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Food and other swaps to save money

46 replies

LadyScouse · 05/08/2022 09:46

Yesterday I was doing a mini shop and I nearly fell over that a small tub of Lurpak was £5. OK, so I was in a not so cheap shop (Waitrose but don't shop here exclusively), but it got me thinking. I don't want to give up the stuff I like, but am not prepared to pay these prices any more. It's also the principle of the thing. I have lived in other countries and IMO we are just shafted left right and centre here WRT the prices we pay for things.

So, this thread is about swaps.

If I like like spreadable butter, what is a very good, cheaper option? I'll think of some more, but please share yours. Anything goes.

OP posts:
PuttingDownRoots · 06/08/2022 06:49

Its blackberry season. Yesterday it took DD1 and I 20 minutes to fill a Celebrations tub, and we were being picky. A lot will be frozen for winter crumbles and porridge toppings.

KangarooKenny · 06/08/2022 06:52

AtleastitsnotMonday · 05/08/2022 13:35

I've stopped buying packs of ham for sandwiches. It's got really expensive and we get through a fair amount. Even on special offer it was 2 for £5. I now buy a piece of gammon and carve that up instead, so much better value.

Do you boil or roast it ?
Do you soak it in water first ?
Asking because we eat a lot of ham and it’s not always great quality. Cooking it yourself seems the way forward.

Athenajm80 · 06/08/2022 06:54

I've just downloaded an app called Sidekick. I haven't had a full play with it yet, but apparently you can put what you have in your cupboards, fridge etc and it suggests meals (at least that's what the ad claims) I think you only get a month free though, not sure how much it is ongoing. It's designed to help prevent food waste.

Sorry, it might actually be shit and not helpful at all, but I hope not. My sister is one of those people who can look in the fridge and see one chicken thigh, a bicycle tyre, and 3 cloves of garlic and make a banquet for 10, whereas I need recipes or something I've made lots of times.

SpindleTurning · 06/08/2022 07:11

I can’t carve for toffee! I end up with huge slabs and some crumbs, maybe one decent slice of whatever it is if I’m lucky. Even with cheese it’s the same chaos.

So I’m looking at getting a slicer gadget device thing, if anyone can recommend?

SilverGlitterBaubles · 06/08/2022 07:14

I sometimes buy items on Amazon if cheaper, especially shampoos and things like micellar water and basic make up. Also Nescafé Azera coffee I buy a few tins when its on offer or buy a large 500g tin from Amazon which can work out cheaper.

paulmccartneysbagel · 06/08/2022 07:55

takeitandleaveit · 05/08/2022 14:17

The best tip I can give is that when you are in the shop and go to pick up your regular (say) apples, look at the price per kilo and compare it with the other apples on offer. There's almost always something cheaper. And that's just one item. Do that with everything and the savings will soon mount up.

Don't buy anybody's own brand instant coffee though. Ugh.

I always look at the price per kilo now.

Has anyone else noticed that the supermarkets give some items price per kilo, and others price per 100g? Call me cynical, but it's almost as if they're deliberately trying to confuse us.... 🤔

Theredjellybean · 06/08/2022 08:01

I did ham to gammon swap this week too.
Danpak the aldi version of lurpak... Can't taste the difference.
I'm another strict meal planner, check cupboards and freezer before making shopping list and only buy what we need for the week.

CourtneeLuv · 06/08/2022 08:01

Fry ham instead of bacon. Not much difference once its in bread and it saves calories too.

BarrelOfOtters2 · 06/08/2022 08:07

Shop from your cupboards ( cleaning and beauty stuff too), meal plan and have a cheap freezer/cupboard/jacket potato night once a week. Save leftovers, even a few roasted veg make an omelette more exciting. Freeze bits of ham or bacon to use in soup or pasta sauce. substitute spices and herbs for ones you’ve got rather than buying new. So paprika for chilli. Isn’t the same but probably as tasty.

meal planning is the big one.

BarbaraofSeville · 06/08/2022 08:08

Another option for ham fans might be the big packs of offcuts in Aldi and Lidl.

I'd never looked at them before I read about them on here as they're 'value' branded and I'm far too good a Mumsnetter to eat cheap ham, but they're actually offcuts of Naice Ham and about £2 for 400 g.

You have to choose carefully if you want slices for sandwiches, as some are a bit scrappy, but the ham is decent quality and it's also good for omelettes, salads etc.

BarbaraofSeville · 06/08/2022 08:24

My other tip would be to ignore all the advice about buying a regular weekly shop from the same supermarket, buying what you need for that week only and instead rotate around supermarkets and shop for the storecupboard as you can really reduce the amount you pay per item so save a significant amount over time.

<usual caveat about needing to have access to a variety of shops and a bit of spare money and space to shop like this applies>.

