All of us suffer through times in life where money is tight. Fortunately for us, there are particular expenses that we can simply eliminate, such as cable TV, 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 very little we can do about it. Having said that, there is one mandatory expense where we can all save a good deal of money; and that expense is food.
Having carried out some research, I’ve found there are a variety of ways in which we can all save on food expenses. Of course, 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 astounded at just how much money you can save by following some practical guidelines, so here are some useful tips that can save you thousands of dollars each year on your grocery bills.
Plan your meals and write a shopping list
Have you ever had to toss out food because it’s past its expiration date? I know I have! By planning every meal of the week, you can ensure that you only spend money on food that is really needed. Take a look in your kitchen to find 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.
Many of us are regretful of impulse buying at the supermarket, so planning your meals and buying only the ingredients on your list will considerably minimise 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 perhaps prevent a 2nd trip to the grocery store. And always shop for groceries on a full stomach!
Don’t bring your kids to the supermarket
Sometimes it can be tricky to organise, but if you go grocery shopping when your kids are at school or in the evening when someone can keep an eye on them, you’ll save a great deal 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. Generally this can become overwhelming, so a lot of people will give in here and there, and these nonessential items will add up throughout the year far more than you’d envision.
Go shopping in the evening
Speaking of shopping in the evening, you’re likely to find the best prices at this time of day. Large grocery stores will frequently discount items when they’re overstocked, and perishable goods like bread, fruit and veggies will also likely to be marked down. Though it may appear to be a little bit harsh after a long day, you can bag a lot of bargains by shopping at night.
Buy in bulk
It should come as no surprise that buying in bulk will save you money, especially on discounted items. Be cautious though, you don’t want to buy too much and waste food, but always remember that you can prepare meals and freeze them for a later time. Butter, bread, and cheese will keep about three months in the freezer, and meat products will typically last up to six months. Just be sure you have enough room in your freezer first!
Try discounted supermarkets
Discounted supermarkets such as Aldi will always have items that are less expensive than the supermarket giants like Woolworths and Coles. However, some goods will be more expensive, so try finding bargains at discounted grocery stores prior to visiting your normal supermarket. While you may not recognise some of the brands, the quality of the food is virtually the same. The structure is also different, so it may take a bit of getting used to, but if you wish to save money on food then this is a fantastic idea.
If you’re dealing with financial challenges, always bear in mind that there are practical ways to save a considerable amount of money on one of your largest expenses. By making some modest adjustments in conjunction with a dash of self-discipline, you can potentially save thousands of dollars annually on your grocery bills.
If you discover that your financial position is still worsening, it’s always better to seek financial guidance sooner rather than later. Call the specialists at Bankruptcy Experts Rockingham on 1300 795 575, or visit our website for more financial advice: www.bankruptcyexpertsrockingham.com.au