Budgeting 101 – gourmet on a budget

Looking for ways to enjoy your food without breaking the bank?

Authored on
13 Oct 2023
Getting started
Read time
  3 minute read
It’s time to put on your chef's hat and grab your grocery list, because we’re serving up a feast of budgeting tips for buying food that your wallet will thank you for! 

1. Plan your culinary trips 📝


Just like a great chef carefully plans their menu, you should plan your food shopping trips. Before you head to the shop, make a list of the meals you want to prepare for the week. This not only ensures you have all the necessary ingredients but also prevents you from impulse buying. You can also note the prices of these ingredients at your local shop and create a weekly food budget plan. 

2. Embrace the seasonal splendours 🍅


Seasonal fruits and vegetables not only taste better but are often cheaper. Check out what's in season and create your meals around these fresh, budget-friendly ingredients. Plus, it adds variety to your menu! 

3. Be sales smart 🛒 


Browse your local shops’ websites and apps to spot sales and discounts and keep an eye out for digital and paper coupons. Coupons can shave a significant chunk off your food bills, so it’s a good idea to plan your meals around these sales to maximise on your savings.  

4. Don’t shy away from own-brand products 🌟 


Don't shy away from supermarkets‘ own-brand food. Often, these products are just as good as branded items but come with a lower price tag. Pay for the contents of the product, not the label. 

5. Bulk buying brilliance 🍚 


Certain staple dry foods like rice, pasta, and canned goods are perfect for buying in bulk. They last for ages and can save you money in the long run. Just ensure you have enough storage space. 

6. Be mindful of your meat 🍗 


If you’re a keen carnivore, meat can be a significant portion of your shopping bill. To save, consider buying less expensive cuts or alternative lean protein sources like beans. You can also look for family-sized packs and freeze portions for later use. 

7. Zero-waste wisdom  


Cut down on food waste by planning meals that use ingredients you already have and buying in quantities you can realistically consume before they go off. While it may not taste quite the same as when fresh, learn to love your freezer for preserving leftovers. 

8. Memberships 🛍 


Many supermarkets offer discounts exclusively for members of their loyalty schemes. If you like to shop around, it may be a good idea to join up to memberships where you can, to see what deals are on offer.   

9. Rid of ready meals! 👋 


Ready meals are notorious budget busters. What’s more, you flip over the packaging and you're likely to find a list of unpronounceable ingredients – many are packed with preservatives, excessive sodium, and unhealthy fats that aren’t so kind on your health. 

10. Tech tricks 📱 


Use budgeting apps to track your supermarket spending. Some apps even compare prices across different stores, helping you find the best deals in town. Plus, they make budgeting a breeze. 

11. Batch cooking? 🍳 


Cooking in batches is a lifesaver. Prepare larger portions of meals and freeze them in individual servings. It not only saves money but also time on busy days when you'd rather dine in than order a takeaway. 

12. Leftover magic 🍲 


Get creative with leftovers. Turn last night's roasted veggies into a hearty soup or transform that chicken into a flavourful stir-fry. Leftovers aren't boring; they're opportunities for innovation! 

13. Shop with a full stomach 🥙 


Never shop when you’re hungry! Science says you're more likely to make impulsive, hunger-driven purchases that can blow your budget.

14. Watch those portions 🥗 


Be a bit more mindful of portion sizes when serving meals. Our eyes are often bigger than our stomachs and it’s easy to overspend this way. Try to stick to consistent serving sizes – it not only saves pennies, but it’s also another way to reduce food waste. 

15. Dine out strategically 💡


Eating out is a treat, but it can be budget-friendly too. Look for happy hours, daily specials, and vouchers – some food shops offer multiplier discounts on eating out at restaurants. And always bring home those delightful leftovers! 

So, there you have it – with these budgeting tips, you can savour each bite of your culinary creations without the bitter taste of overspending. Happy cooking, happy eating, and happy saving! 🍽💰👨🍳 


🔔 Though we hope this article helps you on your budgeting journey, it shouldn’t be taken as personal advice. If you need help with your finances, you should speak to a suitably qualified financial adviser.



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