Six simple hacks to save thousands a year on groceries

Yuyumoe

In these strained financial times people are increasingly paying attention to where their money is going as times are tough. To help out we thought we’d give six easy tips to help you save on groceries that you can do before you visit the shops.

1. Visit to Your Kitchen First “Shopping in your pantry”

Problem: Food wastage is one thing that makes your grocery bills skyrocket. At home, rather than eating the leftovers, unused food may be forgotten leaving it to turn slimy and mouldy and eventually being thrown out.

Tips:

  • Make a visit to your kitchen 2 days before you go on a grocery shopping trip.
  • Take note of what food you have currently, and what needs to be eaten immediately.
  • Create a pantry or food list you need to finish off before the next purchase. For example, repurposing leftovers creatively like making great stew, pasta, simple home-made sandwiches, pie-fillings, or, simply rotate leftover meals such as dinner for lunch or vice versa.
  • Lastly, snap a photo of your fridge and pantry in case you need to check while you’re shopping.

Solution: Doing this eliminates buying any food item twice, smart rationing choices, and people become more aware of what they normally eat versus what they want to eat.


2. Set your Yourself a Budget & Limit for Grocery Shopping

Problem: It's never easy when it comes to balancing between: time, preference, income, store availability, seasons, life situations, and more. Unlike fixed expenses – rent, utilities, Netflix – a food budget is hard to nail down.

Tips:

  • Track what you actually spend for a month or how much did you spend last month?
  • Plan per week so that you can test different weekly budgets to find out what’s realistic.
  • Stick to a monetary value for your priorities. For example, Groceries: AUD$60/week | AUD$240/mo.

Solution: Rather than keeping your receipts, there are plenty of apps that help you track your spending and budgeting such as receipt jar , or if you’re in a pinch just write and down and put on the fridge.

3. Make A Shopping List

Problem: Without a plan, impulse purchases can literally drain you and your wallet.

Tips: There are different ways to create a list.

  • Some prefer conventional pen and paper style so you can use a magnetic notepad to tick off items as you buy them.
  • For others, you can store your grocery list on your phone and keep it open and ‘stick to it’ as you shop.

Solution: A productive grocery shopping starts with a fairly self-explanatory grocery list. Making a list helps to: avoid buying unnecessary items, less likely to forget what to buy, spend according to the planned budget, and stick to a cost-friendly shopping list.

4. Make A Meal Plan

Problem: If you are someone who likes to run to the grocery store to buy one item but walks out with multiple food bags, then that is one easy way to spend more than planned.

Tips:

  • Limit grocery shopping to once a week.
  • Write up a meal plan before shopping.
  • Google two to three recipes you can make from combining the leftovers in your kitchen.
  • Even if you have forgotten to buy an ingredient, substitute with something you already have at home.

Note: If you can, avoid recipes that require special ingredients.

Solution: Saves money and time from impulse buying due to less frequent visits to the store.

5. Buy from Wholesale/Local Market Over Retail Stores

Problem: Buying food from retail can be quite expensive compared to wholesale because first of all, retailers buy goods from wholesalers, then they increase the price on the ordinary cost by adding additional costs such as rent, wages, and other miscellaneous expenses they could pass down on customers.

Tips: Go to wholesale or food market:

  • At closing time, traders drop their prices considerably to clear stock, so try and get there in the last hour or so before closing.
  • Buy in bulk if the food you eat has a longer shelf life or are non-perishables. For example, white rice, beans, grains, flour, oats, cereal, pasta, frozen veggies and so much more that you could stock up for long periods of time.

Solution: Even before you begin to buy anything, you are already cutting costs by cutting out the middleman.

6. Go Vegetarian Once a Week or Try Healthy Dieting Plans

Problem: Since the pandemic outbreak, meat shortages have become a threat to grocery expenses.

Tips:

  • Go on a meat-free diet at least once or twice per week.
  • If not, you can try Keto diet plans which include meat and poultry but in a balanced proportion to your weight and health requirements.

Solution: Eating more plants can help reduce oxidative stress on your body, help your heart, skin, ingest more fiber and so much more. Do not worry about the protein deficiency as you can substitute with soybeans, nuts, and of coarse eggs.

Other Useful Tips To Consider

  • Avoid eating outside/takeouts/processed food.
  • Download grocery apps to shop online, enjoy great discounts and free delivery benefits.
  • Don't shop while you are hungry.
  • Try to shop alone.
  • Consider using a rewards credit card with a loyalty program partnered with your supermarket such as Coles and Woolworths. Or, shop at Aldi.
  • Always cook more so that you can freeze the leftovers for the next day.
  • Look out for clearances


Disclaimer: The author is not a financial advisor and the information provided is general in nature and was prepared for information purposes only. This article should not be considered to constitute financial advice. Accordingly, reliance should not be placed on this article as the basis for making an investment, financial or other decision. This information does not take into account your investment objectives, particular needs or financial situation.

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