Note from The Money Marketer: This is a guest post kindly written by Frugal Beans. Sarne & Steph are a Sydney-based couple who have the best knowledge on how to be resourceful and frugal. Check out their website by clicking here – hope you enjoy the article!
Groceries are one of the largest expenses we have. Evaluating and adjusting your shopping habits is a sure-fire way to quickly save money. Food is a necessity but it does not mean you have to eat rice and beans for the rest of your life to save. The main reason people spend too much when shopping is because they are buying more than they need.
Here are 5 ways to save instantly on your next grocery shop!
1. Never go shopping hungry.
Always make sure you are shopping on a full stomach. This will stop you from putting things in your trolley you don’t need. Or impulse buying. When we shop hungry we tend to grab a lot more than we need. It’s a big no no.
Eat before you leave the house and you will have yourself prepared to resist the temptation of grabbing that extra packet of chips.
2. Always shop with a list and stick to it.
Before you shop, write a list. Go through your fridge and pantry to see what you need and write it down. It’s surprising how often people shop without a list. It can cause your grocery shop to inflate by over 50%. You don’t know what you need so you end up grabbing way more. You get home to find you already had cheese and now you’re stuck with eating 2 blocks. Having a list to stick to will help you only buy what you need.
3. Meal plan
Recently we have added meal planning to our savings habits. Every Sunday night we sit down and write out what meals we will cook at home for the week. One of us writes the list while the other checks the pantry and cupboards for the ingredients to use.
One strategy we use when meal planning is to cook oldest to newest. When we check what to eat we see which ingredients have been sitting there the longest. Which items need to be eaten before they go to waste. We’ve found it the best way to minimise food waste.
Having a meal plan allows us to better plan our weekly grocery shop. It also helps us to minimize the amount of food we need to buy.
4. Shop Around
Never do all your grocery shop at the one supermarket. Not all supermarkets are created equal. In Sydney, we are fortunate enough to have competing supermarkets always pop up right next to each other in many locations. Use this to your advantage. Before you shop, check pricing. Check which supermarket sells the items you intend to buy the cheapest.
Check these prices online as most supermarkets advertise their prices on their website. At first this might be a bit of a pain. But, after a few times you will instinctively know which supermarket offers which products the cheapest.
5. Buy in season fruit and veg
Ever notice how one day strawberries cost next to nothing then the next week they are over $5 a punnet. Seasons. Always buy fruit and veggies when in season. Unless you have a craving that can only be satisfied by buying those blueberries, try to avoid them. When fruits are not in season you will pay a higher premium for them. Fruit and veg is always cheaper when the markets have a surplus of them when they are in season.
Depending on where you are located in the world will depend on what is in season where you are. You can also tell by what is on special at your fruit and veg market usually.
And, that’s 5 habits to change in your grocery shop to help you save! After a while, you won’t even know you’re doing it. We have been shopping this way for over 8 years now since we moved out of home. We’ve found these the best way to keep costs low and minimise the amount we waste.
Buying more than is needed is the main reason people spend excessively. Gaining control over your spending habits and employing a few strategies when shopping will surely help you lower your grocery bill costs.
If you have a shopping habit that can help us all save please let us know!