We all suffer through stages in life where money is tight. Fortunately for us, there are a few expenses that we can easily do away with, like cable television, gym memberships, and dining out at restaurants. On the contrary, there are other expenditures that we simply can’t avoid. Rent, debt repayments and school fees are just some of the mandatory expenses that are set and there’s not much we can do about it. Having said that, there is one mandatory expense where we can all save a lot of money; and that expense is food.
Having done some research, I’ve found there are a multitude of ways in which we can all save on food expenses. Naturally, dining out at restaurants is far more expensive 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 following some helpful guidelines, so here are some simple tips that can save you thousands of dollars each year on your food bills.
Plan your meals and write a shopping list
Have you ever had to throw out food simply because it’s past its expiration date? I know I have! By planning each meal of the week, you can be sure that you just spend money on food that is needed. Look in your kitchen to find what ingredients you presently have, which ingredients you have to buy, and write a list of all the ingredients you’ll need for the next week.
A lot of us are guilty of impulse buying at the supermarket, so planning your meals and sticking to the ingredients on your list will significantly reduce any impulse buying. Remember to always keep a pen and paper in the kitchen, so when you run out of a certain ingredient, you can jot it down straight away and perhaps eliminate a second trip to the grocery store. And always shop for groceries on a full stomach!
Don’t bring your kids to the grocery store
In certain cases it can be difficult to organise, but if you go grocery shopping when your children go to school or in the evening when there’s someone to watch 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 children every aisle. Typically this can be overwhelming, so many people will give up here and there, and these needless items will add up throughout the year far more than you’d imagine.
Go shopping at night
Speaking of shopping at night, you’re most likely to come across the best prices at this time of day. Large supermarkets will commonly discount items when they’re overstocked, and perishable goods such as bread, fruit and vegetables will also likely to be marked down. Though it may seem a tad cruel 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, particularly on discounted items. Be cautious though, you don’t want to purchase too much and waste food, but always remember that you can cook meals and freeze them for a later time. Cheese, butter, and bread will last around three months in the freezer, and meat will typically last up to six months. Just see to it that you have enough room in your freezer first!
Have a go at discounted grocery stores
Discounted supermarkets like Aldi will always have goods that are much cheaper than the supermarket giants like Coles and Woolworths. However, some products will be more costly, so try finding bargains at discounted supermarkets before visiting your regular grocery store. Though you may not recognise some of the brands, the quality of the food is just about the same. The design is also different, so it may take a bit of getting used to, but if you wish to save money on food then this is a superb idea.
If you’re experiencing financial challenges, always keep in mind that there are simple ways to save a great deal of money on one of your biggest costs. By making some minor changes as well as a dash of self-discipline, you could potentially save thousands of dollars yearly on your grocery bills.
If you discover that your financial situation is still worsening, it’s always better to seek financial guidance sooner rather than later. Phone the specialists at Bankruptcy Advice on 1300 879 867, or visit our website for more financial advice: Bankruptcy Advice