There’s no denying food costs are rising but that doesn’t mean we have to scrimp on what we love, it just means we need to shop a little smarter.
In this blog, we share our top tips for getting the most out of your weekly shop. Read on to get inspired and hopefully gain some helpful advice on budget-friendly shopping!
Do one weekly shop
This might seem obvious, but doing one big weekly shop instead of multiple smaller trips to the store throughout the week can be more economical. Make it super easy and do your shop online – that way you aren’t rushed and won’t make any spontaneous basket additions!
If you prefer to handpick your produce and groceries, try shopping on a Sunday evening, when you have more chance of securing some great mark-down deals.
In Craigies farm shop, our loyalty card members have access to great deals on produce every day of the week – check them out and sign up here.
Make a meal plan of it
Working to a weekly meal plan is a great hack for keeping costs down. It also removes the headache of deciding what to cook every day. Create a meal plan for the week and stick to it – those impulsive basket additions really add up!
We have a great variety of recipes to help with your meal planning on our website, find them here.
Shopping with the seasons can also help you plan your meals effectively and ultimately save you money. Generally, out-of-season food has to travel a long way to the shops – and the higher the food miles, the more energy (and money!) it takes to deliver to your table. Seasonal, locally-produced food spends less time from field to fork, which makes it is not only more cost-effective but it’s also fresher, retains more nutrients and flavour – a win, win, win! If you need help shopping with the seasons read our blog.
Eat before you shop
This may sound a bit funny but whether you’re shopping online or in-store, we suggest never doing it on an empty stomach. Shopping when you’re hungry makes you more likely to splurge on convenient foods and snacks and deviate from your well-planned list.
Also, if you’re shopping somewhere like Craigies you can plan your day so that you have a lovely meal at our café before ticking off your weekly shopping list. Having a tummy full of yummy food will leave you ready to shop smarter!
Avoid wasting food
However intuitive this may seem, it’s surprising how many people let leftovers or other produce in their fridge go off. If the meals that you have planned for the week just aren’t appealing anymore, try to hold off on binning anything. Instead, experiment with new additions or sides, maybe reinventing the recipe entirely with what you’ve already got – you might just need to use a little more imagination and creativity! Need some help? The Love Food Hate Waste website allows you to input the ingredients you have and it will provide you with meal ideas!
Many foods are also still okay to eat even after the sell-by date, so it’s worth looking up how to check if your food is still edible before throwing it in the bin, meaning you might not have to go to the shop to replace it. If your fruit and veg is on the turn, soups or smoothies are the perfect way to use them up – get inspired by some of our yummy recipes like this parsnip and apple soup or strawberry smoothie.
Make the most of your freezer
If you have space in your freezer, you might as well make the most of it! Freezer space makes it easier to batch cook meals, store your leftovers, and preserve any reduced items you have purchased. During weeks that you might be trying to stick to a tighter budget, having items or meals in the freezer will be a huge help in keeping your costs down.
Use all your scraps
To make the most out of your weekly shop, don’t throw away your food scraps – get creative instead! There are 9.5 million tonnes of food wasted in the UK every year, so not only is this a great way to save you money but it’s also great for the planet too! Here are three things to try with your food scraps:
- Make stock: this is one of the best uses for food scraps because it really gets every last bit of nutrition from your produce and as a bonus you won’t need to buy stock from the shop Save all of your food scraps in a pot or container in the freezer and once you’ve collected enough, batch cook stock and freeze into portion sizes that work best for you. Then, all you’ll need to do is defrost them when you’re ready to use.
- Use scraps in recipes: You might need to get a bit creative with this one but there are all sorts of innovative recipes out there that use food scraps in a unique way, like using banana peels to make plant-based bacon or carrot tops as a garnish or blended up in a sauce. Have some fun experimenting in the kitchen while you make the most of your groceries!
- Make smoothies and soups: As we mentioned above, smoothies and soups can be a great catch-all for produce that is past its best, but scraps that you otherwise wouldn’t use in recipes can also be good in these. For example, using potato peels in soups or strawberry tops in your smoothies – these are things you might not otherwise eat but will meld right into your blended creations.
We hope you found these tips for making the most out of your weekly shop helpful. If you would like to do your weekly shop with us at Craigies Farm we are open 7 days a week, so come along to pick up some of our amazing produce. We also offer click and collect for our online shop orders to make your shopping experience even easier.