With 3 in 4 adults in the UK concerned about the increasing cost of living, we all need to be more mindful of our spending. To help you save money, we're exploring simple and effective supermarket swaps.

Take a look at these simple grocery alternatives and see how you can have more budget-friendly food shops.

Cereal = porridge oats OR toast 

Make your breakfast both cheaper and healthier by switching your usual shop-bought (and often sugary) cereals for porridge oats or toast. Not only will it provide you with cheap meals for the week, but you can also mix things up with a range of fruits, nut butter and spreads. Need some inspiration? Look online for a range of recipes that will help you spruce your dishes up.  

Fresh fruit and vegetables = frozen fruit 

Just because you want to reduce your food bill, it doesn't mean you have to say no to certain groceries. For instance, berries. They're delicious and packed with goodness, but they do come with a relatively high price tag. 

So, rather than buying fresh punnets of berries, why not choose frozen alternatives instead? As well as getting more for your money, these budget-friendly grocery swaps will also last longer. Plus, it's not just fruit; you'll also find a range of veggies such as broccoli, spinach and sweetcorn in the frozen section. 

Cans of beans and pulses = dried alternatives 

Next time you shop, consider trying dried chickpeas, kidney beans, and lentils instead of the canned versions. Dried staples come in larger quantities and have a longer shelf life.

While they require a bit more planning, needing to be soaked for a few hours before use, the benefits and delicious meals they offer are well worth the slight extra effort!

Fresh fish = tinned fish 

High in omega-3, vitamin D and riboflavin, fish doesn't have to mean breaking the bank. An easy way to add fish to your cheap healthy shopping list is by buying canned red salmon, sardines, and anchovies. So there you have it; an easy way to get your dose of vitamins and minerals for a fraction of the price. 

Chicken cuts = whole chicken 

Save money easily by adding a whole chicken to your weekly shopping list instead of buying individual cuts for each meal. The meat offers numerous affordable meal ideas for both lunch and dinner. Additionally, you can use the carcass to make a delicious chicken soup stock. A budget-friendly and versatile choice for your meals!

WEA money-saving grocery tips

Mince = pulses and mince 

While this one isn't a straight swap, it will definitely help your beef or lamb mince last longer. The next time you're planning a chilli, bolognese, burger (or other mince-based recipes), try switching the recipe from a meat-only meal to a 50/50 mix of meat and pulses/lentils. By making that simple change, you'll get double the quantity and still enjoy the same great taste for your family meals.  

Crisps = popcorn kernels 

Pringles cans may be increasing in price but you can still get your snack fix with this DIY (and healthier) alternative. Popcorn is full of antioxidants and can provide you with that salty, or sweet, fix you're looking for. Double win. Add some fun, and save more money, by switching the microwavable popcorn pouches for bags of kernels and pop them yourself in a saucepan before adding some melted butter and seasoning of your choice. 

Chicken breast = chicken thighs 

Sure, chicken breasts are convenient, but if you consider the cost, using thighs in your meals might be a wiser choice. After removing the bone and skin, chicken thighs can be cooked just like chicken breasts.

Also, many believe that chicken thighs are juicier! So, you could say that this budget-friendly food swap comes with added benefits!

Rice = couscous 

One of the more unconventional food swaps, rice can often be substituted for couscous in your meals. It may not be one of the biggest price differences, but couscous is usually a more affordable alternative to rice, and just as tasty. It's also quick and easy to prepare. 

Tomato sauce = canned tomatoes 

Why spend extra on a jar of sauce for your pasta dish when you could easily make your own and pocket those pounds? Simply trade in your branded product for a tin of tomatoes, some herbs, spices and a reasonable budget recipe, and before you know it you'll have a delicious sauce in no time. 

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About the author

Kay Field

Digital Marketing Officer

Kay is the Digital Marketing Officer at the WEA.