Frugal Food – Can you afford to refuse?

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For most of us, food shopping is more of a chore than a thrill. Lured by 2-for-1 offers and family packs – we end up buying more than we can consume. Our recently released ‘Need the Dough’ report , which looked at household finances and food wastage in Britain, revealed that 9.2 million households waste £4.47 billion worth of grocery shopping every week. That equates to £486 a year – £9.35 a week per household.

For a lot of families, an extra £10 per week would be very welcome. So the question is, how we change the way we shop and prevent wasting so much food and money? Over the past two weeks, we have been asking people to submit their best money saving tips – including some interesting pointers from choreographer Louie Spence – and have had some fantastic entries so far. Here we share a few of our money saving ideas, which could help you keep a better handle on things…

Stop buying on impulse
Popping into a shop on the way home from work with the intention of picking up a couple of items is fine but, by the time many of us leave the shop, we somehow find our arms laden with items we didn’t intend to buy in the first place. Worse, sometimes we even return home only to discover that we forgot the initial thing we set out for! Annoyed, but with fresh, unneeded food in the fridge, we then have to leave the house again to get what we really need – occasionally coming back with yet more groceries purchased on impulse. According to the ‘Need the Dough’ report, one in five shoppers say they buy things on impulse. One way to avoid this is to simply write a shopping list and stick to it.

Use the refused
Among the top ten items of groceries we throw away are bread, fruit, vegetable, salad and eggs. In London (the world’s most expensive city to live in according to data from people ditch, on average, 21% of their weekly shop. One way to get around having to throw away expired food is declaring one day in the week a ‘leftover day’. Take all food which is in danger of going to waste in your fridge and create a hearty vegetable stew or soup, pasta or rice dish.

Don’t go shopping when your tummy is rumbling
When we’re hungry, we are likely to buy more than we need as we’re faced with appetising treats. A rumbling tummy makes us dream of all the goodness we are going to cook up when we reach home. In most cases our eyes are bigger than our stomach and we can’t eat what we bought – so make sure you have a light snack before you do your grocery shopping.

Don’t be lured in by family packs and 2-for-1 offers
The ‘Need the Dough’ report revealed that 15% of Brits buy things because they are on offer. We find ourselves thinking: “Why not buy two packs of mushrooms if they are on offer? I’ll save money!” By the end of the week we find the second pack of mushrooms rotting in our fridge. Try not to fall prey of multi-buy offers. Very often they turn out to be the more expensive choice.

Our #ThriftyFamily campaign – starring dance expert Louie Spence – showcases how we can save easily and every day. For inspiration watch Louie’s ideas here. What’s your number one money saving tip? Send us your video and enter the chance to win a £100 My Rewards card.

No advice has been provided by Scottish Friendly. If you are in any doubt as to whether a savings or investment plan is suitable for you, you should contact a financial adviser for advice. If you do not have a financial adviser, you can get details of local financial advisers by visiting Advisers may charge for providing such advice and should confirm any cost beforehand.