I think the main way to stick to a budget is to meal plan, whether that means meal planning for a whole week or each day, depends on individual circumstances.
I personally hate going to the shops everyday, so doing a weekly plan works for me. Also, the more often I visit a shop in a week, means I'm more likely to choose extra's that I think I might need and stray from the plan. Clever marketing from shops entice us to choose extra's via their promotions, advertising, positioning of products in the shop, lighting and even aroma's - think the wonderful smell of freshly baked bread! So I've devised a list (another good tool for sticking to your plan!) of:-
14 frugal ways to reduce your weekly grocery bill :-
- 1 - Meal plan. Put together a list of at least seven meals for the following week and stick to it!
- 2 - When planning meals, research different recipes that are frugal and healthy.
- 3 - If shopping online (which I advise, as easier to stick to plan), meal plan at the same time, so you can plan your meals around the products that are on offer in the store.
- 4 - Avoid waste. Use left over meat and veg from previous meals to make stir fry's, curries, pies.
- 5 -Switch from premium brands to stores own brand.
- 6 - Shop at budget supermarkets such as Lidl and Aldi.
- 7 - Budget stores such as Poundland are great for stocking up on many things that are a fraction of the price than supermarkets. We tend to buy toothpaste and shower gels amongst other things from pound shops.
- 8 - Cleaning and laundry products are expensive, so only buy the brands that are on offer.
- 9 - Search for and use coupons and vouchers.
- 10 - Use the web to find out which shops have offers on.
- 11 - Batch cook and freeze for later.
- 12 - Look at portion size, I tend to cook far too much for everybody, so lots left over.
- 13 - Have a baking day and freeze. Ingredients for baking can be expensive, but I like to know exactly what we are eating and hate looking at the huge list of ingredients on shop bought cakes. Lidl is a good place to buy lower priced flour, butter, sugar and eggs.
- 14 - Meals based on pasta and rice are great when you're on a budget and also have the benefit of being healthy.
This list is certainly not exhaustive and there are many more ways. I was going to add grow your own veg, but remembering our attempt on having an allotment I decided I'd best not!
I have had success with growing strawberries, raspberries and tomatoes in the back garden and will probably do the same this year. I also grew salad leaves, which saved quite a lot of money on bagged salads.