If you don't drive and live somewhere where the cheap shops are a bus ride away and the shops in walking distance with groceries are expensive/rubbish, have a think about whether a shopping trolley will give you access to a cheaper shop a little further away.

Get as much as you can from Aldi or Lidl. If they're not that near, at least do a monthly stock up on non perishables.

Make use of top up shops to go to another supermarket if the things you want are not available at Aldi/Lidl. There are no rules that dictate you are only allowed to do your shopping on the same day each week and most people do top up shops.

If you buy branded non perishables like coffee, canned goods, petfood, toiletries, cleaning or laundry products, only buy on offer and keep a stock so you never pay full price.

Most supermarkets do a 15 pack of mixed size free range eggs for £2 which is probably the cheapest way to buy eggs of the type that most people buy. It's better for the hens too as it reduces the demand for large eggs.

Buy seasonal/super 6 on offer fruit and veg and be aware of price differences between similar products (eg standard broccoli £1.50 a kilo vs tenderstem broccoli £8 a kilo, is it really more than five times nicer?).

BarbaraofSeville · 06/08/2022 08:26

Buy spices and canned pulses/tomatoes from the world foods aisle as much cheaper than small jars. Keep them in old jam jars when the packs are open.

Buy frozen prepared garlic and ginger from the world foods freezer section.

Much cheaper than fresh and no prep.


Sprogonthetyne · 06/08/2022 08:32

I used to put small cakes in lunch boxes, which cost around £1 for 6-8, but now put either bourbon biscuits or cheap cookies in insted, which are around 40p for 20.

Tuna sandwichs are cheaper to make then ham and still get eaten just the same, peanut butter is cheaper still if we're eating at home, though I wouldn't put in pack up.

Toast for breakfast usually works out cheaper then cereal and milk. Own brand crumpets are also surprisingly good and cost penny's.

Small (and expensive) fruit like grapes or berries tend to get eaten first but I realised that's not down to flavour it's because my kids are laze and like bit sized bits. We've cut back to a choice of apples, oranges or banana, but I cut it up and put it in a bowl.

Anything that starts to go mushy in the fruit bowl gets blended and frozen for porridge, insted of buying packs of frozen berries. Hopping to add lots of picked blackberry's to this in a few weeks time.

LadyScouse · 06/08/2022 09:29

I find that if I go to B&M first, I can pick up a lot of dried items off my shopping list and it is cheaper than Aldi and Lidl. For example, I buy UHT organic Moo milk, which last time I looked, was 79p, versus £1.40 in Waitrose. I use this to make my own yoghurt (cheaper and better than shop).

I think food waste is a big issue and it can save money at the same time. One thing I do, is not plate up. I put the pans and roasting dishes on trivets on the counter, like a buffet, and everyone takes what they want and goes back for more if still hungry. This eliminates waste on plates. Any leftovers are either put in the fridge or I make a quick soup out of them with a stock cube and blend and freeze and take it to work.

I freeze any fading raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, bananas and I cook and mush apple and pear to puree and freeze it for porridge which we all love.

OP posts:
TooMinty · 06/08/2022 10:20

That's interesting what you are saying about not plating up - I actually have to do the opposite! If I put food out in serving dishes it all gets eaten (or an annoying amount is left, e.g too small to make a portion). But if I plate up reasonable portions and put aside another meal's worth then no one complains of starvation!

KangarooKenny · 06/08/2022 10:21

Does anyone know if you can put chunks of eating apples in cakes ? I tend to throw these away a lot.

Kitkatandcoffee · 06/08/2022 10:44

Lots of recipes on the internet that you put in chopped apples in cakes.
I have also put them in scones with cinnamon. I did half saute the apple in butter first though.
I also buy a gammon joint and cook. I have an instant pot so 40 mins cooking I have a lovely piece of gammon. I am thinking about buying a slicer out of Argos just because I have a voucher and I am not good at very thin slicing.

Manzana · 06/08/2022 10:51

also some supermarkets do a price per item, co-op pre-packed apples for instance so its hard to work out which is the better price

Cuwins · 06/08/2022 10:52

There are only 2 adults (plus a weaning baby) eating in our house and I normally follow recipes as I struggle to cook without- I have found most recipes are serves 4 so I was halving them but recently realised it works out a lot cheaper if I do the serves 4 and we have the meal 2 nights that week (no freezer space to freezer for longer) and there is a lot less waste

Belledan1 · 06/08/2022 11:09

I cooked a medium chicken and got tons of sandwiches meat off it. Cheaper than buying packs of chicken and nicer. It was an Aldi chicken though so cheap. Good idea re the ham will do that. I also trying not to do a big shop every week and try and eat what we have in and just go for small top up and fresh stuff and stick with it

Belledan1 · 06/08/2022 11:10

Stick with the list I mean.

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