We all pass through stages in life where money is tight. Thankfully for us, there are a few expenses that we can quite easily eliminate, such as cable TV, gym memberships, and eating out at restaurants. On the other hand, there are other costs that we simply can’t avoid. Debt repayments, rent and school fees are just some of the necessary expenses that are fixed and there’s little we can do about it. Having said that, there is one necessary expense where we can all save a considerable amount of money; and that expense is food.
Having conducted some research, I’ve found there are a multitude of ways in which we can all save on food expenses. It goes without saying, eating out at restaurants is far more expensive than eating at home, but I’m referring to saving money on your weekly grocery bills. You’ll be delighted at just how much money you can save by adopting some general guidelines, so here are some useful tips that can save you thousands of dollars each year on your grocery bills.
Plan your meals and create a shopping list
Have you ever needed to throw out food simply because it’s past its expiration date? I know I have! By planning every meal of the week, you can ensure that you just spend money on food that is needed. Take a look in your pantry to find what ingredients you currently have, which ingredients you have to buy, and create a list of all the ingredients you’ll need for the coming week.
Many of us are guilty of impulse buying at the supermarket, so planning your meals and purchasing only the ingredients on your list will drastically minimise any impulse buying. Don’t forget to always keep a pen and paper in the kitchen, so when you run out of a specific ingredient, you can write it down immediately and perhaps eliminate a 2nd trip to the grocery store. And always shop for food on a full stomach!
Don’t bring your kids to the grocery store
Often it can be tricky to organise, but if you go grocery shopping when your kids go to school or at night when there’s someone to keep an eye on them, you’ll save a great deal of money. Not only can you shop quicker, but you don’t need to exhaust your energy by saying ‘NO’ to your children every aisle. Generally this can be frustrating, so lots of people will give in here and there, and these needless items will add up throughout the year a lot more than you’d envision.
Go shopping in the evening
Speaking of shopping in the evening, you’re likely to stumble on the best prices at this time of day. Large supermarkets will typically discount products when they’re overstocked, and perishable goods such as bread, fruit and vegetables will also likely to be marked down. Even though it may seem a little bit cruel after a long day, you can bag a lot of bargains by shopping in the evening.
Buy in bulk
It should come as no surprise that buying in bulk will save you money, particularly on discounted items. Be careful though, you don’t want to buy excessively and waste food, but always keep in mind that you can cook meals and freeze them for later in the week (or month). Bread, cheese, and butter will last approximately three months in the freezer, and meat products will usually last up to six months. Just make sure you have enough room in your freezer first!
Have a go at discounted grocery stores
Discounted grocery stores such as Aldi will always have items that are more affordable than the supermarket giants like Coles and Woolworths. Conversely, some goods will be more expensive, so try finding bargains at discounted grocery stores prior to visiting your normal grocery store. While you may not recognise some of the brands, the quality of the food is basically the same. The design is also different, so it may take a bit of getting used to, but if you need to save money on food then this is a terrific idea.
If you’re going through financial issues, always keep in mind that there are practical ways to save a considerable amount of money on one of your largest expenses. By making some minor changes in conjunction with a dash of discipline, you could potentially save thousands of dollars each year on your grocery bills.
If you find that your financial situation is still worsening, it’s always better to seek financial advice sooner rather than later. Talk with the specialists at Bankruptcy Experts Taree on 1300 795 575, or visit our website for additional financial advice: www.bankruptcyexpertstaree.com.au