The weekly shop can be a daunting task. Not only is it time consuming, but your shopping bill can also be one of the most expensive items in your weekly budget. But with just a little bit of effort, it’s easy to make a huge dent in your bill without even noticing. So what can we do about it? Read on for seven easy tips to make your shopping experience a lot easier and a lot cheaper!
1. Be careful with specials
Specials can be amazing money savers. The last time my favourite breakfast cereal was on special I bought literally 2 months worth and saved a tonne of money. BUT, it’s important to be careful not to change your spending habits for specials and end up spending more. Changing a little is fine, I bought broccolini instead of asparagus when it was on special the other day. But just because Ben and Jerry’s is 20% off doesn’t mean I’ll be buying 10 pints. Check out the app Frugl to compare specials at Woolworths and Coles.
2. Write a meal plan before you shop
The average family throws out $1,036 of food a year. That’s a lot of money in wasted food! And not only is this a budgeting issue, but it’s also an environmental one! So how do we reduce wastage? Write a plan! It’s a great opportunity to sit down with your family and decide what you want to eat for the week, buying only what is required by each recipe! This way, you make sure that you know exactly what you need.
3. Check price per unit
It can be difficult to work out which items are really cheaper when comparing different products. An easy trick is to look at the price per unit on the price tag. We’re lucky because in Australia this is compulsory to display in supermarkets. It gives you the price for every 100g, 100mL, kg or L. which makes it easy to compare different products.
4. Make sure you have a shopping list
Ok so you’ve done your meal planning, now you can make a list of what you need. Make sure you include quantities of perishable goods! You don’t want to buy a kilo of spinach only to let half of it wilt. Making a list also ensures that you don’t buy anything that you don’t need.
5. Don’t go when you’re hungry
We’ve all been there. Strolling the aisles of your local supermarket before you’ve eaten lunch and you suddenly decide you might need 6 family packs of Red Rock Deli honey soy chips. We’re far more likely to make bad food decisions for our wallet (and health) if we go shopping when we’re hungry. I always make sure to only go after I’ve just eaten something and I’ve noticed a big difference in my shopping bill.
6. Buy your meat from the butcher section
Not many people realise this, but pre-packaged meat in the fridge aisle costs more than when you buy it from the actual butcher section. For the same meat! Crazy right? Depending on how much you are buying, chicken breasts can be $2.50 more per kilo in the fridge section than the butcher. If you’re buying several kilos of meat a week, this could save you hundreds a year off you shopping bill!
7. Take note of everything you throw out
Another trick to make sure you reduce waste is to actually write down the food you throw out. This is a great way to pay more attention to food wastage and realise what you can save on for next week.
A few small tweaks to your habits can help you lower your monthly grocery bill, stick to your budget, and meet your money goals faster. Using these tips most families could cut at least $50 a week from their grocery shopping, and that adds up to $2,400 per year in savings!
What tips do you have that we missed? Let us know in the comments, we’d love to hear them!