Slimming World - 20 Tips for Shopping on a Budget and how to reduce your weekly groceries spending.
You are following the Slimming World plan but have a limited budget. So how do you save on the pennies, while still enjoy healthy delicious foods?
Here are my Slimming World - 20 Tips for Shopping on a Budget
1. Write out a weekly meal plan.
That way you know exactly what you are going to cook for the week. I have a great selection of meal plans to choose from here: Slimming Eats Weekly Meal Plans.
2. Write a Grocery List and stick to it
Do an inventory of all stuff you need. If you don't, chances are you will buy on a whim and be tempted by too many displays of offers for things you do not really need. Not to mention you will probably forget you already have that big bag of rice in the cupboard and go and buy another, thinking "oh I think I need a bag of rice" etc.
3. Grocery shop online where possible.
This helps you stick to number 2, especially if you are one of those who are easily tempted by things on offer and treats etc, then doing all your grocery shopping online will ensure you really do just buy the things you need. Grocery stores are set out to tempt us with cleverly placing offers etc at the end of an aisle, as they know most people when grocery shopping at the store impulse buy.
4. Never shop on a empty stomach
Do you know how disastrous that can be? Always have your meal before you go and then go prepared as in 1 and 2 above. That way you will stick to your list.
5. Leave the kids at home
If it is possible, leave the kids at home or with another family member, that way you can stay focused and keep to your list and won't keep having the constant "can I have this" or " can I have that".
6. Check out the cheaper grocery stores that have limited branded foods.
By that I mean things like fruit, veg and meat, not chocolate, cakes, crisp etc, because that isn't going to help us stick to plan, right? Aldi and Lidl are great for weekly offers for these kind of things and they normally have a weekly flyer you can check out in advance.
7. Compare store prices
For those in the UK: MySupermarket is a great website for comparing prices, so you can do you research to see who has the best offers for the week.
For those in Canada: apply to have the local grocery store flyers sent to you or you can also view them on the Flipp website. Did you know that most grocery stores will also price match to the cheaper price if you show them the flyer from another store with the offer.
8. Stick to cheaper cuts of meat
I know it is quicker and easy to just buy a tray of chicken breasts or thighs, but did you know you could save quite a bit of money by buying a whole chicken instead and cutting it up yourself? Whole chickens are often on offer too, for example you will regularly see deals for 3 chickens for £10 for example, where as a tray of chicken breasts could cost about £4. Admittedly you have to remove the bones and skin, but for the money it can save you, it is worth it. Also I love doing this Slow Cooker Chicken, as the meat literally falls off the bone and then you can shred the meat and place in a tub in the fridge for adding to salads, curries, soups etc.
Also choose ground meats over cuts of meat. While extra lean beef is usually more expensive than just regular mince, it is still cheaper overall than say a cut of beef.
9. Limit packaged and processed convenience foods and buy generic foods.
When at the grocery store, avoid the middle aisles. Those are the ones filled with all the unnecessary packaged and processed food. Instead, stick to the outer aisle where the fresh produce is and you won't be tempted by the unhealthy stuff. All that processed, packaged food can be super expensive too and all adds up on your shopping budget.
So many of us are under the misconception that fresh and healthy food is more expensive, but it really isn't if you shop wisely. While a ready meal might tempt you with a low price, you need to look at the overall cost, that meal is usually only serving one person, whereas buying generic ingredients that might be a little more expensive it is actually going to make a lot more meals overall.
It is all just clever marketing, brands want you to buy their stuff.
Also when buying things like yoghurt, buy a big tub of plain fat free yoghurt, and add your own fruit, it works out cheaper and healthier than more costly expensive small flavoured yoghurts.
10. Make you own Slimming World treats
While it can be tempting to buy lots of boxes of low syn cereals bars, crisps, chocolate etc, they can all be super expensive.
Instead make your own low syn treats.
If you buy more generic ingredients and less branded treat stuff, you have less temptation in the house to tempt you off plan. That doesn't mean you can not have treats, but instead make your own. Things like baked oatmeal are one of my favourites (a big bag of just plain ole porridge oats is so cheap) or one of these delicious Slimming World desserts and they are so much more satisfying to.
11. Stock up on the cheaper store cupboard ingredients.
Things like big bags of pasta, lentils, rice, oats etc can be so cheap and they are great for bulking out meals, so you can use less meat overall which can be more pricy. You can buy a 1kg bag of lentils for about £2, that can make quite a few meals.
Buy family sized too if available as they are usually cheaper than the smaller bags.
And stock up one some tinned items, but bagged lentils/beans etc, usually work out much cheaper overall.
12. Gradually build up your spice cupboard
Spices and seasonings add great flavour to meals, and when combined with all the basic free foods, you can create some really delicious meals, but don't be tempted to buy too many at once. Instead, buy 1 or 2 a week as you need them until you have gradually built up a supply. Also check local Indian grocery stores etc, where you might get a bigger bag of spices for much cheaper than the teeny little jars you get at the grocery store.
13. Stock up when you see offers.
Meat can be super expensive, so when there is a good deal on, take advantage of it, buy extra and freeze. It will save you more money in the long run
14. Check out local markets
Sometimes markets can have great deals on fruit and veg. Try going near the end of the day too, when they are likely to do you an deal on a box of fruit or veg to get rid of stock if there is no market scheduled for the next day.
15. Use up fresh produce
Don't let fresh produce spoil, every two days do a check of what you have and make time to use up some of the ingredients that could spoil and waste you money. Soups etc are great for using up lots of leftover bits of veg. Also freeze some items in containers or zip lock bags if you think you will not get round to using them.
16. Buy frozen
If fresh produce is really expensive in your area or certain things are not in season, consider frozen instead. Things like bags of frozen vegetables or fruit can be great for having on hand to add speed food to your meals.
17. Shop in season
Check this great list for seasonal fruit and veg. - What fruits & vegetables are in season when?
Making sure you only buy the fruit and vegetables in season will mean better quality and less costly, as they will not be imported.
18. Limit eating out and takeaways
Instead create your own versions of some of your favourite take away dishes at home. I have many to choose from in my Fakeaway Recipes
19. Batch Cook and freeze
Set a day aside each week to do some batch cooking of a few Slimming World recipes.
That way it avoids any going off plan and spending more money on quick food or takeaways when you have a busy day and haven't had time to cook anything.
These Freezer Friendly recipes might come in handy for that.
20. Only shop once a week at the most
If you make sure you follow 1 and 2, there should be no need for in between grocery shopping, where you are likely to spend more money or buy things you do not need.