The cost of food continues to rise, putting even more pressure on already tight family budgets.
The latest figures from research agency Kantar Worldpanel show food prices rose a record 17.1% in the four weeks to February 19.
That means households pay an extra £811 a year, or £16 a week, for their regular grocery store.
- Why are food prices going up?
- How much should I spend in my grocery store?
- How can I save at my grocery store every month?
- Are loyalty plans worth it?
- Real Life Story: What I'm Doing To Lower My Bills During The Cost Of Living Crisis
Related content:Recipes that can save you £25 per meal compared to takeout
Inflation and food prices: how are they related?
inflation isthe measure of the price increase. The Consumer Price Index (CPI), which is a way of measuring inflation, is currently at 10.1% for the 12 months through January 2023.
Despite January being the third monthly drop in inflation, food prices continue to rise strongly, exacerbating the cost of living crisis.
The cost of food increased a further 0.6% in January compared to the previous month. All food categories tracked by the Office for National Statistics have risen in price, except for meat and fish.
The annual rate of food inflation is currently near the highest level in 45 years, at 17.1%.
Learn more atwhat inflation means for your money, pensions and savings.
Why are food prices going up?
Inflation has increased for several reasons, mainly:
- Rising energy prices linked to Russia's war in Ukraine
- The war also continues to raise the costs of animal feed and fertilizer.
- Increase in demand after confinement
- Brexit Regulation
Essential items increased in price by up to 65% during the year, according to separate findings from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
Right now, the two items where prices rise the most are food and energy.
The latest figures from the British Retail Consortium revealed that food price inflation had accelerated to 13.8% in the year to January 2023. Prices had already risen at a record rate or 13.3% in the last month.
Figures from Kantar Worldpanel, a research firm, found that grocery price inflation rose 17.1% in the four weeks to February 19, the highest level on record.
These are average values across several different foods. But, to take a simple example, if a loaf of bread costs £1 one year and £1.16 the next, that represents a 16% annual rate of inflation on bread.
read more inHow is inflation calculated?
How the price of 10 foods changed over time
Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), which monitors the prices of 1.5 million items of food online, showed that in November it was staple items that rose the most.
Their latest report suggests the following increases:
- Low-fat milk: 45.2%
- Olive oil: 44.6%
- Sugar: 40.9%
- Leite integral: 37,2%
- Cheese and curd: 35.2%
- Edible offal: 31.6%
- Frozen vegetables: 29%
- Eggs: 28.8%
- Flour and other cereals: 27.9%
- Butter: 27.1%
Meanwhile, the biggest price drop recorded was for orange juice with a 9% drop. Ground beef also dropped 7% in price.
What is a good grocery budget for two people?
UK households now spend an annual average of 16% of their budgets on food and non-alcoholic beverages, according to the ONS. This represents an annual expenditure of £3,312.
This year, households will have to pay an extra £788 for their annual grocery bill, according to Kantar.
17 Ways to Lower the Price of Your Weekly Grocery Expenses
Here are our top tips on how to lower the cost of your grocery bill.
1. Buy in bulk
If you have closet space, buying in bulk can be really cost effective.
If you look at the label on the product you're buying, it tells you the price per kilo, and big bags are almost always much cheaper. The deals can be even better if you can buy from a wholesaler or bulk purchasing specialist like Costco, though keep in mind that these companies come with annual membership fees that you'll need to be aware of.
Start with items like noodles and tea bags – they have a long shelf life and are great for meal planning when money is tight.
It is also ideal for household items.Tesco*charges £8 for a pack of 36 Ariel All-in-1 Wash Capsules. However, a pack of 120 will set you back £20. That's 22p each vs 17p each. Keep in mind that sometimes smaller packages can be cheaper, so always check.
2. Avoid precooked fruits and vegetables
Convenience sells, whether it's prepared sliced fruit, bagged cooked rice, or pre-cooked chicken, but it often commands a premium price.
Don't fall into this consumer trap. Chopped fresh fruits and vegetables are much more expensive because you pay not only for the item, but also for someone to prepare it.
