Meal planning, avoiding contactless and budgeting are among the top ways people in Watford keep costs down.

We asked our readers what they do to save money, either as a response to the cost-of-living crisis or just as general best practise.

The key seems to be preparation, the less time you have, the harder it is to make the best decisions with money.

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One commenter, Kimberly, took us through a typical family meal prep week. Typical meals include shepherd’s pie, spaghetti bolognese, pasta bake, chicken and cheese pasta, toad in the hole, chicken curry, and sausage and egg chips. All of which can be bought at once for less than £40 trip to feed three people for a week.

Kimberly said: “I budget when I get paid for 4 weekly shops and how much gas and electric I will use. I rely on universal credits so it can be a struggle but if you don’t mind cheaper brands, you can still eat nicely.

“Set a budget, don’t buy branded named stuff it's all the same stuff a tin of branded beans could be over £1 where a cheaper brand in £0.40p whilst we live in a world where prices keep rising, I would suggest buying cheaper there is hardly any difference."

Watford Observer:

Ray McKenna said: “To save money, pack lunches ahead of time, you can use the night before to prepare and save money the next day.

“Contactless makes spending money easy, so people just resort to the easy way instead of giving themselves time to prepare.”

Hetal Naik said: “Shop at Aldi and Lidl to save money. Always check and compare prices between supermarkets and use loyalty cards and coupons and pre-prepare lunches at home for work.”

Of course, food isn’t the only rising cost now and readers were also keen to share tips about saving on monthly bills.

Hetal added: “Walk to work if possible. Turn most electrical appliances off at night, don't leave them on standby. Cancel any memberships you don't use anymore. Use comparison websites for gas and electricity, insurance etc and follow Martin Lewis tips and advice.”