How to cut the cost of your weekly shopping bill
For most families, weekly shopping is an expensive and time-consuming exercise and if you don’t watch your budget like a hawk it’s easy for costs to escalate – leaving you wondering where the money went at the end of the week.
But there are some simple tips that will help you cut the cost of your shopping, including some ideas for cheap groceries and budget food. Here’s our top 10 tips:
- Go generic – sure some of the generic or home brand stuff isn’t that great but when it comes to staples like pasta, flour and sugar all brands are pretty much equal, and the generic brands are loads cheaper than the name brands.
- Limit your trips to the supermarket – if you shop once a week, you’re far more likely to spend less than if you find yourself heading to the supermarket every few days.
- Plan ahead – think about what you’re going to make for dinner for the next 7 days and get everything down on a list. Shopping with a list leaves less room for distraction and means you’re less likely to need a mid week dash to the grocery store for some extra ingredients (and a few other things while you’re there!)
- Find your local ALDI – if you’re not already getting your groceries at ALDI you’re missing out on some cheap shopping. You probably won’t find absolutely everything you want but you’ll come close.
- DIY – it’s super easy to make your own washing powder, dishwashing liquid and cleaning agents. For some great DIY ideas, head to Stay at Home Mum, Wellness Mama or DIY Natural.
- Shop on a full stomach – we’ve all done it, head out hungry and odds are you’ll end up buying something for lunch that you could have made at home for a fraction of the cost.
- Shop around the perimeter – that’s where all the freshest food is and it’s usually a lot cheaper (and healthier!) to make meals using fresh ingredients than it is to buy the packaged or pre-made things you’ll find in the aisles and freezers.
- Experiment with soups – now that we’re in Autumn it’s the perfect time to give the family a hearty soup for dinner. Coupled with some fresh bread rolls it’s satisfying, healthy and cheap to make. Check out WiseBread and Country Living for some super-tasty soup ideas.
- Grow your own veggies – you don’t even need to have a back yard, you can grow veggies and herbs in pots. Autumn is the perfect time for planting beans, cauliflower, tomatoes and zucchini. A great veggie site that will tell you all about the right vegetables to grow based on the season and your location is About the Garden.
- Make extra portions – it doesn’t usually cost much more to make a little extra, which you can then use for lunches or pop in the freezer for the night that you really don’t feel like cooking and you’re tempted to order takeout.
By taking a systematic and planned approach to your shopping you’ll be surprised how much you can save – and that’s money that you can squirrel away or use for that big-ticket item you’ve been longing for. But if your budget is stretched a bit too far or you need some emergency funds quickly, check out our mini loans - they're simple, easy and affordable.