bill.
To make the most of these little savings, Tom recommends using a comparison tool.
He said: "Use the free Supermarket Price Comparison tool on the Latest Deals app.
"It shows you the cheapest price from Aldi, ASDA, Iceland, Morrisons, Ocado, Tesco and Waitrose."
MEAL PLANNING AND BATCH COOKING
Making a meal plan and sticking to it is a tried and tested way to ensure you stay on budget.
Tom says you can cut your monthly bill by up to £200 if you dedicate some time to researching prices and recipes with ingredients that can be stretched across multiple meals.
But a monthly meal plan can be overwhelming. Tom says breaking it down into individual weeks is a better idea.
He added: "Start with one week’s worth of meals and add another week’s worth once you’ve got a bit more time to do the maths and come up with some more recipe ideas.
"Batch-cooking can also help you to cut the cost of meals by stretching out ingredients and making sure nothing goes to waste.
"Larger packs of ingredients, such as beef mince, are often better value than the smaller packs – but only if you put it all to good use.
"Depending on the number of mouths you have to feed, you can divide a larger pack of beef mince into three different meals, such as spaghetti bolognese, Shepherd’s Pie and chilli con carne.
"You can prepare the meals in advance, divide them into portions and freeze them to eat later."
USE THE FREEZER
Tom revealed a clever way to cut up to £200 from your monthly food bill is to freeze ingredients.
The money-saving expert said it can work out better value and you are getting a lot for your money and produce will last longer when frozen.
He said: "If you haven’t got the time to buy ingredients in bulk, such as fruit and veg, that you can prep and freeze for later, your next best bet is frozen.
"You can simply add them to meals as you need them and they still retain some nutritional value."
MAKE THE MOST OF OFFERS
The money-saving expert also revealed a good trick to make sure you are saving money in supermarkets is to pick up the free magazines at the checkout.
He said they usually contain lots of money-off vouchers to use in-store or online.
Tom added: "If you have a favourite supermarket, join the loyalty scheme or apply for a membership card to reap the benefits.
"Many help you earn money back on your purchases or give you access to exclusive offers or other rewards that can help to make a difference."
REDUCED TO CLEAR
And lastly Tom referred to a staple tip for slashing your monthly food bill, reduced to clear stickers.
He said it is one of the most popular and effective ways to cut your supermarket costs.
"Reduced-to-clear yellow stickers will save you money but don't overlook posh supermarkets like Marks & Spencer and Waitrose to find them,’ Tom says.
"In my local, there are far more available and with bigger savings available because of the higher starting prices.
"Aldi doesn't do reduced-to-clear yellow stickers but it does do 'better than half price' labels which are red.
"It tends to put them out in the morning before 08:30. Early bird's catch the worm!"
In other money-saving news, this game-changing freezer hack will save you thousands in 2021.
And a mum who saved £25,000 with a no-buy year reveals the things you should purchase in 2021 to save in the long-run.
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