With the cost of food on the rise, it’s more important than ever to budget, plan, and really only buy what you need, this doesn’t mean cut back on the goodies. It just means you have to be more creative with your weekly shop. Here at Irish consumer we are going to give some helpful tips, on making the most of your budget. The key is to treat your household income as a business, it’s important to know your incomings and outgoings, that way you will know how much you can spend, and it will give you the control of your finances instead of your finances controlling you.

In a recent survey it was revealed, Irish consumers throw away 30% of un-eaten food. The main culprits of food waste are lettuce, milk, and bread. In order to avoid food waste, it’s a good idea to keep a food diary for a week, to see how much food is actually consumed. Another tip would be to have a shopping list prepared, before you go out to the supermarket. Stick to the list don’t be tempted by the indulgences at the tills. This is a marketing tactic supermarkets use, to get Irish consumers spending more money.

Once your list is completed have a budget done, on how much you have to spend. Some weeks you might have to spend a little more for example on toiletries, birthdays, alcohol. This is when you really have to do your homework. Do a price comparison in each supermarket, to see what’s on special offer this can be done online.

Plan your meals in advance check your cupboards, you may already have some of the ingredients. Use coupons if you have them, it’s also a good idea to apply for a supermarket club card most of the chains have them, each time you make a purchase you swipe your card and each quarter vouchers are rewarded to customers to spend in store.

Dunnes Stores are currently offering customers €10 off €50 vouchers check in store for details.

Only buy own brand labels,you will be surprised how good they taste and it’s a fraction of the price of main brand products.

I recommend

Lidl vegetables, frozen and dairy products, goodies and Special buy promotions i.e. electrical, digital. Dunnes bread, nappies and children’s clothing.

M&S birthday gifts and special occasions, luxurious treats and wines.
Tesco toothpaste and cleaning products, clothing.
Euro City hair beauty, stationery and household products.

Here’s a quick list to remember before you shop

  • Keep track of food you eat
  • Prepare a list and stick to it
  • Don’t buy the offers at tills
  • Know how much you can spend
  • Do a price comparison in each store
  • Check your fridge/ cupboards
  • Plan your meals in advance
  • Use coupons/ club cards

So with careful planning and a bit of homework, you will get the best of your budget and the fridge will never be empty,within time you will start to notice significant savings on your shopping.