Five ways to cut your food costs

It's easy to pop into a supermarket to grab a pint of milk, or some extras for your evening meal, and come out with several bulging bags and a lighter wallet. 

Follow our top tips and cut the cost of your food shop...

1. Buy reduced items

Supermarkets reduce their prices on items about to go past their sell-by date, even though it’s now widely acknowledged that food is still edible after this period and the government is considering scrapping sell-by dates to cut down on the amount of food we waste.

For real bargains go later in the day, when prices are slashed further.

2. Compare prices

You can compare the prices of products at Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Waitrose and Asda at, which could shave 20% off your shopping bill, according to the website.

Browse the virtual shelves or key in a specific item and the website will not only find you the closest matches, but cheaper alternatives too.

Buying online should also prevent those impulse purchases that tend to happen when you’re wandering round the supermarket.

Some supermarkets mark up prices in more affluent areas, so consider going a little further afield to avoid this.
3. Drop a brand

As shown in Moneywise’s recent drop a brand challenge, don’t forget that shifting from well-known labels to own-brands, and from finest to economy ranges, will give you further savings – and you don’t have to compromise on taste.

Most supermarkets will put the most expensive items on the shelves at eye level, so look around to see if you could get a cheaper alternative.

4. Eat up your leftovers

Don’t throw away the extra pasta you cooked last night or leave in the fridge to go off. Whether you’re simply reheating meals or turning them into a whole different menu, using up your leftovers will save you time as well as money.

5. Buy in-season food

Buying strawberries in the depths of winter will obviously cost you more because they’ve been shipped from sunnier climes. Knowing when and what fruit and vegetables are grown at home will cost you less and mean you can support locally sourced goods. Go to and for updates on in-season food and recipes. Alternatively, grow your own.