If it is at all possible, could this be a sticky as I think people would appreciate being able to look at ideas for saving money at a glance instead of trolling the threads.......huge thanks.
I thought I would start this thread as its a question that comes up regularly about expense etc., and having had compliments (thanks Ms Sid) about my frugal shopping exploits I figured I might as well share what I know I can let you know if there are any specials, or any other low priced items I find.
But its not just me.......we all see special offers and have our own little budget tips which will help. I've found a post that was started by Xelidihx and will copy and paste a few of the ideas from there to over here as well.
But to start with, PLAN your weekly menu's it really does work. If you know in advance of going shopping what you have got in you know what you need. When I started the diet I actually listed everything I had in the freezers and planned my meals around that so that i didn't have to worry about going out and shopping straight away. I then allowed myself ú25 and bought meats, fish and dairy to stock up. Keep a shopping pad stuck to the cupboards so you can write down as soon as you realise you need something, be it store cupboard or major item. Nothing worse than going shopping and spending on things you don't need because you forgot. Try to plan when to shop, don't go every day, its far far too expensive. I do Aldi, farm Foods, Morrisons in one day as I can plan my route driving to include them all and its only a mile out of my way of my normal route. I then do Asda the next day. Heron is a once a month shop, so slots into Aldi/Farm Foods shop on that day.
These are the places I shop and what foods I buy:
From Asda: Frozen Chicken Fillets (only if desperate as not as cheap), Turkey Rashers, Turkey Sausages, SP Cottage Cheese (lower Fat than their other brand), Quark, Beef, Just like Tails,
From Farm Foods: Chicken fillets, Nearly all my Fish, Crabsticks (only 29p a pack, and packed as an 8 so no going over limits),
From Aldi: Beef Mince (not totally lean, but I drain and wash), frozen Chicken Fillets are cheaper here, UHT Milk for yogurts, Skim milk powder, Beef , Eggs, Salmon fillets (cheapest I have ever seen and tiny bit bigger than Farm Foods too), Thin sliced ham, SF sweets best price from here.
From Morrisons: Frozen bags of Mussells ú1, Quark is tiny bit cheaper but also less in the tub,
I'm sorry but I buy cheap eggs, I can't afford free range as it would cost 4 times the price. I appreciate some people won't buy the cheaper eggs on principle.
Always check out the reduced sections as they quite often have things like Turkey Mince and the Sausages cheaper in Asda, also beef and whole chickens which can be cooked and re frozen. If you pop along to the supermarket close to closing there are quite often reduced cooked chickens and other meats........handy to let them cool, split them down and freeze.
I buy the mince from Aldi, split it into four portions and thats enough for just me for one meal. Sometimes, I make up meatballs and burgers in advance, cook and then freeze. Batch cook, its so much easier to grab a bag for lunch instead of worrying.
I've recently been buying Quorn products, but only when on offer. Farm Foods do 2 for ú2.50 or 2 for ú3.50 on items, Asda occasionally have rollbacks in the fresh section and the freezer. Heron frozen foods sell Quorn really cheap but you do need to catch the deals.
There will always be items that are impossible to get, but others might be able to help with alternatives.