For many of us, news of rocketing prices across food, clothing and fuel is worrying, and you may already be feeling the pinch on your household budget.
When trying to save money, it can help to be more organised when it comes to supermarket shopping, and avoid being reeled in by random discounts on things you don’t need, or accidentally buying too much of one thing and not enough of the other.
That’s why we love writer and author Jack Monroe’s tip for a kitchen stocktake so much – the Twitter thread on how to do it has been shared over a thousand times, so clearly plenty of people agree.
‘One of my best tips for keeping the food shop down to £20 a week is to do a full stocktake every now and then of what’s in the cupboard, fridge and freezer’ said Jack on Twitter.
The method involves dividing a piece of paper into four sections – – proteins, carbohydrates, fruit and vegetables, and flavours and snacks.
Here’s a snippet of my most recent one ? pic.twitter.com/16WTwetV1U
— Jack Monroe (@BootstrapCook) February 15, 2022
‘Then I go through the fridge, freezer and cupboard and note down every single thing I have in. When I’m feeling extra meticulous, I weigh it all, but usually I do an estimate of number of units or portions’ said Jack.
‘I then highlight things that need using imminently, so fruit on the turn, fresh produce nearing its use by date etc, and plan meals around them, adding in bits from the other columns.’
Jack advises starting with protein, then picking things from each column to create a balanced meal. ‘It means that my shopping list for the week is made up of “gap filling”’ explains Jack – thereby reducing impulse purchases, food waste and unnecessary expenditure.
Of course it’s worth stressing – and anti-poverty campaigner Jack is at pains to make clear – this is not a method that will be helpful to ‘those who have absolutely nothing in the cupboards’. However, for those of us lucky enough to have fairly well-stocked kitchens but who are looking to save on wasted food and money, it’s definitely a good idea to throw in a kitchen stocktake now and then. Not only will it save the pennies, but also will mean you’re less likely to throw food into the bin – a win-win.
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