If you need to buy prepared, prefer frozen ones; these prices tend to be more competitive and the product itself will last longer.
3. Meal planning
Deciding what you are going to eat each day well in advance, stocking the ingredients accordingly in a big box store, and trying to use them all can go a long way.
This will not only save you from having to make expensive recharge purchases, but it will also make all the difference when time is short.
Meal planning also allows you to balance your diet while planning ahead, taking the stress out of last-minute cooking while reducing the amount of food waste.
Plus, cook it ahead of time and store it in the freezer, and you can enjoy days without cooking.
It's a common assumption that frozen foods aren't as nutritious, but that's not necessarily the case.
Frozen food is picked up for immediate freezing, while fresh food can be in transit for days before reaching its destination.
For example, frozen fish is just as fresh, if not fresher, than fish on the counter, some of which has been previously frozen. It is also often much cheaper.
You can also freeze many of the items you buy with yellow tag discounts, allowing you to save them for another day.
Also, frozen things like minced garlic, ginger, and onions are usually much cheaper than fresh varieties and can be stored when you need them.
Frozen vegetables are also a great alternative to canned vegetables, which are often packed with salt to preserve them.
5. Don't shop when you're hungry and make a list
Buying food when you're hungry can be dangerous, as you might be tempted to throw things you don't need in your cart.
Try to shop on a full stomach, and you'll feel much more sensible about what you pick up off the shelves.
Always write a shopping list of what you need and make a rule to stick to it.
6. Be careful what you throw away
Figures from campaign group WRAP show that UK households throw away 9.5 million tonnes of food each year, almost three-quarters of which is products we could have eaten.
But an average family of four could save just over £60 a month by cutting down on food waste.
Most of what people throw away is made up of fruits and vegetables, and these are some of the easiest ingredients to use for all sorts of recipes – you can freeze them for future smoothies or cakes, or use them for other dishes and freeze them. them in batches.
It's also a good idea to organize your fridge in order of freshness so that you have all the items that are about to expire in advance. That way, you'll know where to start when deciding what to cook for your next meal.
Food waste apps like Kitche can help you with this. Kitche notifies you when items in your fridge are about to go bad.
You can also use special websites that suggest recipes for what's left in your fridge or cupboard, like SuperCook or BigOven.
7. Look up and down
Supermarkets often place the most expensive items at eye level, but this product placement is just a marketing ploy.
You can often get similar items for much less if you look at the shelves above and below you.
Also, some items can be found at cheaper prices in different aisles. For example, baby wipes can be found in the baby or beauty sections at different prices, so shop around to find the cheapest deal.
8. Meatless Monday
Meat is expensive and our consumption is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, so there are a number of benefits to be gained from reducing it.
Having a meat-free day each week can save you money. You can prepare perfectly satisfying and nutritious vegetarian meals to feed the family at a fraction of the cost of a meat dish.
9. Buy own brands
Try to cut back on your purchases a bit, and if you or your kids can't tell the difference, stick with the least expensive option.
Downshifting on each bracelet you buy typically cuts your grocery cost by 30%, according to a comparison by MoneySavingExpert. Even if you change half the items, that's still a 15% savings.
630g of Nutella costs £3.99 atAldi*(63p/100g), for example, while Nutoka, Aldi's own version, costs £1.15 for 400g (29p/100g).
The same applies to products like washing up liquid and toilet paper.
10. Runners with yellow stickers
We know that most supermarkets reduce the price of fresh items at the end of each business day, but exactly what time should you visit a store to get the biggest discounts?
The first yellow stickers may appear in the middle of the morning, but between 6 and 9 p.m. the discounts can reach 75%.
At Asda, final cuts usually start around 7:00 p.m. m. With Co-op's "75% off" discounts, 8:00 p.m. m. It is usually prime time.
Discounts at Morrisons can start in the late morning or around lunchtime, while discounts at Sainsburys start around 7pm. m.
Tesco and Lidl cut food prices from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. m., while the big discounts materialize in the early afternoon.
Half-price stickers start appearing at 8 p.m.Aldi*, while "final reduction" stickers can be seen 30 minutes to an hour before closingEM*stories. Aldi discounts are usually marked with a red sticker.
