Top 10 money-saving grocery swaps

The Good Food magazine has put together 10 simple swaps that, when followed weekly, can save over £500 in an annual food spend.

Rising food costs and an economic squeeze have left many of us facing compromises in our weekly grocery shop. No one wants to cut back on good grub so the best way to pinch pennies is by making simple swaps with everyday items. Substituting key foods may take some getting used to, but once you tot up the dramatic improvement to your shopping bill over the course of the year, it’ll be much easier to stomach. We’ve put together 10 simple swaps that, when followed weekly, can save you over £500 in an annual food spend.  


Swap 1: 4 chicken breasts for a whole chicken

A whole chicken is really reasonably priced (especially if you’re buying free range or organic), then very easy to cut up yourself. Follow our step-by-step guide below:

How to joint a chicken video 

Swap 2: 2 x ready-made pizza bases for packet bread mix

Packets of bread mix make brilliant pizza bases, plus they last for ages in the cupboard – so a tasty pizza is never far away. Just make up following pack instructions, roll out, top and bake straight away. There’s no need to rise or prove the dough.

Try it in: Tricolore pizza with basil oil

Swap 3: 750ml smoothie carton for a bag of frozen berries

Ready-made smoothies are delicious but expensive, so why not make your own? Bags of frozen fruit are cheap and packed with flavour, and a good way to buy fruit out of season.

Try it in: Breakfast smoothie 

Swap 4: 6 large eggs for 6 medium eggs

Unless you’re baking a cake, the size of eggs doesn’t make much difference, apart from on your shopping bill!

Try it in: Dippy eggs with Marmite soldiers

Swap 5: 500g granola for 500g porridge oats

A bowl of porridge fills you up until lunchtime for only a few pence. Or use it to make your own granola, it’ll still work out cheaper than bought.  

Try it in: Good-for-you granola

Swap 6: 1 litre olive oil for 1 litre vegetable oil

Olive oil tastes lovely in salad dressings but, for frying and browning, not many people will spot the difference if you use vegetable or sunflower. 

Try it in: Roast potatoes

Swap 7: 500g basmati rice for 500g couscous

Couscous is cheaper and quicker to cook than rice, and just as tasty alongside a curry if you spice it up.

Try it in: Spiced herb and almond couscous

Swap 8: Jar of tomato sauce for 2 cans tomatoes

Stop buying jars of ready-made tomato sauces for pasta, pizzas and stews. Canned tomatoes are cheap, and turning them into a homemade sauce takes only minutes and a few more cheap ingredients. It will freeze well too.  

Try it in: Tomato and basil sauce

Swap 9: 3 x 300g packs fresh cauliflower, broccoli and carrot for 1kg bag frozen veg

You can now get such a variety of vegetables frozen that they can make a great alternative to fresh. As they’re usually frozen very quickly after picking, not many of the nutrients are lost along the way.

Try it in: Broccoli and cauliflower cheese

Swap 10: 1kg bag potatoes for 500g bag pearl barley

Pearl barley is filling, nutritious and really versatile, as it absorbs other flavours so well, making it a nice accompaniment to stews. It also expands like you wouldn’t believe, so a small bag will do a few meals. 

Try it in: Hearty lamb and barley stew


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