Cost of living: Seven clever swaps to cut money off the food bill as shoppers pay up to 80% more for items

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With food inflation at all-time highs and shoppers forking out up to 80 per cent more for supermarket staples, these swaps may come in handy for those trying to save money.

Cash-strapped Brits are being offered clever ways to reduce their weekly food spend by making simple swaps to meals. It comes after food inflation hit 17.2 per cent in March, with shoppers forking out up to 80 per cent more for supermarket staples such as bread, cheese and potatoes.

With this in mind, the team at online retailer MuscleFood.com have revealed seven clever food swaps to help shoppers save money amid rising grocery costs. Simple swaps like buying loose vegetables over pre-packaged ones, bulk buying cupboard essentials and ditching pre-made jars of sauce will help to cut back on weekly spend.

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Ashleigh Tosh from MuscleFood.com said: “It’s worrying how much food prices have been soaring over the last year with items like cucumbers, chicken, beef and pasta continuing to get more expensive. We wanted to provide advice for shoppers to lower their food costs by swapping out certain foods for cheaper options that make tasty meals and are easy on the budget.

“Even simple changes such as buying loose veggies rather than pre-packaged ones can save half the costs.” Here are seven food swaps to try.

7 swaps to save money on your food bill

Swap pre packaged veggies for - loose veggies

Pre-packaged veggies can be double the price of loose veggies. Buying them loose means you’re buying the exact amount you need and is based on weight rather than branding or packaging.

Swap premade jars for - homemade pasta sauces

Lots of premade jars contain high amounts of sugar and if you’re making a dish such as a lasagna it can cost around £4 for the sauces alone. Have a look at creating your own with tomato paste, onions, garlic and other ingredients which can be made for meals throughout the week.

Swap pricey meat for - cheaper meat, or try meat-free days

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Pork is one of the meats which haven’t shot up in price compared to the others, so try using it in dishes like meatballs or in the Sunday roast for a cheaper meal. Or you could try meat-free days throughout the week to drive costs down even more.

Swap supermarket crisps for - homemade crisps

A 2.5kg bag of potatoes costs around £1.25 while a typical multipack of crisps can cost shoppers upwards of £1.50. Slice the potatoes thinly and sprinkle them with salt and other seasonings before popping them in the oven or air fry them for cheaper and tasty results.

Brits are being offered clever ways to reduce their weekly food spend by making simple swaps to meals.Brits are being offered clever ways to reduce their weekly food spend by making simple swaps to meals.
Brits are being offered clever ways to reduce their weekly food spend by making simple swaps to meals. | AFP via Getty Images

Swap branded products for off-brand products

As tempting as it is to buy branded versions of products, essential brands taste just as good, as many of the lines have had a revamp since the cost of living crisis started. If you look at the ingredients they usually contain the same contents, but if you feel it doesn’t taste the same, sprinkle some salt and pepper in to add flavour.

Swap individual bags of microwave rice for - big bags of dried rice

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Buy heavy bags rather than individual packets to pop in the microwave which can cost a pound at a time. If you go for the big bags, you can meal prep throughout the week easier for lunches and dinners to save money.

Swap fresh fruit for - frozen fruit

Packed frozen fruits contain plenty of nutrients and are cheaper than buying the pre-packaged versions especially if it’s been pre-sliced. Frozen packs of raspberries and strawberries also taste delicious when put in the blender to make a refreshing smoothie.

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