Waitrose discounts tend to start later, but peak in the last 30 minutes before closing.
11. Compare prices
It is always worth comparing brand name products in supermarkets, but you may find that some are cheaper in other stores.
Local markets, butchers and greengrocers are usually cheaper than supermarkets. If you have time, it's worth shopping.
Sometimes you can also save money by buying non-food items, like garbage bags and cleaning supplies, at a discount store instead of the grocery store.
12. Store Food Properly to Extend Shelf Life
You can extend the life of your food by storing it properly.
Eggs keep longer when stored in the box, while oranges and some fruits and vegetables should be stored in the refrigerator.
Items such as potatoes, plantains, pineapples, onions, and bread should be stored in a cool, dry place and kept in their original packaging to extend their shelf life.
13. Apps that offer free or cheap food
People started signing up for apps like Olio to get free products.
With the aim of eliminating waste and "sharing" food, large supermarkets such asTesco*and retailers like Pret A Manger offer fresh unsold produce to Olio at the end of each day. Volunteers sign in, pick up the food, and then list it on the app for locals to pick up.
Too Good To Go is another free app that allows you to buy unsold food at a discount to prevent waste. Companies put these items in “magic bags” and charge them about a third of their original value.
You pay in advance and you have to pick up your food at a certain time.
14. Smell Test
Avoid throwing away items with an expiration date; this is just the manufacturer's opinion of when they are of optimal quality, and often the products are still perfectly edible after that date.
Sometimes you may find that the item has lost its flavor or texture; it's up to you to decide what you want to do with it.
However, expiration dates mean you have to throw away food after that point, otherwise it's a health risk. Typical foods to watch out for include dairy products: milk, fish, and eggs.
15. Get free fast food through apps and clubs
Fast food chains can offer discounts and freebies to new and existing customers through their apps and membership "clubs." Often the reason is that they are trying to grow their email lists or app downloads.
For example, sign up for the Krispy Kreme newsletter and enter your details to get a free Krispy Kreme donut with original frosting.
If you download the McDonald's app, you'll receive a 20% discount the first time you order. Greggs gives you a free hot drink when you check in.
Most will also give you an additional reward on your birthday, so remember to add this on the login page.
16. Take advantage of newbie deals to shop online
If you're doing an online grocery store, you may be eligible for a discount, especially if you're a new customer; so check mailing lists and deal sites for coupon codes and coupons.
Buyers can also beeligible for reimbursementthrough sites like TopCashback and Quidco. In essence they pay you to buy through them, but remember that many times you will not be able to combine the two discounts.
17.Are supermarket loyalty schemes worth it?
It's worth joining supermarket loyalty clubs to earn rewards, but remember that you have to spend there to accumulate points. Make sure you don't fall into the trap of spending just because you're a cardholder.Alwayschoose the most competitively priced retailer if you want to save money.
The biggest potential benefit of these clubs is that you can often collect points on gas, which means you can earn something back, albeit slowly, as fuel prices soar. A recent study by the Virgin Red rewards club found that 56% of 2,000 people surveyed had used loyalty points to cover their weekly purchases in the past year.
- Asda. The Asda Rewards app allows shoppers to earn cash back on select branded and private label products. Once shoppers have accumulated enough cash, they can create a coupon in the app, which they can use toward their next purchase or save to pay for an entire store in the future. The app is still in testing, so it's not available across the UK.
- Lidl.The Lidl Plus app promises "personalized" discounts that customers can activate at checkout. It will also enter you into a £20 scratch card competition every time you scan it.
- ME*.At M&S, every week, in all stores, a shopper who swipes their Sparks card at the checkout will receive their purchases for free. So if you're making a purchase, remember to scan your card.
- Morrison.My Morrisons (formerly known as Morrisons More) also offers "personalized" discounts based on your shopping habits. You can also get deals to use online, but you must use a discount code at checkout and paper coupons can be given to shoppers without internet access.
- Sainsbury´s.Sainsbury's is part of the Nectar club, which allows you to earn one point for every £1 spent in store and online, as well as one point for every liter of fuel purchased at Sainsbury's service stations.
