A large proportion of our salaries in the UK goes towards food shopping – with the average family spend being £83.60 per week, this adds up to around £4,400 per year, not including tobacco and alcohol according to the ONS, (the Office of National Statistics).
The money experts AO.com has said that families could cut this figure in half, which would also reduce food waste, which currently stands at 7 million tones each year, equating to £700 per family, per year. Food waste costs the UK £19 billion per year.
It seems with most things that saving money does take some forward planning and list making before going shopping either on-line or in the supermarket. So here are a few simple ways in which you can save money on your weekly food shop, and prevent food waste:
• Before doing your shopping make a list of the meals you are going to make that week, then one with the ingredients – I do this every week on my computer and then I just update the menus and the list according to what I still have in my cupboards. If you work on a two weeks rotation menu, then you could make two lists.
• Take a proper look in your cupboards and freezer, you will often find that there are jars/tins of food you might have overlooked.
• Know how to freeze foods – here are a few tips:
Use ice cube trays to store left over red wine – this is great for sauces.
Take note of how long you can store food for in your freezer for– buy large packs of meats, which are usually more economical and split them into family size freezer bags.
Store ginger and then grate it into your food when needed. Chilies freeze really well too.
Check out the BBC’s how to freeze food guide: http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/top-tips-freezing-food
• Make sure that you are being sensible about when you throw out food, if you have fresh vegetables, don’t just follow what it says on the pack, take a look at the food to see if it is off. When you store vegetables in the fridge make sure that you take off any plastic wrapping as this will also help the food to last longer.
Check out the Love Food/Hate Waste money app http://www.lovefoodhatewaste.com/node/5