Tried and tested: 7 ways to save serious money on the food front

Living in Dublin city takes its toll on our wallets and while politicians are completely failing us at handling the housing crisis, we are left with two options: playing the Euromillions, or learning ways to make the most with what is left in our bank account after rent is paid.

Some expenses are hard to minimise – i.e. transport, electricity, health – but you can make a big difference on the state of your finances if you get smart with your food.

With a few simple tips, you could end up saving hundreds if not thousands of Euro a year. 

1. Eat at home as often as possible…

It goes without saying, but eating out is expensive and without even going crazy, one dinner out a week can cost you a minimum of 100 Euro a month. 

2…. and we don't mean takeaways

When we say eat at home, we mean make your own dinner.

A takeaway might seem reasonable once in a while – hungover Sundays for instance – but a tenner here and a tenner there seriously add up.

3. Yes, it goes for lunch as well

We know, making lunch every day is a commitment but it is a smart way to a) save money and b) eat healthier.

No need to make life complicated: make a big batch of pasta or quinoa at the beginning of the week and have fun with some cheap toppings: cucumber, tomatoes, peppers, avocado, corn, beans, leftover roasted veggies, boiled eggs, tuna, leftover chicken, pine nuts, sundried tomatoes, fresh herbs, cheese…  

4. Buy what is in season / on offer

Every shop has weekly offers on specific foods.

Have a look at what you can buy from the cheap shelf before you start your shopping.

5. Don't buy too much at once

Buying in bulk might seem like a good idea at first, but if you end up binning half of it, it remains a big waste of money.

Buy in bulks foods that have a long shelf life, like cans of tuna, pasta or beans, and avoid it for fresh food. 

6. Eat less animal protein

Animal protein like meat, fish and cheese come at a price, and we would recommend reducing the amount you buy and prioritise the quality.

Meanwhile, make seasonal vegetables and carbs (such as pasta, potatoes, rice, beans) the base of your diet. Eggs are a healthy and cheap option to get your protein too. 

7. Refuse to waste food

To make sure your food doesn't end up in the bin, only buy the food you need (or that keeps for a long time) and only go shopping if you REALLY need to.