Your top food money saving tips
As supermarket shopping is an essential part of most UK household budgets, it's hardly surprising that in our social competition grocery shopping attracted more budget tips from you than any other topic. The good news is there are some wonderful ways to cut back on the supermarket shop and we've compiled ten of the best from the hundreds of tips you shared with us right here.
Write a shopping list
Top of the chart when it comes to budgeting was writing a shopping list before heading out to the supermarket. Focusing on what you really need instead of what you think you need should help you cut back on impulse buys.
Set out a menu for the week
Many of you told us that by planning what meals you'll be eating and on what day, you're less tempted to grab something quick for dinner on the way home from work. Make sure there's lots of variety in your meal planner to keep you on track and less inclined to cheat and pick up a takeway.
Look for reductions
Another popular budgeting tip was shopping for reduced items. Timing is everything so if you're looking for bargains, many of you told us that hitting the supermarket at the end of the day or on a Sunday night is best, helping to take a sizable chunk off your shopping bill.
Don't shop hungry
Walking down the food aisles on an empty stomach was a frugal faux pas according to many of the responses we had. Make sure to grab a snack before you head out, or drink a glass of water, to reduce the risk of buying more than you actually need.
Cook in bulk
Cooking more than necessary was seen as a helpful budgeting tip by lots of people, with many saying they either froze leftovers to use another day or took them to work for lunch. Time to invest in bigger pots and pans?
Michelle Plastow: "When cooking items such as curry or spaghetti bolognaise make extra and freeze them. Not only does it give you a quick meal, it saves time and money x"
Buy in bulk
Three for two, BOGOF or two for £5; most supermarkets have money-saving incentives if you buy in larger quantities. If you've got the space at home to store surplus items, this can help you save a lot of money in the long run. But if your kitchen lacks storage space, it might be better to try another tip instead.
Before you start your shopping, take a look through the fridge, freezer and cupboards to see what you already have in stock. See if there's anything you can use in this week's menu to reduce your shopping bill and avoid unnecessary waste.
Home cooked food
Everyone loves the taste of a home cooked meal and cooking from scratch was also seen as a good way to reduce the cost of food shopping. Having a stockpile of key ingredients might seem like a big investment at first, but many of you told us that this tip reaps big rewards.
Take a look in the fridge, freezer and cupboards to see what ingredients you can combine to create a new and exciting recipe. If that's difficult, take a look online at other people's recipes for inspiration and broaden your palate by cooking up a dish you've never tried before.
Paula Isaacs: "Be inventive with leftovers, share tips and recipes with friends"
We really liked this budgeting tip, so we had to include it in the top 10. Instead of a takeaway, why not create a #fakeaway at a fraction of the cost and save the difference? Chinese, Indian, pizza - the world is your oyster.