There is no escaping the cost of living crisis sweeping this side of the world right now. To help reduce your kitchen costs and cut back on your weekly grocery bill, we’re sharing some foolproof tips and tricks which every foodie should have up their sleeve.

Never go to the supermarket hungry

An old wives tale we firmly stand behind — under no circumstances should you ever go to the supermarket hungry. Otherwise, you’ll definitely live to regret the mountain of cheese, the numerous bags of crisps, or that questionable celebration cake that made its way into your trolly. Going to the supermarket on an empty stomach might lead to quite a few unnecessary impulse buys based on hunger pangs or fleeting cravings.

Write a list and stick to it

To ensure you don’t end up overspending in the supermarket and only arrive home with things you actually need, write a shopping list and stick to it. It might help to write out a meal plan for the week ahead, making a note of what ingredients you’ll need and what’s already sitting in your fridge or on your pantry shelves. Tick things off as you make your way around the aisles and head towards the till once everything is checked off.

Reinventing leftovers

Dedicate a day or two each week to reinventing any leftovers taking up space in the fridge. Mashed potato from Sunday’s roast could be used to whip up fried potato patties served with poached eggs for a tasty brunch. More often than not, you might be able to skip the supermarket rush for a day or two by getting inventive.

Pea and potato cakes
RECIPE: Pea and potato cakes

Minimise your food scraps

Making the most of each and every food product can be such a simple solution to cutting down on your food shop. For instance, you can make delicious vegetable stock from carrot tops, herb stems, onion and cabbage ends. This can then be used to make warming soups, or even be frozen for later use.

Use your microwave as much as possible

While it’s often believed that food cooks, and tastes better from the oven, you’ll save on the electricity bill if you use your microwave. Ovens often need to be pre-heated before use, extending the length of time that they’re switched on, while, microwaves use far less power for a much shorter period of time. So it’s worth turning to your microwave from time to time – especially if you you only need the oven to complete one to two elements of your meal.

Introduce more vegetarian meals into your diet

While this might seem like an obvious hack for many, it’s worth noting that a lot of vegetarian meals are cheaper than meals with meat, due to the rising price of chicken, beef, lamb, and other meat products. By taking the flexitarian approach, you’re introducing more veggie-friendly dishes into your weekly meal rotation, while still enjoying the odd meaty dish here and there. Not only will this help save you on the weekly food shop, but you’ll also end up looking forward to and enjoying that beautiful meaty dish even more!

Vegan tofu satay bowls Easy Food
RECIPE: Vegan tofu satay bowls

Buy in bulk

When possible, buy in bulk — especially when it comes to long-lasting food and drinks. That four-pack of baked beans might end up being cheaper than four individual tins. If your local supermarket is having a seriously good deal on vegetables that are on the way out, then it might be a good idea to stock up and batch-cook some hearty soups or stews for the frosty weeks ahead.

For more top money-saving and waste reduction tips, check out Easy ways to “waste not, want not”.