Most of us go through phases in life where money is tight. Fortunately for us, there are particular expenses that we can easily eliminate, like cable TV, gym memberships, and eating out at restaurants. Despite this, 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 set and there’s little we can do about it. Having said this, there is one mandatory expense where we can all save a lot of money; and that expense is food.
Having undertaken some research, I’ve discovered there are a variety of ways in which we can all save on food expenses. Clearly, dining 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 surprised at just how much money you can save by adopting some practical guidelines, so here are some quick 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 had to toss out food simply because it’s past its expiration date? I know I have! By planning each meal of the week, you can ensure that you only spend money on food that is needed. Take a look in your kitchen to see what ingredients you currently have, which ingredients you need to buy, and create a list of all the ingredients you’ll need for the following week.
Most of us are regretful of impulse buying at the supermarket, so planning your meals and buying only the ingredients on your list will substantially minimise any impulse buying. Don’t forget to always keep stationary in the kitchen, so when you run out of a specific ingredient, you can jot it down immediately and possibly avoid a 2nd trip to the grocery store. And always shop for food on a full stomach!
Don’t bring your kids to the supermarket
Occasionally it can be hard to organise, but if you go grocery shopping when your kids go to school or at night when somebody can keep an eye on them, you’ll save heaps of money. Not only can you shop more quickly, but you don’t need to exhaust your energy by saying ‘NO’ to your children every aisle. Often this can become frustrating, so lots of people will give up occasionally, and these excessive items will aggregate over the year much more than you’d imagine.
Shop in the evening
Speaking of shopping at night, 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 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 cautious though, you don’t want to buy too much and throw away food, but always bear in mind that you can prepare meals and freeze them for later in the week (or month). Cheese, bread, and butter will last as much as three months in the freezer, and meat products will normally last up to six months. Just be sure you have enough room in your freezer first!
Try discounted supermarkets
Discounted grocery stores like Aldi will always have goods that are more affordable than the supermarket giants like Woolworths and Coles. However, some goods will be more costly, so try finding bargains at discounted supermarkets prior to heading to your usual supermarket. Though you may not recognise some of the brands, the quality of the food is practically the same. The structure 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 superb idea.
If you’re encountering financial troubles, always remember that there are basic ways to save a lot of money on one of your largest expenditures. By making some small adjustments coupled with a dash of self-discipline, you could potentially save thousands of dollars every 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. Phone the professionals at Bankruptcy Experts Coffs Harbour on 1300 795 575, or visit our website for additional financial advice: www.bankruptcyexpertscoffsharbour.com.au