When you’re trying to save cash, you’ll probably cut down on nights out, new clothes, holidays and plenty of other luxuries.
But it turns out that Britons are also slashing their food bills, spending £601 less a year on food now than four years ago.
The drop, revealed in VoucherCode.co.uk’s Annual Food Spend Study, amounts to a 14% drop in overall spend on food since 2013, putting the UK food spend at the lowest it’s been since then.
The research quizzed 2,000 British adults on how much they spend on groceries, takeaways and meals out. It found the average British adult now spends around £3,680 on food each year – £43 less than at the start of 2015, £177 less than 2014 and £601 less than 2013.
Grocery expenditure has fallen by 6% since 2013, but the biggest saving is due to people cutting back on their takeaways.
Over the past four years, Brits have slashed their takeaway spending by 28%, reducing their intake from 133 each year in 2015, to 121 in 2016.
Almost half of the people questioned (47%) agreed they eat fewer takeaways now than four years ago and, on average, cook from scratch around four times a week.
Asked why they choose to cook at home rather than eat out or order in, half the people (50%) said it was because it was cheaper, while 51% agreed it’s healthier.
Eating in means the average adult spends 25% less on meals in restaurants or bars than they did in 2013, reducing their annual spend from £828 in 2013 to £615 in 2016.
When it comes to overall food spending, men are savvier than women, the research suggests.
Men may spend around £30 more per year than women when it comes to takeaways and eating out, but women splash the cash on groceries, spending £213 more on food at the shops.
That means the average man now saves £183 more on overall food spend compared to his female counterpart.
Regionally, people from Aberystwyth are found to be the most frugal on food spending, forking out £3,302 a year –10% lower than the national average and 23% lower than the city that spends the most on food – Wolverhampton.
Wolverhampton residents spend £4,314 on food, taking the top spot from London, which was pushed down to second place with an outlay of £4,247 each year.
Anita Naik, lifestyle editor of Vouchercodes.co.uk, said: “It’s really great to see British consumers showcasing their savvy shopping habits and spending so much less on food overall.
“Just making a few easy tweaks when it comes to the weekly shop, such as taking advantage of supermarket sales and limiting food waste, can save you hundreds of pounds over the year.
“Although spending on takeaways and eating out has significantly lowered and saved UK families a tidy sum, eating out is still a preferable and regular food choice for many.”