How to save money on groceries – 15 ways to save
The monthly grocery bill punches a big hole in most family budgets. It's amazing how expensive feeding and caring for a small tribe can be. But there are lots of ways to get more bangers for your buck when it comes to life's staples. Try these tips:
- Shop online for groceries. This helps to ensure that you stick to your shopping list and many sites will also sort products by their price making it easy to find the cheapest option.
- Avoid going to the supermarket every day. Plan to shop only once a week because $20 here or there each day really adds up. By shopping less there is less chance for impulse buys which can eat into your budget. If you shop less often, it also forces you to use up what is in the pantry so there is less waste.
- Buy fruit and vegies at markets. They are much cheaper and often fresher. Even better, you can buy in bulk and split it with family and friends to magnify the savings.
- Buy essentials in bulk and store until needed. Toilet rolls, dishwasher tablets and washing powder are always cheaper bought in large quantities. You can buy dishwasher tablets from online companies like Spreets and washing powder from places like Mitre 10. Costco and Aldi are also great places to stock up on basics such as baked beans, pet food and dishwashing liquid, dry pasta and other non-perishables.
- Buy generic products like Homebrand because they’re often no different. Flour, sugar, and soft drink is considerably less than “name” products.
- Save money on meat by buying whole. For a family it’s cheaper to buy a couple of whole chickens than buying breasts. You can use the breasts for one dinner, the thighs and wings for another then use the carcass to make stock for a veggie soup. Simply learn how to cut up a whole chicken. Likewise a lamb shoulder will be cheaper than a leg and just as tasty if you cook it slowly. If you buy meat in bulk with friends and family you can split the meat and split the cost.
- Work your freezer. Buy meat, frozen berries and other items in bulk and pull them out when you need them. Smoothies are a great healthy breakfast for kids and easy if you’ve chopped up cubes of pineapple or have frozen over-ripe bananas.
- Save money on your food by not wasting it. Plan your meals and write a shopping list so you only buy what you need. Also, use what you’ve bought. Many people over-purchase vegetables then throw them out when they perish. If veggies are getting towards their use-by date, turn them into soup.
- Plan meat-free meals. By cooking with chickpeas or cannellini beans you’ll save on the cost of meat and also be teaching your family to enjoy a more varied diet. With recipes widely available online you simply have to google to find low cost meals made with protein alternatives.
- Cook more than you need for dinner so you can have it for lunch the next day or even stretch to a second dinner. There is usually less waste so you save money.
- Talk to your supermarket staff and find out what days and times products tend to go on special. Sites like OzBargain can help.
- Don’t shop when you’re hungry because it’s been proven you will buy more.
- Every fortnight go through your pantry and work out what you can use up.
- Keep a list of the 20 recipes you most often cook inside the pantry door so you’re never short of inspiration. In the same vein, don’t pay premiums for pre-made lasagnas and pasta sauces when you can make your own for a fraction of the price.
- Listen to your own music through headphones when you shop. Studies show that stores play music with a slower beat to encourage you to move more slowly down the aisles, leading you to buy more. Upbeat songs will move you through faster and lead you to spend less.