Hitting the supermarket – it’s a weekly (and sometimes daily) chore that most of us don’t find particularly enjoyable, especially when all those essential items have been zapped through the checkout and you get to see how much your teeny tiny trolley of goods is going to set you back. It certainly seems that as the volume of food in the trolley gets smaller, the bill at the end gets bigger – a real example of your money not going anywhere near as far as it used to.
According to a September 2019 article in The New Daily, us Aussies spend an average of $135 a week on groceries alone. We think there’s plenty of room for improvement there so here are our top tips that will help you to cut your weekly grocery bill, spend less and save money.
Plan ahead and make a list
Yes, it may sound simple but planning ahead is a sure-fire way to save you a lot of money. Create a weekly menu and list down everything that you need before heading to the supermarket. Don’t forget to include snacks and school lunch foods, and everything else that you need in the household for the week.
At the end of the day, you’ll be glad that you made a list because it will keep you focussed when you’re shopping and you won’t be as tempted to buy things that you’re never going to use (we’re all guilty of throwing out those unused zucchinis that looked tempting but never got to see the inside of a pan). And as an added bonus, you’re unlikely to forget anything so that means fewer trips to the supermarket!
Speaking of unused zucchini’s, have you ever realised how much of your food ends up as waste? A rotten tomato here, some forgotten left-overs there and before you know it, what was once perfectly good food gets thrown in the bin. So always buy and cook only what you will use, and if possible, buy alternatives that are not easily perishable such as snap-frozen veggies (or better yet, buy fresh and freeze them yourself; they’ll be much nicer, and cheaper, than store-bought). You’ll not only reduce waste (and do your bit for the environment), you’ll also save a few of your hard-earned bucks.
Forget about the brand
Buying the same brand for years often makes us develop some sort of loyalty and quite often, we buy it because, well, it’s a popular brand. But if you really want to cut your grocery bill, forget about the high-cost brands, and buy cheaper alternatives instead.
After all, rice is rice, and flour is flour, no matter what brand it is. Yes, we know that some brands really are just better than the others, but it’s worth giving the generic brands a go - your wallet will thank you for it. Most home brand products are good alternatives to name brands, but they’re much cheaper.
One of the fastest growing industries in Australia these days is online grocery shopping through the big supermarkets such as Woolworths online or Coles online. If you always end up getting bill shock at the cash register, one way to avoid it is to shop online. It will help you avoid impulse buys, and it will also help you track your spending because you can see how your total bill is adding up each time you place an item into your online shopping cart.
Plus, it’s even easier to compare prices and find cheaper options when you’re viewing the price list while you’re sitting on a couch (and that’s something you can never do when you’re in the middle of the supermarket and your three-year-old starts throwing a tantrum).
Reduce the meat
Okay, for the meat lovers out there, this may not be quite so easy, but it’s good for your health to cut back a little and it’s also good for your bank balance because meat can chew up (‘scuse the pun) a big chunk of your food budget. Hard as it may seem, try to plan your weekly menu with less meat. There are heaps of vegan choices and healthy vegetarian recipes that will fill you up just as much as the more expensive beef, lamb and chicken ones. Check out some great ideas in our recent blog here.
Shop on the same day every week
Scheduling your grocery shopping on a specific day every week will create a habit that will help you to buy for your exact needs, with just the right amount of food that will suffice for the whole week. This helps you to avoid extra trips to the supermarket where you may be tempted to buy stuff you don’t really need.
A final word
Follow these tips and you’ll definitely spend less at the supermarket. Those little savings can get stashed away for a rainy day, or to pay off some debt, or perhaps a family holdiay. And, if (like many Australians) your budget has got out of control and you need a little financial help to get things back on track, we’re here to help. Just check out our fast cash loans $1,000 - $5,000 to find out how quick and easy it is to get your hands on some extra funds. Once a loan is approved, we can usually deposit the cash into your bank account within a few hours - so you can keep your head above water while you use these money-saving grocery tips to help fund your next adventure!