Cost of living: How do I save money on food?

Many people are cutting back on their weekly food shopping as rising prices eat into their budgets.

Cost of living: How do I save money on food?

Many people are cutting back on their weekly food shopping as rising prices eat into their budgets.

People are not content to buy less. They want to find ways to save money. BBC interviewed money bloggers to get their best tips.

Rosie Forshaw is the Instagram account Money Saving Rosie. It's not always easy to find the best shop, she says.

You can find a lot of apps that allow you to compare prices for individual items. However, prices may change depending on what you are looking for.

Lynn Beattie from Mrs Mummypenny blogs says that not everyone has time to check out comparison apps or visit many shops in order to find the best deals.

She says, "I think people want one place to shop and get the best deals and get their shopping done."

Both recommend shopping at a supermarket that is affordable overall, and paying attention to local promotions. Consumer group Which? Consumer group Which?

Rosie recommends looking at your cabinets before you go shopping. Rosie says that while we all understand the importance of having a list, if you are adding to what is already in your cupboards, you will end up spending money on items you don't use.

"It's not worth buying more pasta sauce if there are already five in your cupboard."

So she knows exactly what she has, she keeps a detailed list of her cupboard contents in a notebook. It has reduced the cost of her weekly food shopping for her, her husband, and her one-year old son to about PS40.

Lynn suggests changing the way you shop in a store. She recommends heading straight to the lower section. She says, "If you see something you like in a store, you can mark it off your list and save some money."

She recommends then heading straight to the frozen-foods area, then on to the canned-produce aisle.

She says that frozen meats, fish, and vegetables are almost always cheaper than fresh. You can save significant money if you buy what you need there first before you go to fresh produce aisles.

Wrap estimates that the average household throws away around PS700 each year. Lynn claims that her freezer is now more efficient, which has allowed her to reduce her waste dramatically.

She says, "If items are nearing their expiration date, you should freeze them." You can also find items at a lower price in supermarkets near their sell-by dates. You can freeze milk, cheese, and even fruits and vegetables for later use.

The Food Standards Agency website has more information about freezing.

Kate Hall, the owner of The Full Freezer website uses her freezer more as a pause and not as a long-term storage option. Although almost all foods can freeze, it is important to modify how you use them.

She explains that you can't freeze a banana or a salad and expect it will be the same after it has been frozen. But if you consider how you can use it in soups, casseroles, or puddings, you will save a lot.

Rosie claims that most of the food we buy at the supermarket is packaged for our convenience, not ours. How many times have you purchased a tray of mushrooms wrapped in clingfilm only for them to fall out of their packaging? She explains that they are wrapped in cling film to make them more portable.

She wraps hers in paper bags when she brings them home, but says that removing the plastic wrap will make them last longer.

Wrap's Helen White (who runs the Love Food Hate Waste Campaign) says that there are small things you can do to prolong food's life, especially fresh vegetables, and salads. This is the UK’s largest food waste group.

She says, "Just placing a piece of kitchenroll into an open bag full of salad is going to make it last longer."

Fruit can be kept in the refrigerator to prolong its life. However, she recommends that it is not heated below 5 degrees Celsius. She says that millions of UK refrigerators are two degrees too hot. This is bad news for milk, and other food items that are kept in fridges. They can quickly go off if not properly stored.

Rosie prefers to shop at smaller, local retailers to benefit from their many years of experience.

She says that butchers can be a great resource. They are someone to whom we should not be afraid to ask about how to save money. If you tell your local butcher that you have PS8 for your meat, they will be able tell you how to save money by purchasing the lowest-priced cuts.

They are the best people to help you cook them, and make them last longer.

What are you doing to save money when shopping for food? We would love to hear your top tips. Email haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk.

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