I’m a budget-savvy mum… my food shop tips & 8 brand swaps you can make now to instantly save £15 | The Sun

WITH the cost of living rising exponentially, there's no better time to start thinking and shopping smart to shave money off the weekly food shop.

And whether you're shopping for a large family or just yourself, it's not as hard as you might think to start really looking after the pennies and noticing a real difference.

From brand swaps to clever shopping hacks, here Fabulous columnist and 40-year-old mum-of-two Gemma Bird shares her thrifty top tips to have you saving in no time…

Own brand bargains

One way to dramatically slash your food shop bill is to swap from big name to own brand items.

And as Gemma – who is known as Money Mum to her 298k Instagram followers – demonstrates below, you can shave nearly £15 off instantly with just eight simple swaps.

Gemma says: "You may think you won’t like them, but with food prices skyrocketing, it's worth giving own brands a try, and many of them taste just as good!


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"When it comes to shopping in pound shops however, be sure you are getting the cheapest deal – don’t just take it for granted that it will be cheaper there.

"I have often found my own brand or special offer cleaning products in major supermarkets that work out cheaper."

8 simple own brand swaps to save nearly £15

Here are eight of Gemma’s top Tesco brand swaps to save money on your next shop…

+ Swap a 460g squeezy bottle of Heinz tomato ketchup costing £2.80 for Tesco's 555g squeezy bottle for 75p – not only are you getting more for your money, you're saving £2.05 too.

+ Instead of Hellmann's mayonnaise costing £1.99 for 450g squeezy bottle, buy Tesco's own brand for 85p – saving you £1.14.

+ Persil non bio laundry liquid costs £7.50 for 53 washes, whereas Tesco Non Bio Super Concentrated costs £3.17 for 60 washes – saving a whopping £4.33.

+ While Warburtons crumpets are 85p per six pack, Tesco's own brand version are 35p – saving 50p.

+ A pack of 240 Tetley original tea bags cost £3.99, while the same number of Tesco original bags come in at £2.90 – saving £1.09.

+ Diet Coke costs £1.77 for a two litre bottle. Swap this for a 50p two litre bottle of Tesco Xero Cola, and save £1.27 a time.

+Sacla classic basil pesto costs £2.75 for a 190g jar. Replace with Tesco classic pesto for £1.10 – saving £1.65.

+ Fairy original all in one lemon dishwasher tablets cost £6.75 for 37 tablets, whereas Tesco's all in one version costs £4 for 40, creating a saving of £2.75.

Total saving: £14.78

*All prices correct on Tesco's website at the time of publication.

Freeze your finances

Don't underestimate the power of your freezer, and how helpful it can be when utilised efficiently.

Gemma says: "Stock up on frozen veg – it's cheaper than fresh veg, and there’s zero waste.

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"If you have a small family, you can just grab what you need and get a clip for the freezer bags to keep it fresh.

"If your fridge is full, its actually better as empty freezers cost more to run.

"Fresh fruit doesn’t have to equal big waste either, as you can also freeze it, and a quick Google will tell you which fruits don’t freeze well.

Buy the yellow stickered bread and freeze it – it will defrost within the hour and is perfect for toast and sandwiches.

"When I asked my followers on social media, it turns out 44 per cent of them were not doing this already– and were spending more money as a result.

"Also, batch cook and pop it in the freezer – having something ready to go will help you quit pricey takeaways AND cut down on food waste."

Plan ahead

Failing to plan is planning to fail, as the saying goes, so doing the legwork before heading to the shops may take a little more time but can really save cash.

Gemma says: "Make a meal plan and take stock of what’s already in your cupboards – putting a bit of time and thought into it saves money.

"For example, on Monday, I might make spaghetti bolognese – I might already have pasta and tinned tomatoes in the cupboard, so I only have to buy the meat.

"Your meal plan will also help you stick to the shopping list – only buy what’s on the list – try not to pick up extra bits that you don’t really need."

Make the most of offers

Also, Gemma recommends joining supermarket mailing lists and newsletters for great savings.

She says: "58 per cent of my followers were not picking up supermarket magazines – they are free and often have coupon offers and great budget meal ideas.

"Also, there is often money off your first online shop – sign up with all the stores that do this and shop with a different one each week to maximise savings. 

"65 per cent of my followers said they would try using this hack.

"Make sure you also get the Reward Club card for whichever shops you use most – and keep it with you!

Keep track

Finally, keep track of what you're spending as you walk around the shop – you'd be surprised how odd bits and pieces you pick up can really make your bill skyrocket.

Gemma says: "Does your supermarket offer scanners? Grab one.

"It’s also too easy to guesstimate your overall bill wrongly and throw items in the trolley without realising the price.

"The scanner will help you stay on budget."

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Finally, make sure you take full advantage of vast array of apps out there.

Gemma says: "Free apps like Too Good To Go allow you to purchase unsold food at a big discount from top eateries at the end of service, and it prevents it being thrown away."

Win, win!

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