Frugal Food Shopping Tips, save money

frugal food shopping

Use our frugal food shopping tips to save money on your weekly shop.

See our articles Food Glorious Food, cheapest, fastest, free about new and innovative food delivery methods and also Frugal Christmas and The 25p Meal!

Frugal Food Shopping at Supermarkets

  • One effective way to cut your grocery shopping bill is to do the bulk of your shop at cheap supermarkets. Lidl, KwikSave, Aldi and the like. Buy your basics there. Many items cost about half or a third of the ‘normal’ price in these shops. They sometimes have all their vegetables (which are usually class 1 so get rid of any notions of poor quality produce) at half price. Alcohol and household goods are also exceptionally cheap here. One little tip: we have found the extremely cheap tea/coffee and household cleaning/laundry products these shops sell to be…well…not good – other supermarkets own makes are a much better buy with these items.
  • Frozen food stores are often a great source of bargains for both branded and own label food. Iceland do free next day delivery on orders of £35 or over. Check out their offers section and their bulk packs for maximum savings.

Discounted Food

  • Many non-perishable foods are fine past their sell by date. Check out the many bargains available on clearance food and drink at Low Price Foods and Approved Foods – very impressive prices.
  • If you have some specialty items that you need/want to buy you may not get them in the discount shops but other supermarket’s own brand labels may suffice over the well known labels (if you’ve seen adverts for a particular product you will pay for those ads when buying it – that’s the only difference!). The Tesco Value range is very well priced and good quality – their chocolate, soya milk, scourers, oven chips, loo rolls etc. are all great. It’s also worth taking up online supermarkets on their new shopper offers.


  • If you want to buy organic produce the cheapest supermarkets are Aldi, Lidl, Asda followed by Tesco. Some areas have excellent box schemes in operation – ask at your local health food shop.

Dried Food

  • Certain products have a very large mark-up when bought in tiny quantities such as dried herbs, spices, seeds, nuts and beans. If you have a whole food co-operative near you you could save a lot by buying in bulk. To give you an example: a typical 5g. jar of mixed herbs costs 80p – see the difference on Amazon for herbs, and beans and pulses – co-operatives do great deals too. Most deliver over a very wide radius – see the links section for some good ones. If you can get together with friends and family on this, even better.
  • Soya mince is a lot cheaper than meat minces, a good source of protein and free of any disease or antibiotics. Health food shops and co-operatives typically have very reasonable bags of dried soya mince and chunks. Frozen vegemince is more pricey but available in supermarkets and still cheaper than meat.
  • Beans, beans, beans. Nourishing, filling, versatile and very cheap. The cheapest way to buy them is dried. You then soak the required quantity overnight and boil then next day. Black eye beans and lentils (lentils don’t need pre-soaking) are the quickest cookers, needing only about 30 minutes. Use them in casseroles, soups, pasta sauces, curries, chilli, pasties, salads – you name it!


  • Farm shops or markets can be very economical. A sack of potatoes for a few pounds can be the basis for many meals for a couple of months.
  • It may seem really obvious, but do take advantage of special offers if you need the product. Buy one get one free offers are well worth it if it is something you would be buying anyway.
  • Don’t shop when hungry – well weve all done it!
  • Make a list for what you need for the week and stick to it. A weekly shop is much more economical than lots of little trips to shops.
  • Shop alone (if possible) – the more people there are the more temptations will be spotted!
  • Instead of buying several different desserts buy the ingredients to make a cake (see recipes section). It’s not hard and, kept in the fridge it will give you pudding over several evenings (unless it’s too good of course and it gets quickly scoffed!).
  • Before you go on your frugal food shopping trip – check right to the back of your food cupboards and freezer. If you are new to the frugal lifestyle you could discover a veritable Aladdin’s Cave of goodies that could be used up instead of items you were planning to buy.

18 Replies to “Frugal Food Shopping Tips, save money”

  1. Aldi have now started to sell some organic vegetables. I have tried the laundry detergent and have found them to clean as well as the leading brands.

  2. I’ve had Approved foods bookmarked for a few years but only done one order with them the stuff is not always past its best before date and you are always advised if there is a short time or it has passed the best before date.

  3. I like Aldi veg, I like their washing up liquid magnum? Very frothy changed from fairy, never looked back. Didn’t like their fabric softener though couldn’t smell anything! And their weetabix, the box of 36 I couldn’t taste any difference to branded variety. I am very much an Aldi fan, you just have to try things for yourself, I’m always amazed how much my shopping comes to, a brilliant shop!

  4. I think one great way we can improve our health and save money is by eating organic food, grown in our own gardens, without pesticides. It’s fun too.

    If you don’t have much space (or a suitable garden), there are still plenty of plants you can grow in pots, or vertical planters.
    This is an interesting article on Why Growing Organic Food Never Works Out The Way You Plan. The Failures and successes of a first time organic fruit and vegetable gardener:
    Thanks, George x

  5. I think Aldi Dishwasher Tablets were voted best by Which? Whether they were are not they are excellent and do as good, if not better, than all the other main brands.

  6. Instead of buying frozen Vege Mince go buy a big bag of Brown Lentils insead.Use in the same way as Vege Mince but its better for you (less processed) and so much more economical.Buy from Asian Supermarkets which are amazingly cheap and full of treasures .

  7. You are so lucky in the UK to have such shopping outlets at hand, and your prices are so much lower than here in NZ. A 10 kilo bag of spuds can range from $20 to $18. Buy them loose and they can be around $3 kilo. In smaller towns you would be lucky to find any sort of discount food outlet within 50~100 K’s. Organic is a lot more expensive too. We have three supermarkets in my town and prices are simular in each. Apples range from $4 kilo upwards. Soymilk ranges from one brand at $2.50L to most being $3.50+. Nut milks are generally around the $4L mark. Even dried beans, etc are not cheap. In general fruit and veg is quite expensive and depends also on how the growing season has been. Cabbages have been as much as $8 each, and avocado’s have reached similar prices for one. Peaches and apricots to average around $6~$8 kilo.

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