Quick tips for saving money on food bills

For this blog I wanted to post about some money saving tips and ideas. I know that as a student money is a bit tight so I thought I would share information about how to save money or make the most of your student budget.

These ideas were in part informed by an article I came across online by Anne Chawk who is a Senior Student Money advisor at the University of Bedfordshire. The article gives a few ideas on how to make your money stretch a bit further as a student.

Tip 1.- Make friends with your freezer

Doing a big cook and then dividing it up into batches is a much more cost effective way of cooking meals. Making about 6 portions of  your favorite dishes and then freezing them (can be a few or all of them) means that you get the benefit of the reduced costs of buying in bulk from the supermarkets and this can also reduce food costs further down the road. Additionally, this is also another effective way of ensuring you eat well, especially when money is tight or you are incredibly busy and have little time to ccok. Spending some time at the weekend cooking up portions of a meal means that you can come in from lectures, tire and hungry but do not have the hassle of cooking and can simply place your portion in the microwave and enjoy a hot, home cooked meal in minutes (make sure you leave it out to defrost over the day). So not only is this healthier and saves you money but it stops you reaching for a take-away which will benefit your health and your pocket.

Tip 2- Don’t be afraid of reductions

Many of us will be familiar with the reduced to clear sale sections of the supermarket. These sections can save you many pounds on your shop meaning that you can get bread, fresh fruit and veg as well as other cupboard staples. It would pay off to time your supermarket shop at the point when the reduction gun comes out. Each supermarket has it’s own pattern so depending on your local or favourite supermarket’s own pattern time your shop to make the most of these reductions. Just take care to consume the items before they go off or pop them into the freezer to preserve them for longer. However, only go for what you would normally buy and eat because you don’t want to waste money (and food) by throwing things out that you have paid for.

Tip 3- Divide the costs of some essential items

As students, most of us live in a unique living situation where we share with other people. Therefore, getting a group together to buy commin household or food items can help you save moeny. Again you can make the most of the bulk buying discounts of things like beans, rice, pasta and toilet roll. Additionally to take the hassle out of shopping (particularly at busy times) you can set up an online shop and split the delivery cost between you. This is especially handy if you don’t have a car but need to have a good stock-up of essential items.

Tip 4-  Become voucher savvy

In the past it was more fruitful to shop around, however at the moment, loyalty to one supermarket can pay dividends. Points based loyalty cards offer you some discounts through the use of vouchers. These vouchers can save you money on certain good that you buy regularly but make sure that these vouchers live in your purse. I know I have done a shop and then hoped to use a voucher to save money on petrol only to remember that the voucher is at home.

Tip 5- Don’t be afraid of own-label goods

Buying the premium or favorite brands can mount up costs. Many people think that a brand or paying more means that the product is better quality but this is not always the case. Lots of TV shows have illustrated this and that it is not all about the brand but it should be about what you like. I know that I buy own brand or value range things inlcuding frozen veg, beans, tomatoes and peanut butter. So explore the brands and it will save you money.

Thank you for reading and I hope that this article gives you a few money saving ideas.

Joanna Wolton

I am a PhD student in the Centre for Innovative Ageing within the College of Human and Health Sciences. I hope this blog is insightful and gives you some tips and information about what it is like to be a student living in Swansea.

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