10 ways to save on food as prices soarThe best ways to beat rising food and drink costs
17 September 2010
Food prices are on the rise, according to a new report from the British Retail Consortium. Latest figures show that food inflation has increased to 3.8% in August from 2.5% in July - the highest annual rate rise for over a year. With this in mind, Which? has come up with 10 great ways for you to save money on food and drink.
Aldi and Lidl
Discount supermarkets can save you a fortune. Aldi was recently voted supermarket of the year at the Which? Awards and its rival Lidl was shortlisted.
People are often confused between 'Best before' and 'Use by' and throw away large amounts of perfectly good food in the process. ‘Use by’ is the one to look out for: you should not eat anything after this date. ‘Best before’ is about quality, not safety. Most food (except eggs) can be eaten after this date – it just won’t be at its best. Visit The Food Standards Agency for more.
Cleared for sale
If you want some great offers on clearance food and drink, it’s definitely worth visiting Approved Food, which bills itself as the biggest online sellers of ‘clearance, short-dated and out-of-date approved food and drink’.
Fixtureferret's promises that you ‘could save more than £10 on groceries each month using our handy supermarket shopping techniques’. It aims to find the latest supermarket deals and send you directly to them. Promotions that save £1 or less are open to all, but membership (which costs £5.20 a year) will allow you to see larger money savers.
Grow your own
One great way to save money is to grow your own veg – especially seasonal or expensive treats such as asparagus, rocket, broad beans and new potatoes, which can all be fairly pricey in supermarkets. Visit our gardening pages for more advice.
If you’re hungry, don’t go shopping. You could end up buying treats because your empty stomach is telling you to – a small tip for savvy shopping. Also try shopping late – around closing time – at any big supermarkets, as you can often find discounts on ranges that must be eaten quickly or frozen. If possible, leave the kids at home – you know they can convince you to buy anything.
If you love instant coffee, Which’s latest taste test found that two supermarket own brands came out as Best Buys. Sainsbury’s Full Roast (£1.57) and Aldi’s Alcafe Rich Roast (£1.49) both beat competition from more expensive brands. We worked out that if you and your partner each drink two cups a day, you could save £54 a year by switching from Nescafe Original to Aldi’s Alcafe Rich Roast.
The cost of wasted food to UK households has been estimated at £10bn a year. Much of this is still good to eat and that’s where website lovefoodhatewaste comes in. It’s packed with delicious recipes for your leftovers and useful advice for saving on food.
While voucher code sites are not the incredible fountain of savings some may believe they are, they are worth checking out. It can take a lot of time and effort to hunt offers down, and codes are often out of date. But there are good deals to be had.
In our latest taste test of baked beans, two own brands – Asda and Morrison – came in second and third (both 44p a tin). If you eat baked beans once a week and switch from big brands such as Heinz (64p a tin), you’d save more than £10 a year.
To find another 10 ways to save on food and drink, visit our ways to save on food page. And if you’re thinking of going to a restaurant tonight, check out 10 great ways to save on eating out.
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