I Can’t Afford My Gas and Electricity Bills So I Have To Cut My Food Budget
The cost of living is rising and, for many people, that has meant higher energy bills that have affected household budgeting in other areas. Gas and electricity bills have increased by a huge amount in the UK in the past year and there are warnings about how unaffordable this is making life for many people. But do you really have to cut your food budget to find the money to pay for your fuel? If the answer is yes for you then here are our tips on how to manage it.
A lower budget doesn’t have to mean a poor diet
Food is an expense that we all have to cover but you don’t have to spend a fortune to get a nutritious, healthy diet that will sustain you through the winter months. Here’s some tips for how to manage a lower food budget:
- Plan your meals in advance. Weekly meal planning means that you’ll be able to reduce food wastage and ensure that everything you buy gets used.
- Make sure you only ever shop with a list. Going to the supermarket with an idea of what you want to buy, but no list is a surefire way to overspend and come home with items that aren’t great value for money. Instead, once you’ve done your meal planning create a list to shop from – and stick to it.
- Look for discounts and deals. Today, you’re as likely to find deals on fruit and veg as on processed foods so there are plenty of discounts that will support you in enjoying a healthy and varied diet. When you come across a discount, keep it and use it as often as you can.
- Know what your basics are. It can be really useful to create a list of your basic essentials so that you can look out for any opportunities to buy these in bulk or with discounts. That could be rice either brown or wholemeal, pasta, tins of tomatoes, cereal, tins of tuna etc.
- Shop around with your list. There are plenty of websites now that will show you how much your shop is going to cost with different retailers – take the time to do the comparison so that you know you’re getting the best possible deal.
- Get smart with your snacks. Instead of using vending machines and buying from the shop, plan your snacks in advance so you can buy in bulk for less. Whether it’s carrot sticks or batch-cooked meals such as pasta, you’ll spend less if you take your own.
- Cut down on drinks with high sugar content such as juice and fizzy drinks. Both these drinks can be a huge source of sugar in your diet so it makes sense to reduce how much juice and added sugar fizzy drink you consume, for your health as well as financial savings.
- Go booze-free. If there is one way to make a big difference to your household shop it’s to significantly reduce your alcohol intake – or cut it out completely.
If you’re struggling with your outgoings right now there are ways you can change your food-buying habits to help make ends meet.