At Slimming World, we’re determined that your budget shouldn’t be a barrier to eating healthily and getting the weight loss you want. There’s a real focus on low-cost living in our groups, with members sharing delicious recipes, cost-cutting cooking hacks and their best bargain buys.
8 tips to help shrink your food bill
1. Go ‘batch’ to basics
Making batches of soups, curries, sauces and even ready-made roasted vegetables is a great way to repurpose leftovers or any other odds and ends of food which need using up. And if you choose freezer-friendly recipes, you can stash easy meals away for another day.
Michele Bradbury, a Slimming World Online member from Queensland, Australia, says: “I find soups a lifesaver – I tend to fill them with whatever veg I have left in the fridge, so I don’t have to throw anything away, and then freeze them. They’re great to take to work or on a picnic in a flask. And whenever I make a sauce for lasagne or pasta, I chuck in any veg that’s looking a bit past its prime and freeze meal-size portions for the next time I need a quick dinner.”
2. Love your list
Hitting the supermarket armed with a shopping list (and sticking to it!) is a favourite strategy among our members. They also suggest limiting store visits to once a week, shopping online and only taking cash, so you can’t go over your allocated budget.
Member Lynnette Maling, from Herne Bay, Kent, says: “I look out for the fruit and veg that’s on offer in the supermarket, then I search for recipes that use those ingredients on the Slimming World app and include them in my weekly menu. As well as being budget-friendly, it means I get to enjoy a nice variety of dishes over the month, and I often end up trying meals I would never have thought of.”
There are 2,000 mouth-watering recipes on our exclusive member website, so you’ll never be stuck for what to cook!
More for members: Discover the magic of meal planning, with tips and tools to make it easy
3. Use your freezer
You might be surprised at some of the foods that can be frozen. Many of our members keep their milk, bread and eggs (yes, really!) on ice until needed – an easy, freezy way to avoid waste.
Andria Walker, a Slimming World Online member from Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, says: “I buy a huge box of chicken breasts from my local butcher, then I separate the fillets out, dice them up and portion the chunks into ziplock bags. That way I can just take exactly what I need out of the freezer. It’s cheaper to buy in bulk and I never waste anything. Big bags of frozen fruit and veg are a real bargain, too.”
More for members: Here’s how to Food Optimise your freezer
4. Buy own-brand
Swapping to supermarket own-brand products and ‘essentials’ ranges is a simple win when it comes to reducing food bills.
Mary Cameron, from Sidlesham, West Sussex, says: “I tend to buy the supermarket’s brands for canned foods, like mackerel in tomato sauce, chopped tomatoes, kidney beans and chickpeas. They’re much cheaper and taste just as good.”
This cheesy minestrone soup uses lots of store-cupboard staples.
More for members: Make the most of canned goods with our seven-day store-cupboard menu
Budget-friendly Food Optimising
Our flexible plan works brilliantly for money-savvy slimmers. It’s built on a foundation of unlimited Free Food – foods which help fill you up and leave you feeling satisfied for longer. These include lots of low-cost staples – such as pasta, potatoes, rice and fresh vegetables – so you can enjoy a delicious money-saving menu and get a great result on the scales.
5. Save energy
With gas and electricity costs rising, our members are getting canny about their cooking choices, from selecting the most economical settings to ensuring the oven’s full when it’s on. Energy-saving appliances like microwaves, slow cookers and air fryers are proving popular, too, with some tasty recipes being shared in group.
Kimberley Robinson, who attends a group in Witham, Essex, says: “I started researching energy-saving ideas and found that an air fryer uses a third of the energy of your oven, and it’s healthier as well. I use it for all sorts now.”
More for members: Meet our melt-in-the-mouth slow-cooker recipes
6. Bulk out meals
Many of our members are making their meals stretch further for less by adding cheaper ingredients. Lentils, rice, beans and veg are fantastically filling Free Foods.
Geraldine Roche, from Banbridge, Co. Down, says: “I make mince go further by adding red lentils and diced root veg to my bolognese sauce. You can also add mashed butternut squash or sweet potato to beef mince when you’re making home-made burgers – it’s cheaper and it tastes great!”
More for members: We’ve replaced pricy lamb for low-cost lentils in this comforting shepherd’s pie
7. Shop smarter
Choosing canned and frozen veg, selecting in-season fresh produce and looking out for wonky veg can help you spend less. Buying from local markets can also be more cost-effective, and apps like Too Good to Go sell supermarket and restaurant food that would otherwise end up in the bin at super-low prices.
Slimming World Consultant Julie Muirhead, from Andover, Hampshire, says: “I always use our local fruit and veg stall because they have a fantastic selection – much better than most supermarkets – that’s excellent value for money and it lasts longer, too.”
8. Bag the best offers
Lots of our members shop in the evenings, when some items are reduced. Signing up to loyalty card discounts and cashback voucher schemes can also save extra £££s at the supermarket.
Dean Simpson-Humphreys, from Liverpool, has lost 4st with Slimming World. He says: “I gave up my job as an NHS manager to care for my husband, and money was tight. I started shopping for marked-down stuff. You never knew what you’d be able to get, so you had to be creative – and I loved the challenge of coming up with new Food Optimising recipes! My top tip is to find out what time of day your local supermarkets put the ‘yellow sticker’ products on display, as you’ll get the best selection then.”
Save and slim with Slimming World
We’re here to help you shop, cook and eat in a way that suits your lifestyle, and that includes working within your weekly budget. For more money-saving tips and our best low-cost recipes, head to your local Slimming World group or join our Community at Slimming World Online.