Know what you have: Before you do your shopping, look in your fridge and cupboards. Check ‘use-by’ and ‘best before’ dates and dispose of anything that is gone off.
Make a plan: Once you know what you have, you can plan your meals accordingly. Try to use the foods with the shortest lifespan first to reduce waste. Make a list of all the ingredients you need to buy.
Avoid shopping when you’re hungry as you’re more likely to buy more.
Scan the shelves for cheaper items, as supermarkets often put the most expensive items at eye level. Own brand or economy ranges are usually better value and often have little taste or nutritional differences to standard or branded versions.
Look out for special offers on things you need, but remember, they are only good value if you will use them.
Buy tinned and dried foods in bulk or when they are special offer if you can. These include dried pasta, rice and noodles and tinned tomatoes, passata and pulse vegetables. They have a long shelf life and are great for adding to meals to make them go further. Pulse vegetables, such as beans, peas and lentils, are great substitutes for meat, which is usually more expensive.
Buy cheaper cuts of meat such as chicken thighs or drumsticks instead of chicken breasts. Mince is also versatile and inexpensive – just remember to drain the fat off before adding other ingredients.