We all pass through periods in life where money is tight. Thankfully for us, there are a few expenses that we can simply do away with, such as cable television, gym memberships, and dining out at restaurants. Despite this, there are other expenditures that we simply can’t avoid. Debt repayments, rent and school fees are just some of the mandatory 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 conducted some research, I’ve found there are a multitude of ways in which we can all save on food expenses. It goes without saying, dining out at restaurants is much more costly than eating at home, but I’m referring to saving money on your weekly grocery bills. You’ll be surprised at just how much money you can save by adopting some basic guidelines, so here are some helpful tips that can save you thousands of dollars annually on your food bills.
Plan your meals and write a shopping list
Have you ever had to throw out food because it’s past its expiry date? I know I have! By planning each meal of the week, you can make sure that you only spend money on food that is really needed. Take a look in your pantry to see what ingredients you already have, which ingredients you have to buy, and create a list of all the ingredients you’ll need for the following week.
The majority of us are guilty of impulse buying at the grocery store, so planning your meals and buying only the ingredients on your list will substantially minimise any impulse buying. Don’t forget to always keep a paper and pen in the kitchen, so when you run out of a certain ingredient, you can write it down instantly and possibly eliminate a 2nd trip to the grocery store. And always shop for groceries on a full stomach!
Don’t bring your kids to the grocery store
Often it can be difficult to organise, but if you go grocery shopping when your children are at school or at night when somebody can babysit them, you’ll save loads of money. Not only can you shop more quickly, but you don’t have to drain your energy by saying ‘NO’ to your kids every aisle. Usually this can be over-bearing, so a lot of people will give up here and there, and these unwanted products will build up over the year much more than you’d imagine.
Shop at night
Speaking of shopping at night, you’re more than likely to find the best prices at this time of day. Big grocery stores will commonly discount products when they’re overstocked, and perishable goods like bread, fruit and veggies will also likely to be marked down. While it may appear to be a 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 purchase excessively and throw away food, but always keep in mind that you can prepare meals and freeze them for a later time. Bread, butter, and cheese will last as much as three months in the freezer, and meat will typically last up to six months. Just be sure you have enough room in your freezer first!
Have a go at discounted grocery stores
Discounted grocery stores such as Aldi will always have items that are cheaper than the supermarket giants like Woolworths and Coles. Nevertheless, some products will be more expensive, so try finding bargains at discounted grocery stores before visiting your normal supermarket. Though you may not recognise some of the brands, the quality of the food is pretty much the same. The design 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 an excellent idea.
If you’re encountering financial troubles, always keep in mind that there are useful ways to save a great deal of money on one of your largest expenses. By making some modest adjustments coupled with a dash of discipline, you can potentially save thousands of dollars annually on your grocery bills.
If you find that your financial situation is still worsening, it’s always better to seek financial guidance sooner rather than later. Phone the professionals at Bankruptcy Experts Dandenong on 1300 795 575, or visit our website for more financial advice: Bankruptcy Dandenong