Most of us experience phases in life where money is tight. Luckily for us, there are specific expenses that we can easily do away with, like cable television, gym memberships, and eating out at restaurants. On the contrary, there are other expenses that we simply can’t avoid. Debt repayments, rent and school tuition are just some of the necessary expenses that are fixed and there’s little we can do about it. Having said this, there is one necessary expense where we can all save a lot of money; and that expense is food.
Having conducted some research, I’ve discovered there are a range of ways in which we can all save on food expenses. Naturally, eating out at restaurants is far more expensive than eating at home, but I’m talking about saving money on your weekly food bills. You’ll be amazed at just how much money you can save by adopting some practical guidelines, so here are some helpful tips that can save you thousands of dollars each year on your grocery bills.
Plan your meals and prepare a shopping list
Have you ever needed to toss out food simply because it’s past its expiry date? I know I have! By planning every meal of the week, you can be sure that you only spend money on food that is needed. Look in your pantry to see what ingredients you presently have, which ingredients you need to buy, and write a list of all the ingredients you’ll need for the coming week.
Most of us are regretful of impulse buying at the grocery store, so planning your meals and buying only the ingredients on your list will greatly diminish any impulse buying. Remember to always keep a paper and pen in the kitchen, so when you run out of a certain ingredient, you can jot it down quickly and potentially prevent a 2nd trip to the grocery store. And always go grocery shopping on a full stomach!
Don’t bring your children to the supermarket
Sometimes it can be tricky to organise, but if you go grocery shopping when your children go to school or in the evening when there’s someone to babysit them, you’ll save a considerable amount of money. Not only can you shop faster, but you don’t need to drain your energy by saying ‘NO’ to your kids every aisle. Normally this can become over-bearing, so a lot of people will give in occasionally, and these needless products will add up throughout the year far more than you’d envision.
Go shopping in the evening
Speaking of shopping at night, you’re most likely to come across the best prices at this time of day. Large grocery stores will normally discount items when they’re overstocked, and perishable goods like bread, fruit and veggies will also likely to be discounted. Even though it may seem a bit harsh 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 cautious though, you don’t want to purchase excessively and waste food, but always bear in mind that you can cook meals and freeze them for a later time. Bread, butter, and cheese will keep about three months in the freezer, and meat products will typically last up to six months. Just ensure that you have enough room in your freezer first!
Have a go at discounted supermarkets
Discounted grocery stores such as Aldi will always have products that are less costly than the supermarket giants like Woolworths and Coles. However, some items will be more expensive, so try finding bargains at discounted grocery stores before heading to your normal grocery store. Even though you may not recognise some of the brands, the quality of the food is essentially the same. The structure is also different, so it may take a bit of getting used to, but if you intend to save money on food then this is a superb idea.
If you’re going through financial challenges, always keep in mind that there are basic ways to save a considerable amount of money on one of your largest expenses. By making some modest changes as well as a dash of discipline, you can potentially save thousands of dollars every year on your grocery bills.
If you find that your financial circumstance is still worsening, it’s always better to seek financial advice sooner rather than later. Contact the professionals at Bankruptcy Experts on 1300 795 575, or visit our website for additional financial advice: www.bankruptcyexperts.com.au