Saving money on food bills and getting support

If you’re finding it hard to afford food for your family, this can be difficult and stressful. It may be helpful to know about some ways to cut costs and places to get support when you need it.


Think about when and how you shop to help you find cheaper or more affordable food. If possible, always write a shopping list to help you focus on the items you really need.

Supermarkets often have sections with reduced food at certain times – you can ask in your local shop when they put their offers out. These foods are usually close to their use-by date, so make sure you can use or freeze them in time. You may also find it helps to shop online as you can compare prices.

Vouchers and deals

You can pay less for food by using:

  • food apps – Too Good To Go or Olio tell you where you can get free or reduced food that would otherwise go to waste
  • supermarket points cards – these highlight current offers and let you earn points that you can use to pay for future shops
  • discount services – for example, the Blue Light card for those working in the NHS and emergency services or Totum, Student Beans and Unidays for students
  • deal websites like MoneySavingExpert – these tell you about the latest deals, but try to look only for what you planned to buy


There are some things you can do at home to help your food shop last for longer.

Batch cooking

Batch cooking or cooking in bulk is when you cook a large amount or ‘batch’ of food to use over multiple meals. You can make meals to eat over the following days or freeze portions for later. By having pre-prepared meals for when you’re short on time, you’re less likely to spend on impulse buys or order a takeaway. The BBC has a beginner’s guide to batch cooking.


As well as freezing any batch meals or leftover food, buying frozen food (or food suitable for freezing) will make food last longer and reduce waste. You can read guidance on what foods you can freeze and when you should use them by to get the best from the food.

Help and grants

If you need extra support or ways to find food for free, you can try:

Check what benefits you’re entitled to with Turn2Us and Help for Households.

Emotional support

It can feel upsetting if you’re struggling to afford food for your family. You may find it difficult to ask for support. It might help to:

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This advice was written by our experienced Parent Talk coaches. Parent Talk is a free online service for parents and carers provided by the charity, Action for Children. You can talk to our parenting coaches online using our 1:1 chat.

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