There are other ways to make the most of the Nectar programme, such as through Sainsbury's Bank products.
The 24-month Sainsburys Nectar Dual credit card, for example, allows you to earn 500 Nectar points every time you spend £35 or more on Sainsbury's purchases.(Video) 10 Steps to Inflation Proof Your Pantry to Fight Rising Grocery Prices
You can do it up to ten times in the first two months, which gives you the possibility of accumulating up to 5,000 points. But first make sure the account is right for you.
Five hundred Nectar Points are worth £2.50. The card also allows you to earn up to three points for every £1 spent at Sainsbury's, Argos, Habitat and Tu Clothing.
- Tesco*.The Tesco Clubcard allows you to accumulate one point for every £1 spent in store and online. When you buy Tesco fuel, you earn one point for every £2 you spend.
It will also unlock Clubcard pricing, which offers special discounts for loyalty card holders.
There are many opportunities to earn points through other Tesco products such as Tesco Mobile and Tesco credit cards.
The Tesco Bank Shopping Card, for example, earns you five Clubcard points for every £4 spent at Tesco supermarkets and fuel, and one point for every £8 spent elsewhere. Each point is worth 1p and for every 150 points you earn £1.50 in Clubcard vouchers.
You can also increase the value of your points with select partners like theme parks and movie theaters.
Not to be confused with Tesco Clubcard Plus, which is a monthly subscription service that costs £7.99 and gives you a 10% discount at two in-store food outlets per month (maximum amount per store: £200) .
If you do a few big box store purchases each month, this scheme might be worth your while. For example, two stores at £150 a month will save you £30 or £22 after subtracting the monthly charge.
But if you make several small purchases weekly or mostly online, the savings are likely to be minimal.
Remember: the monthly fee is almost £100 a year, so you need to put it to good use. As a general rule of thumb, try to spend at least £80 at a qualified grocery store to cover your costs.
- Cooperative.The Co-op loyalty program allows you to earn 2% back when you purchase select Co-op private label items or services, with 2% going to a cause in your area.
All the money you earn will be deposited into your member account. The account costs a single £1 to open.
- Wait, pink.Lastly, Waitrose offered free hot drinks to myWaitrose customers but has yet to reintroduce these after the Covid pandemic. It also recently scrapped its promise of free newspapers, which was one of its biggest benefits.
However, you still get a free copy of the monthly Waitrose & Partners Food magazine and access to in-store deals like 20% off meat, fish, cheese or deli counters every week.
Real life story: “How I save money every week”
Nikki Pilkington, 49, from Northampton, says the price of her grocery store rose from £80 to £120 following the cost of living crisis.
She always uses discount codes, cash back offers, and loyalty club savings to limit her spending.
“We are all struggling, but there are people who can't buy fresh vegetables or nappies for their children, and it's heartbreaking,” she says.
Nikki, a married mother of one son, visits local supermarkets every night to buy discount groceries on yellow stickers. “I buy it and freeze it,” she says. Her general rule is to buy meat only when the price drops. “Last week I went to the local Tesco store at 9 p.m. m. and I bought fresh chicken for 5 p.m. If you plan meals, it's two or three meals for a family.
help planning meals
“Meal planning is extremely cost-effective, but remember to keep everything in your freezer. If you're making a sauce, break it up into meals; for example, pasta sauce can also be used to make chili peppers. This can also save you money on gas and electricity.
She adds, "I also buy in bulk when there's a supply, usually canned goods and cleaning supplies."
Nikki recommends investing in a slow cooker—she says it's cost-effective because it saves energy and avoids wasting water and time because you can start cooking whenever you want instead of having to prepare a meal when you're busy. She also means that she is getting a nutritious meal.
Her best advice when grocery shopping is to ask yourself, "Am I going to use this and how?" This applies even if it is a yellow tag discount. If the answer isn't a resounding yes, he'll put it back on the shelf.
When it comes to switching brands, she recommends choosing a premium private label first. "I like my Heinz products and I don't change the ketchup, but Lidl's salad dressing and tomato soups taste almost identical."