As well as being a basic necessity that’s part of our daily lives, food is an essential component of our overall health and well-being.

But a new report has found that UK families are paying £605 more for their food than they did two years ago.

The eye-watering figure comes down to soaring energy prices and climate change, as flooding and extreme heat in the UK and other countries have pushed prices up.

However, the report also warned that more changes are to come in 2024 – a worrying thought, considering the amount of people struggling to make ends meet as things stand.

So, what can we do to tackle these high food prices and save money?

We asked an expert for their top tips.

How to save money on food shopping

With food still notably expensive, any opportunity to save money will be welcome.

Over 1.3 billion tonnes of food is wasted every year worldwide, so making your food shop as efficient as possible is essential.

Ashleigh Tosh from MuscleFood.com said: ‘It’s worrying how much food prices have been soaring over the last year with items like cucumbers, chicken, beef and pasta continuing to get more expensive.

‘We wanted to share these tips to help Brits to stick to their shopping list, plan and cut the cost of their weekly shop.’

Check the fridge, freezer, and cupboards before you head out

If you’re looking to save money on your food shop, it’s worth checking what you already have.

Look at what you have used up, what needs replenishing, and what will last through the week.

It’s also worth checking the use-by dates of any fresh products and the condition of fresh fruit and vegetables.

To save money and avoid buying unnecessary items, it’s helpful to take inventory of what you already have and ensure you don’t buy duplicates or excess amounts of anything that is still good to consume.

Keep your fresh produce needs vague

Fresh fruit and vegetables have seen some of the biggest price increases, as well as problems with availability.

As such, when undertaking your meal prep, try to keep your fresh fruit and vegetable needs vague and not recipe dependent.

This way, you are less restricted on what you can buy and can browse through the reduced section for this week’s meal veggies.

Go for frozen items

If you usually purchase products from the chilled or fresh produce aisle, consider opting for frozen alternatives.

Fruits, vegetables, fish, and meat are frequently available in larger quantities from the frozen section, saving you a lot of money.

Additionally, frozen goods significantly decrease food waste in households, as they last much longer. However, be sure to verify the use-by dates and avoid letting them sit unused in the freezer for extended periods.

Consider the season

It’s important to remember that fresh fruits and vegetables will usually be at their best during the correct growing season.

During this time, fresh produce will usually be more available and will stay fresher for longer.

A quick Google search will be able to tell you which fruits and vegetables are currently in season.

Avoid impulse spending

Next time you’re in your local supermarket, it might be worth making a rough mental note of where your regular items are because planning can help you cut down on unnecessary spending.

Try and write out your shopping list in the order in which they appear in the supermarket. For example, keep all the bread items together, fresh fruit and vegetables, etc.

This way, you can try and cut down on visits to unneeded aisles – and remove the temptation to impulse buy!

Ashleigh Tosh says: ‘Things as simple as planning your shopping list in the order of the aisles in your local shop can make a huge impact to improve the overall cost of your food shop.’

Look to purchase online

If you’re struggling with the availability of some fresh products, it might be worth looking at your options to purchase online, rather than purchasing any more expensive products that might be available in-store.

Many smaller independent shops will offer free delivery (usually with a minimum spend) on staples like meat and dairy products.

Remember your membership card

If you are shopping in a large chain, it’s worth taking the time to double check you have your loyalty card with you before you set out.

Many supermarkets now offer discounts to loyalty card holders. For instance, Tesco offers a lower price on many products for Clubcard holders.

Sainsbury’s revamped Nectar card now allows shoppers to enjoy a discount on around 300 items both in-store and online, Morrisons has launched the Morrisons More scheme to replace the My Morrisons scheme, and the Co-op has also introduced a loyalty card with discounts.

Follow Metro across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Share your views in the comments below

Get your regular dose of need-to-know lifestyle news and features by signing up Metro's The Fix newsletter

2023-11-27T10:32:05Z dg43tfdfdgfd