El from A Thrifty Mrs has covered an area that I have so far neglected to blog about - food shopping. Personally I hate food shopping because I hate having to wait around for people to decide what kind of jam they'd like on their morning toast and then decide that they'd much rather have porridge this week instead. I just get frustrated.
If you haven't ever heard of Thrifty, where have you been? No seriously, she's been on telly and everything. In her blog post she covers a few simple things to consider if you are on a tight budget. Obviously some things aren't possible for all of us; I'd love to grow all my own food but it isn't possible in my student house with no garden. I have however started growing my own herbs from seeds from Poundland - a pot of basil from Tesco costs £1.25 and subsequently dies the following week, my basil plants are costing me around 10p so there are some ways to cut costs with very little effort.
One thing that I did notice was missing from El's list was what my mum likes to call 'bargain alley' or the reduced section for you normal folk. Often the kind of stuff that has been reduced are ready meals that are still too expensive to justify buying but there are some gems to be found. A while back I got 6 portions of Salmon en croute for 27p which I froze and then ate at a later date. That was an extremely lucky find but it all depends on what you are looking for. If you want to get the biggest discount go at specific times, a few hours before the store closes. Only pick up items that are freezable or that you were going to buy anyway - there is no point in buying something because it is discounted if you are just going to throw it away.
Something that I picked up from the MSE site is to use coupons. You can find coupons in those little magazines at the front of the store or on company Facebook pages or websites. For non-food items SuperSavvyMe is a brilliant. Again, only use coupons for items you would use, if there is a cheaper non branded alternative go for that one instead!
I really need to start finding out how much I spend on food as at the moment I have no idea but El's tips have certainly made an impact on me and I'm going to use them to help reduce my bill.
Let me know your tips in the comments below!