Bag of mouldy oranges

Hayley Carmichael
2 minute read

As food bills are on the rise, thinking about how we get more from our monthly shop is increasingly important. We have found some good suggestions to help you save on the food shop while still eating well a healthy mind and body.

Plan your shop

In the UK, the average household wastes around £60 on food each month. That is money literally going in the bin.

To help reduce this you can plan your shopping trips to minimise waste. Check cupboards, fridge and freezer to see what you have in that might need using up so you aren't buying something that you already have in.

If you can, check which stores are doing offers on the things you need so you're getting your food at the best price each week. Try to avoid tempting multi buys unless you really need it (things like toothpaste or cleaning products are great as it can save money on future shops but if it is perishable, will you be able to use it all before it goes off?).

But your fruit and veg loose so you can get just what you need.

All these tips should ensure that your shopping won't go waste.

Use it up

Putting the left over bits and bobs from the fridge to good use can help you create surprisingly tasty meals and reduce what ends up in the bin.

Pasta sauces are perfect for this, you can throw in most veg with some tomatoes, onion and garlic and give it a blend for a smooth tasty sauce that goes well with spaghetti.

Check out these easy recipes which require very few ingredients.

A chilli or a curry is another good way to use up those bits and pieces in the fridge before they go off.

Pesto jar with spoon

If you've cooked too much of something, save leftovers in a tub and either freeze for use another time, or take into work the next day for a meal break.

You can even chuck all the peelings from veg prep into a pot with a bay leaf and some peppercorns and make a simple veg stock to use for something else.

Eat more veg

Enjoying a diet with a bit less meat in it is great for your wallet as veg are cheaper and go further; you can even try growing your own to really save on outgoings. It is also great for your health; a diet lower in meat can reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and cancers.

Check out these healthy veg based recipe ideas from Heart UK for some inspiration.

Eating less meat is also a brilliant way to reduce your carbon footprint.

Consider the use by v's best before dates

The use by date on food is a deadline when the food is likely to be unsafe to eat by.

The best before date is a guideline as to the quality of the food after that date. You can eat food that is past its best before date, just smell it and taste a little to see if seems okay.

There is a lot of information on this here.

The Food Standards Agency also has some useful guidance here.

If you can use something (safely) that you might otherwise throw out then you've not wasted your money or the food.

As food bills rise these ideas could all help to save some money on food costs, and also save food waste which adds to our carbon emissions too.