Save money on food
Before you go shopping
- Write a meal plan for the week ahead.
- Check what is already in your cupboards, Fridge and Freezer before you go shopping.
- Write a shopping list and stick to it.
At the shops
- Never shop when you are hungry, you are more likely to buy things you don’t need or want.
- Don’t buy more that you’ll eat and check the expiry dates before you buy anything.
- Check the unit price for each item – in most supermarkets the cost per 100g is displayed below the actual cost of the item. Sometimes it may be worth paying more for a larger item as the cost per 100g is less and therefore you are buying more for your money.
- Look for reduced cost items in Supermarkets – these could be used to eat on that day or frozen for future use (if the product says it is safe to freeze).
- Shop at smaller discounter supermarkets like Lidl and Aldi to find cheaper items.
- Buy own brand items of everyday staples such as baked beans to keep your bill down.
- Shop online to monitor how much you are spending with every item you add to your basket.
- Buy frozen fruit and vegetables so you can use exactly what you need.
Make your food go further
Cook extra portions for your evening meal so you can have the leftovers for lunch the next day.
Batch cook your meals to save time and money. Keep meals stored in the fridge or freezer to eat later.
Eat more vegetables as meat and fish are typically the most expensive food ingredients on a shopping list. Add vegetables to meat dishes to make the meat go further or have a meat free day.
Save money by cutting back on takeaways. Cooking your own meals is generally cheaper than buying a takeaway or a ready meal and it can be healthier too.
Heating up food in the microwave is generally the most efficient way to heat up and cook food because its relatively small size means that a stronger level of heat can be focused on whatever’s being cooked.
If plans have changed and it has left you with left over meat or produce in your fridge, don’t let it expire, put it in the freezer for another time. Don’t forget to label and date any food you freeze.
Places to go for help
- Those struggling to afford food can become members for three months, paying £3 a week.
- See more information about Social Supermarket
- Foodbanks are available for those who have hit financial difficulties and are not able to afford food.
- A food parcel contains roughly enough food for 3 days. It contains nutritionally balanced non-perishable items, and they are made dependent on the size of your family.
- Use the link to contact the foodbank Contact Us | Rotherham Foodbank
Free school meal funding during the Easter Holidays
The families of children entitled to free school meals have received supermarket vouchers from the Council.
Food vouchers to the value of £30 have been issued for each eligible child to cover the two-week break – roughly the same amount it costs to provide children with a free meal in school. The vouchers can be redeemed at local supermarkets.
Local schools have been distributing the vouchers to eligible families on behalf of the Council.
Make food fun
Try home baking as a fun activity with children. Getting kids involved in cooking from an early age can give them valuable skills and keep them occupied when off school. Birthday cakes can be expensive and making your own is sure to be more memorable.
Make a food masterpiece. Try making shapes, faces and art out of your children’s meals, or even better get them to give it a go. It not only makes the food compelling but can get them eating more colourful food in the form of fruits and vegetables.
Try growing your own produce. Seeds or small plants are often inexpensive and can give you a lot of satisfaction and hopefully a good amount of food. Try a strawberry plant or even just some herbs on your windowsill if you don’t have a garden.
Try OddBox, a fruit and vegetable subscription box. By going directly to farmers, asking what they’ve got too much of and what’s in season, they cut out the supermarkets and reduce the amount of food chucked away. You can cancel your subscription at any time and pick a box size to suit you. Try and be more creative by eating fruits and veg that you wouldn’t usually. Wonky Fruit & Veg | Deliciously Odd & Delivered to Your Door | Oddbox
Help stop food waste
There are many apps to help reduce food waste produce by restaurants and shops, offering the food at a discounted price. There are also apps to help you use up your leftovers by suggesting recipes.
- The Too Good To Go app lets you buy and collect this food - at a great price - so it gets eaten instead of wasted. You won’t know exactly what’s in your order until you pick it up - it’s all part of the surprise. Join Our Food Waste Movement | Too Good To Go
- Olio provides a platform for neighbours to share unwanted food and other items, all for free. People can share or pick up anything from an unwanted gift, produce that’s on its date from a local store, or excess food that won’t get eaten before a holiday. OLIO – The #1 Free Sharing App (olioex.com)
- Karma enables users to rescue fresh food from restaurants, bakeries, cafes, and wholesalers that would have otherwise been thrown away. Plus, users can see exactly which meals are available to buy at each place. Karma | Världens Mest Hållbara Restaurangsystem
- Kitche app has thousands of recipe suggestions that users can filter by the ingredients in their kitchen that need to be used up. Food Waste App | Kitchen App | Kitche App | Food Waste, Kitche
- Nosh is an AI-based app offering another option to track the food you have in your home. With nosh, users can view categorised expiry and use by dates all on one screen, so they can easily prioritise which foods to use up first. nosh - Revolutionizing food consumption and reducing food waste at home
- NoWaste users can scan receipts and barcodes, log each weekly shop, make lists of what’s in, plan meals more effectively and receive automatic expiration reminders. Home | NoWaste (nowasteapp.com)
- FoodCloud connects supermarkets with charities and community groups, such as homeless shelters and family support services, across the UK and Ireland. All kinds of food businesses can use FoodCloud's technology to donate their surplus food. FoodCloud: Food waste hurts our planet