Food tax warning as prices continue to climb – and best ways to save your money | Personal Finance | Finance

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New post-Brexit import taxes on food from the EU began on the 30th April and could increase prices for consumers.

During a cost-of-living crisis, potential higher price tags on groceries mean consumers will need to shop more strategically than they have before.

The new import taxes have just come into force two days ago and the products in transit through the UK will pay £10 per consignment.

With that in mind, sustainability experts from have shared their top tips on mindful food shopping and consumption.

These tips could save shoppers hundreds of pounds over the year.

1. Move away the melons

Many fruits and vegetables produce ethylene, a natural gas that speeds up ripening. To extend the shelf life of your produce, any ethylene-producing items should be stored away from those sensitive to it.

For example, melons must be kept alone on the kitchen countertop, away from other fruits – otherwise they’ll ripen and go off quickly. Apples, bananas, and tomatoes should also be separated from greens, potatoes, and carrots. This prevents premature spoiling, food waste, and extra shopping trips to replace gone-off items.


2. Buy in bulk and prep meals

Bulk-buying can save money, especially when it comes to grains, dried beans, and certain frozen foods. You can still buy other foods that go off easily, simply freeze and use them later to extend their life.

After a full fridge and pantry, use the bulk items to meal prep for the week. For example, cooking a large batch of quinoa allows you to use it as a base for different meals during the week – a stir-fry with vegetables or a quinoa salad with feta and cherry tomatoes. Preparing meals ahead of time saves money and ensures you have healthy options on hand.

3. Time the supermarket discounts

Each supermarket has specific times they mark down items approaching their sell-by date. Typically, late evening or an hour before closing is a good time to check for last-minute sales on bakery items, fresh produce, and meats:

  • Tesco brings out the reduced items at 9pm
  • Asda anywhere between 5pm and 7:30pm
  • Morrisons after 5pm
  • Sainsburys around 7pm

This, of course, means the food needs to be cooked quite soon after purchase, but the savings are worth it.


4. Downshift brands

One of the easiest ways to cut costs is to switch from well-known brands to store or generic brands. These products are often similar in quality, with a small difference in terms of taste, but overall much cheaper. Downshifting cuts grocery bills by up to 30 percent, so even switching half the branded products you normally pick can still save you good money. Try switching out one or two items to begin with and enjoy every saving.

5. Compare and stick

Take some time to compare prices at different supermarkets and identify which one offers the best deals for the items you buy most regularly. Platforms like Trolley can easily do that for you with the option to upload full shopping lists. Once you’ve chosen the most cost-effective store, join their loyalty program to access special deals and promotions. This way you can reduce your grocery costs even more in the long-term.


6. Join Too Good To Go

For those days when the fridge is almost empty and you don’t feel like doing a full shop and cook, apps like Too Good To Go offer a great solution. This app connects you to local restaurants and stores that have excess food, which you can simply go, collect, and buy at a significant discount. It’s a big win-win situation: you save money, while also helping reduce food waste!


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