Is it me or is the weekly food shop getting more and more expensive?

In a little under a month, after six months of exclusive breastfeeding, it will be time to start weaning Littlest B meaning we’ll have five mouths to feed instead of four.

5 easy ways to eat well on a budget

I can’t say I’m looking forward to it. Quite apart from the explosive poonamis, extra washing and constant wiping that comes with weaning a baby there’s the cost too.

The fact is fish fingers and chips cost a lot less than salmon fillets and avocados, so how can you eat well on a budget without breaking the bank? Here’s what I’ve learnt since becoming a mum.

5 easy ways to eat well on a budget

1. Plan. Decide what you’re going to eat at the start of the week and stick to it. If you’ve got time prepare meals in one big batch and freeze them in portions to be heated up as and when needed.

2. Shop online. Once you’ve created a menu for the week book an online shop and have all the ingredients delivered. It will save time and you won’t be swayed by ‘special offers’ and product promotions at the supermarket which often boost sales of less healthy foods and can have you spending money you wouldn’t otherwise have spent. Plus you don’t have to contend with toddler meltdowns.

3. Buy frozen. If you haven’t visited the frozen aisle for a while you might be surprised at what’s on offer. You’ll find everything from salmon fillets to raspberries at a fraction of the cost of their fresh counterparts.

4. Use a slow cooker or pressure cooker. With a slow cooker you can simply bung all the ingredients in the pot the night before or first thing in the morning, switch it on and by the time you come home you’ve got a delicious meal ready and waiting. A pressure cooker allows you to make a meal in minutes that tastes like it’s been cooking for hours, and with both methods you can get away with using cheap cuts of meat which saves money too.

5. Don’t waste food. In many cases we make it worse for ourselves with wasteful consumption. You might think you don’t waste very much food, but a recent survey revealed UK families squander twice as much money on food waste than they think they do, with the average family throwing the equivalent of 11 meals a month in the bin. That’s as much as £700 a year! Put food in the fridge to stop it from going off so quickly, don’t buy perishables in large quantities and only buy what you actually need.

Do you try and stick to a shopping budget? How do you do it? If you have any top tips I’d love to hear them!

This is a collaborative post.

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