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Five food tips to start your weekend

Settling down to a Saturday cookery show this morning? Wishing you could find some ideas for what you’ve already got in your cupboards? For tips from others like you, you need look no further than our blog.

A recent post about food waste by Thrifty Lesley struck a chord with our readers. Here they share their own ideas on how to avoid wasting food and save money in the process.

Save money on food – our readers’ tips


‘I grow my own veg and freeze it in portion sizes and then it only takes a couple of minutes to cook when needed. This can also be done if you get your veg from the supermarket. You could also use the My Supermarket website, go through your food cupboards and make a shopping list before you go to the supermarket.’


‘This time of year is an ideal time to use overripe fruit for jam or tomatoes etc for different chutneys - handy if you've grown your own tomatoes and have a glut.’


‘I never waste any food. Stale bread I make into bread puddings. All my kitchen scraps are in the compost and I grow most of my vegetables in my allotment and garden. Also soft fruits.

I only buy from the supermarket things which I cannot grow ie: bacon, butter and cheese. Last year I grew £1,275 worth of my own fruit and vegetables. I had so much that I gave some away to other OAPs. I have been growing my own for over 50 years.’


‘Not only do I keep bread in the freezer but I use the ends to make breadcrumbs, which I store in the freezer. With some sugar and melted butter they create an alternative to crumble topping or can be used as part of homemade burgers or to coat fish for frying.

I also make lots of soup and freeze in individual portions and these make a great economical lunch and count towards your five a day.’



‘I put as much in the oven as possible when I'm using it to save electricity/gas.  

I also bulk buy where possible, from spices to meat. I split my meat into food bags and put it in the freezer. I also buy onions in big sacks and prep them all and freeze them.’


‘To make life easy, buy a slow cooker, prepare the meal and put in to the slow cooker as you depart for work. It’s ready on your return so no ready meals are necessary. Make a curry in a slow cooker, it’s easy peasy.

Another tip is to make a shopping list for the week and pass this shopping list to a friend. You shop for them and they shop for you, sticking to the list. You will save a lot of money.’

This guest post is from Thrifty Lesley and doesn’t necessarily reflect the views of the Money Advice Service. You can find out more about Thrifty Lesley and what she does on her website.

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  • Jules / 19 November 2015

    Great ideas! Our supermarket has a "weekly specials" email that they send out, highlighting items that they know you buy regularly. (A bit "Big Brother", but it is really helpful). I then buy the items in bulk.

  • Ray Baldacchino / 16 November 2015

    I have been buying cooking bacon lately. Its cheap at about 75/80p for 500g and if you select carefully, you can often find packs which are mostly part or full slices rather than lots of small bits. Lidl are good for containing bacon chops and gammon, even thick rounds of loin. Tesco have nicer tasting smoked slices or part slices.

    For ham trimmings, look at Tesco, Morrisons and Aldi where the same applies - choose the best looking packs.

  • Paul Sweeney / 15 November 2015

    What a wonderful idea, making ends meet on a budget with some really good ideas, I will look forward to reading some more tips. As a diabetic everybody tells you what not to eat and as a bloke who has been let back into a kitchen after 30 years though life's cruel twist. I feel a little invigorated to stop wasting food. Thank you.

  • Thrifty Lesley / 18 October 2015

    My fella has the habit of helping himself to what should be tomorrow's dinner too. I have found I need to keep those extra portions out of the way where he can't see them

  • Nikki Shelton / 18 October 2015

    I am a big fan of batch cooking, but I would recommend "hiding" what you are going to save to freeze; My fellas will have a second helping if they see a big casserole full,thinking it is going begging and often don't really want it. If they are still hungry ,of course they can have more, but must take a proper portion, and not just pick the meat out!

  • Vanessa Frost / 17 October 2015

    We shop online each week with Morrisons and it saves us money as it cuts out the need for top-up shops from nearer but more expensive smaller supermarkets. We collect points on the Match & More card and this frequently gives us a £5 off voucher. We even get money returned to us by handing back the carrier bags from the last shop to the delivery driver - 5p per bag.