All of us endure times in life where money is tight. Fortunately for us, there are various expenses that we can easily do away with, for instance cable television, gym memberships, and dining 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 couple 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 considerable amount of money; and that expense is food.
Having undertaken some research, I’ve found there are a variety of ways in which we can all save on food expenses. It goes without saying, eating out at restaurants is far more expensive than eating at home, but I’m referring to saving money on your weekly grocery bills. You’ll be astounded at just how much money you can save by sticking to some practical guidelines, so here are some useful tips that can save you thousands of dollars annually on your food bills.
Plan your meals and prepare a shopping list
Have you ever had to throw out food simply because it’s past its expiry date? I know I have! By planning every meal of the week, you can ensure that you only spend money on food that is needed. Take a look in your kitchen to find what ingredients you currently have, which ingredients you have to buy, and prepare a list of all the ingredients you’ll need for the coming week.
Most of us are regretful of impulse buying at the grocery store, so planning your meals and sticking to the ingredients on your list will significantly decrease any impulse buying. Remember to always keep a paper and pen in the kitchen, so when you run out of a certain ingredient, you can jot it down straight away and potentially prevent a second trip to the supermarket. And always go grocery shopping on a full stomach!
Don’t bring your children to the supermarket
Sometimes it can be tough to organise, but if you go grocery shopping when your kids go to school or at night when there’s someone to keep an eye on them, you’ll save a great deal of money. Not only can you shop faster, but you don’t have to drain your energy by saying ‘NO’ to your kids every aisle. Usually this can be over-bearing, so lots of people will give in occasionally, and these nonessential products will add up over the year a lot more than you’d imagine.
Shop at night
Speaking of shopping in the evening, you’re likely to find the best prices at this time of day. Large supermarkets will frequently discount goods when they’re overstocked, and perishable goods such as bread, fruit and veggies will also likely to be marked down. Even though it may appear to be a bit 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 too much and throw away food, but always remember that you can prepare meals and freeze them for a later time. Butter, cheese, and bread will last around three months in the freezer, and meat products will normally last up to six months. Just see to it that you have enough room in your freezer first!
Try discounted grocery stores
Discounted grocery stores like Aldi will always have products that are more affordable than the supermarket giants like Woolworths and Coles. Conversely, some items will be more costly, so try finding bargains at discounted supermarkets prior to visiting your usual supermarket. While 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 want to save money on food then this is an excellent idea.
If you’re suffering from financial difficulties, always remember that there are basic ways to save a considerable amount of money on one of your biggest costs. By making some small adjustments together with a dash of discipline, you could potentially save thousands of dollars annually on your grocery bills.
If you discover that your financial situation is still worsening, it’s always better to seek financial advice sooner rather than later. Speak to the specialists at Bankruptcy Experts Dubbo on 1300 795 575, or visit our website for more financial advice: www.bankruptcyexpertsdubbo.com.au