On a food budget? Here’s the best way to save money

You don’t have to dish out the dosh to make flavoursome meals

With a little thriftiness and culinary fervour, you can dine like a king any day of the week, at any stage of the month. Meet our seven money-saving tips:

Bean there, done that

It’s time to start thinking of canned beans and pulses as little tins of (affordable) protein gold. Bursting with nutritional possibilities and boasting a longer shelf life (meaning you don’t have to stress about using them quickly), these legumes work well in a multitude of recipes. Middle Eastern chick peas on toast, tomato, artichoke and cannellini gratin or cheese and homemade baked bean toasted sandwiches are just a few cost-effective gems to consider.

Storecupboard saviours

It’s easy to stock up on storecupboard essentials over time – buying a few ingredients with each shop means you don’t have the cost of getting everything at once. This makes it easier to whip up old favourites, and don’t be scared of substituting items – cannellini beans for chick peas, tinned tomatoes for ready-roasted vegetables, spinneysFOOD Sea Salt Flakes for spinneysFOOD Black Salt. The flavour might be slightly different, but it never hurts to mix things up.

Chill out

There’s one kitchen appliance that exists to save you money (and keep things icy cool): say hello to the freezer, your new best friend. Making big batches of easily freezable meals – think lasagne, soup and curry – allows you to avoid pricier ingredients with a shorter life-span. You can make fresh herbs, spices and veggies last a little longer this way too.

Think big

Cook bigger portions for more people. Making enough for a group can significantly reduce the cost so invite friends over and take it in turns to host a meal. You can also whip up a larger meal of fish pie or lentil and chick pea bolognese for just you and the family and use the freezer (yup, again!) to get more out of your meals.

Great plan, Stan!

A great way to cut back on shopping costs is to make sure you plan. Decide which meals you’re having for the week and list the ingredients – this means you’ll only purchase what’s absolutely necessary.

Flex it

Get the most out of every ingredient by using it in more ways than one. Take yogurt for example – this isn’t just an accompaniment to your morning granola. Add a dash to your next curry to make it a little more mild, create a delicious marinade for roast chicken (like in this harissa-based recipe) or mix with herbs for a tasty burger sauce.

Plain sale-ing

Be frugal – look out for sales and stock up. Our Market Day specials run every Monday and boast a range of promotions on a variety of products in store – sign up to our newsletter and be the first to see what’s on offer:

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If you have a question that needs answering, remember you can visit any of our social channels, use the hashtag #AskSpinneys, and one of our experts will get right back to you.