A MONEY-SAVING guru has shared her top tips on how to look after the pounds when it comes to your weekly food shop.
Social media influencer Lara Jarvis, whose profile is @lara.joanna.jarvis, has built a huge online following sharing hacks and advice on how to save money – and they’ve never been more important with rocketing bills due to the cost of living crisis.
Now, exclusively for Fabulous, Lara reveals all of the simple tiny tweaks you can make that will go a long way – from ignoring best before dates to her genius kettle hack.
Speaking about what to bear in mind when browsing your local supermarket’s aisle, Lara tells us: “There’s a difference between use by and best before dates.
“I usually ignore them all and rely on a sense of smell and look to see if they are ok – I often eat veg that is past its BBE by weeks as it’s still fresh.
“I’ve noticed the supermarkets are actually removing these from some produce to help with food wastage.”
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Meanwhile, it’s important to ensure you are picking up ingredients that won’t go to waste or sit in your fridge.
Lara continues: “Bulking out meals with cheaper ingredients can help stretch them for longer – lentils, chickpeas, grated carrot and frozen veg can really help with costs.
“‘Chuck it all in’ dishes are my favourite way of using up all the tail ends of veggies in the fridge such as veggie pasta, chickpea curry or a lovely warming bowl of soup.”
Lara also maintains that there are certain types of food that should be avoided at all costs and not added to your weekly list.
Helping you make better choices
As we head back into our autumn routines Tesco understands that we all want to make choices for our family at the right prices – even when times are tight.
That’s why Tesco has created Better Baskets. With value at its heart, Better Baskets is all about helping us make better choices in the food we buy, the meals we make and the packaging we use. Lots of the products are on Aldi Price Match, Clubcard prices or Everyday Low Prices, too!
Look out for the Better Baskets logo every time you shop – it’s an easy way to help you fill your basket with better choices.
I usually ignore them all and rely on a sense of smell and look
She warns: “Don’t buy pre-packaged and pre-weighed food – often it’s much more expensive so check the price per kg.
“Also, don’t buy “ready made” foods like grated cheese, chopped onions, and peeled potatoes.”
And when you’re back at home, you can also continue to save money thanks to Lara’s final two tips.
Lara says: “Zero waste is key to saving money on your food bill. If you keep a diary of the cost of what you’re wasting it will soon change your behaviour.”
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“Also, only boil the kettle once in the morning and store this in a thermos flask to use throughout the day for further hot drinks without having to boil the kettle.”
This follows Lara’s latest social media video, which is all about how to make the food you buy in the supermarket last for longer, resulting in no leftovers.
In her TikTok post, Lara began by telling her 22,900 followers: “You can make your sandwiches in advance and freeze them for up to thirty days so they are there when you need them.
“Next up, if you’ve got some tail ends of spring onions, use what you need and then plant the rest – in about a months’ time, if the weather’s good, it will be there ready to crop for even more spring onions.”
Don’t buy “ready made” foods like grated cheese, chopped onions, and peeled potatoes
Lara’s third piece of advice is to cut up leftover lemons and freeze them until you need them.
Other things to consider are how you are storing your fruit and vegetables, as if you are doing it in the correct way, they will stay fresher for longer.
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Items such as raspberries and spinach should be washed, dried with a paper towel and then placed in a container with the paper towel so that it can “absorb any moisture.”
While garlic should be placed in a container and then popped into a “dark and cool place” so that it lasts longer without sprouting.
Further tips can be found on Lara's YouTube channel and Instagram with daily money saving advice, tips and hacks for living your best life on a budget, and don’t forget to head over to her blog, larajoannajarvis.com, for your free budgeting trackers.
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