How to save money on expensive treats when sticking to a food budget – or how I get my favourite chocolate for less
I’ll admit it. I’m a bit of a food snob. I like fancy chocolate and expensive ice cream and always buy Heinz sauces. I cook mostly from scratch, usually with meat and veggies I’ve bought from the reduced section and sometimes it’s nice to have something that feels like a bit of treat when we’re cutting back so much elsewhere. Since reducing our monthly food budget to just £50 (you can read about it here) I’ve had to try and find ways to sneak in some of my favourite luxuries for less.
Hotel Chocolat is My Favourite Chocolate
Hotel Chocolat is my absolute favourite confectioner. Particularly their caramel flavour chocolate which I find hard resist it as special treat. It doesn’t come cheap though. My favourite bar of their chocolate is £3.85 for 100grams. Compare that to your standard Dairy Milk chocolate bar which is just 97.2p per 100grams and you can begin to see what an expensive treat this is. However, I have found a few ways to feed my posh chocolate cravings for less
When you head to Hotel Chocolat they will almost always have free samples on the go. Chocolate samples are usually given out by a member of staff or will be on one of the shelves with a sign telling you to help yourself. Great if you fancy trying before you buy.
Hotel Chocolat offer a small discount for buying in bulk. For example, the selector bars are discounted if you buy three or more saving around £2.00 per three selectors bought. Chocolate is also reduced when it becomes short dated so I always try and pop in towards the end of the month to see if I can grab any bargains.
If you want a really small treat the Tiddly Pots of chocolate buttons are a bargain at just £1.95 and come in 5 different flavours.
02 Priority App
This is an app for customers using the O2 network and is great for freebies and treats. You show a code on the app in store and the item is free or discounted. They have lots of great freebies, including some from Hotel Chocolat. Items are often seasonal and I picked up free bars of chocolate at Valentines and Easter this year.
First of all I always check the sale section of the Hotel Chocolat website. If they have a lot of seasonal stock to get rid of there is often a mystery box available with a selection of random chocolates at a hugely discounted price. They also have seasonal, discontinued and short-dated stock with 50-70% off the RRP.
Before ordering anything online I always try to see if I can find a discount or free delivery code and if there is cashback available for the site I’m using. Note that discount codes and Cashback can’t always be used together. (Click Topcashback to sign up)
You could also sign up to the Hotel Chocolat Tasting club. Your first box is just £9.99 (RRP£22.99) and it includes a free bag of salted caramel or ginger puddles. There are a fair few different boxes to choose from. This is a subscription service so please remember to cancel after receiving your first box. Even if your not keen on the chocolate yourself, you could always do this and keep it back as gift for a foodie friend or relative.
Nothing beats a good doughnut and they don’t come much better than these. They are far cheaper the more you buy, so we’ll often treat ourselves to a dozen or double dozen and then freeze any we are not going to eat immediately.
You can also claim a free doughnut when you sign up to the Krispy Kreme newsletter here. This voucher can also be used at some Tesco stores and other concession stands as well as in-store at Krispy Kreme. Try downloading the Krispy Kreme app for various rewards including a free doughnut on your birthday.
Luxury Ice Cream
I bloomin’ love ice cream and have been known, on occasion, to go home and treat myself to an entire tub after a particularly tough day at work. My two favourites are Ben & Jerrys Cookie Dough and Hagen Daaz salted caramel. However, there is no way I can justify the hefty £4-£5 RRP which would be almost 10% of my monthly food budget (which you can read about here)
I am lucky enough to have several large supermarkets in my town. This gives me the opportunity shop around to save money. Personally, I enjoy visiting different supermarkets to see what bargains I can find but I realise some people may feel it’s more hassle than it’s worth.
Always check the MySupermarket app to compare prices before shopping. One of the big four usually has one of my favourites on offer for about half price, which takes it down to around £2.50. My local Farm Foods seem to usually have Ben & Jerries for between £1.99 and £2.50 as their regular price. Less popular flavours are sometimes reduced to make way for new products. Last time this happened I got a tub of PB&J Ben & Jerries for 87p!
I’d love to know which food items you consider a luxury and how you find them for less!
Written by the lovely Fiona from Savvy in Somerset, check her fab money saving ideas from only spending £50 a month on shopping, to tips on saving money on your food shop on this link…….