Most of us pass through times in life where money is tight. Fortunately for us, there are certain expenses that we can readily eliminate, like cable television, gym memberships, and eating out at restaurants. On the other hand, there are other costs that we simply can’t avoid. Rent, debt repayments and school fees are just a couple 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 performed some research, I’ve found there are a number of ways in which we can all save on food expenses. Needlessly to say, dining out at restaurants is much more costly than eating at home, but I’m talking about saving money on your weekly grocery bills. You’ll be astounded at just how much money you can save by adopting some basic guidelines, so here are some useful tips that can save you thousands of dollars every year on your grocery bills.
Plan your meals and create a shopping list
Have you ever needed to toss out food because it’s past its expiry date? I know I have! By planning every meal of the week, you can be sure that you just spend money on food that is really needed. Look in your pantry to find what ingredients you currently have, which ingredients you have to buy, and write a list of all the ingredients you’ll need for the following 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 dramatically lessen any impulse buying. Don’t forget to always keep a pen and paper in the kitchen, so when you run out of a particular ingredient, you can write it down instantly and perhaps avoid a second trip to the supermarket. And always shop for food on a full stomach!
Don’t bring your kids to the grocery store
Often times it can be difficult to organise, but if you go grocery shopping when your kids go to school or in the evening when someone can watch them, you’ll save a considerable amount of money. Not only can you shop a lot quicker, but you don’t have to exhaust your energy by saying ‘NO’ to your children every aisle. Usually this can be frustrating, so lots of people will give in occasionally, and these unwanted items will add up throughout the year far more than you’d imagine.
Shop at night
Speaking of shopping in the evening, you’re most likely to uncover the best prices at this time of day. Large supermarkets will commonly discount goods when they’re overstocked, and perishable goods like bread, fruit and vegetables 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 careful though, you don’t want to buy too much and waste food, but always bear in mind that you can prepare meals and freeze them for later in the week (or month). Butter, bread, and cheese will keep as much as three months in the freezer, and meat will typically last up to six months. Just ensure you have enough room in your freezer first!
Have a go at discounted grocery stores
Discounted supermarkets such as Aldi will always have goods that are much cheaper than the supermarket giants like Woolworths and Coles. However, some goods will be more expensive, so try finding bargains at discounted supermarkets prior to visiting your normal grocery store. Though 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 intend to save money on food then this is a terrific idea.
If you’re encountering financial challenges, always bear in mind that there are useful ways to save a significant amount of money on one of your largest expenditures. By making some small changes together with a dash of discipline, you can potentially save thousands of dollars every year on your grocery bills.
If you discover that your financial circumstance is still worsening, it’s always better to seek financial advice sooner rather than later. Speak with the professionals at Bankruptcy Experts Gladstone on 1300 795 575, or visit our website for additional financial advice: www.bankruptcyexpertsgladstone.com.au