I can honestly say my wife is a wonder when it comes to planning the family budget! We were watching a program last night on the current rise in global food prices. A well-known TV chef was helping a family reduce their weekly food bill from £150 to just £48.
Granted we don't have any children, yet through my wife's careful planning, we've only been paying about £48 a fortnight on food for years and with my expanding wasteline - I've never missed out!
Here are five top tips to reduce your own food bill and fight the growing trend in prices:
- Plan carefully - try and make as many dishes from just a few basic ingredients. Mincemeat is great for bolognaise, burgers, pies etc. Sausages can be fried for a breakfast or lunch, casseroled with lentils for a dinner. Fish can be poached one day, pan-fried another, made into a soup/chowder the next. Plan your weeks menu before you shop and only buy those ingredients you will need.
- Flavour your food with different homemade sauces to create variety. Also sauce ingredients are usually cheap and a little goes a long way. Ready-made sauces are far too expensive and full of chemicals.
- Don't shop for food when hungry - you'll only buy more and a lot will be junk, bought to suppress your immediate desire rather than any long-term need.
- Buy fresh vegetables where possible - you can get some good deals on fresh veg and you'll only buy in the amounts you need.
- Cook your own food - ready-made meals are a false economy. They're more expensive and often no more easier to prepare than cooking it yourself. Cooking it at home from scratch can be an enjoyable family activity and the food is much healthier and tastier.
Andrew Scotchmer is an author of two books, a motivational speaker and a business advisor. He is also the founder of Complete Kaizen, a business improvement training company.
Andrew has just started his own blog at http://www.andrew-scotchmer.com