Cutting food waste
Many people also found that moving to online grocery shopping helped to cut shopping bills and waste.
“Ordering groceries online has the advantage that you only buy what you need. It means less food waste.” - @anushaiyer from Cambridge
Others also suggested buying in bulk, instead of smaller packets, which ends up being more expensive
Peter from Stroud took this a step further. He created a local group to buy wholefoods direct from Suma (or Essentials), at wholesale prices. “Needs a minimum order of £250, but several households can easily reach that total if they shop together each month” he told us.
Best Buy company Suma offer a really good service for this. They can give individual invoices under one order going to one address, so you can easily work out who paid for what. It’s great for cupboard groceries such as chickpeas or pasta. It also helps to cut down on packaging.
Lots of people suggested cooking from scratch, Phil from Kendal, Laura from Christchurch and Jane from Nottingham all reduced their spend by cutting out the ready made meals and sauces. Others went further and are now baking their own bread and making their own plant based milks.
For fresh fruit and veg people were turning to local shops.
Giulia from Dorchester told us that she has cut food bills this way and helped save the environment. “I now buy fruit and veg from the local farm shop, and only once a week: local is cheaper and less carbon footprint (also useful as they deliver), and by buying once a week only I ensure I use up what I have. I noticed I have wasted less food and saved money.”
“Be flexible in habits depending on what ethical items are available cheaply at the time. For example, buy seasonal fruit and vegetable not imported items.” Jenny from Pyworthy
Other people were very keen to use up all leftover food, so there was no money wasted. “On the day before you shop, use up every veg you can by making soup or a ratatouille or a vegetarian casserole. Once new veg are in the fridge the older ones look unappetising and get left,” said one reader.
Growing your own to save money
Growing your own veg is also popular among readers. Rowena in Devon told us, “I’ve grown all my veggies and plants from seed this year, and plan to save the seed for next year as I chose heritage type seeds. I’m also composting like mad and making leaf mould as well as comfrey and nettle fertiliser to reduce what I need to buy from a garden centre.”
Meanwhile Laura from London ( @myfairladle ) is not letting anything go to waste. “Regrowing food (spring onions, lettuce, cauliflower) rather than throwing away the stalks”
Also mentioned was gardenorganic.org.uk by Barbara from Essex as another good source of information on growing fruit and veg.
“Get foraging” says Lucinda from London “It is possible in cities! There is wild garlic on Tooting Common in spring and the elder flowers are just starting to bloom. I'm going to be picking some on Monday to make elder flower cordial. Just remember to always leave some for others.”