All of us pass through stages in life where money is tight. Luckily for us, there are various expenses that we can readily eliminate, for instance cable TV, gym memberships, and eating out at restaurants. On the other hand, there are other costs that we simply can’t avoid. Rent, debt repayments and school tuition are just a few of the mandatory expenses that are fixed and there’s not much we can do about it. Having said this, there is one necessary 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 variety of ways in which we can all save on food expenses. Certainly, eating out at restaurants is much 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 adopting some basic guidelines, so here are some simple tips that can save you thousands of dollars every year on your food bills.
Plan your meals and create a shopping list
Have you ever needed to toss out food simply because it’s past its expiry date? I know I have! By planning every meal of the week, you can make sure that you only spend money on food that is really needed. Look in your pantry to see what ingredients you presently have, which ingredients you need to buy, and create a list of all the ingredients you’ll need for the coming 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. 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 instantly and possibly eliminate a second trip to the grocery store. And always go grocery shopping on a full stomach!
Don’t bring your kids to the supermarket
In some cases it can be tough to organise, but if you go grocery shopping when your kids are at school or in the evening when somebody can keep an eye on them, you’ll save a considerable amount of money. Not only can you shop quicker, but you don’t need to drain your energy by saying ‘NO’ to your children every aisle. Quite often this can be overwhelming, so many people will give up here and there, and these unnecessary products will aggregate over the year much more than you’d envision.
Go shopping at night
Speaking of shopping in the evening, you’re likely to spot the best prices at this time of day. Large supermarkets will commonly discount products when they’re overstocked, and perishable goods like bread, fruit and veggies will also likely to be discounted. Although it may sound a tad harsh 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 careful though, you don’t want to purchase excessively and throw away food, but always remember that you can prepare meals and freeze them for later in the week (or month). Bread, cheese, and butter will keep about three months in the freezer, and meat will generally last up to six months. Just ensure that you have enough room in your freezer first!
Try discounted grocery stores
Discounted supermarkets like Aldi will always have products that are cheaper than the supermarket giants like Coles and Woolworths. Likewise, some items will be more expensive, so try finding bargains at discounted grocery stores before heading to your regular grocery store. Although you may not recognise some of the brands, the quality of the food is roughly the same. The design is also different, so it may take a bit of getting used to, but if you want to save money on food then this is a terrific idea.
If you’re going through financial challenges, always bear in mind that there are easy ways to save a substantial amount of money on one of your biggest expenses. By making some minor changes coupled with a dash of self-discipline, you can potentially save thousands of dollars annually on your grocery bills.
If you find that your financial condition is still worsening, it’s always better to seek financial advice sooner rather than later. Talk to the professionals at Bankruptcy Experts Penrith on 1300 795 575, or visit our website for more financial advice: www.bankruptcyexpertspenrith.com.au