All of us suffer through times in life where money is tight. Thankfully for us, there are certain expenses that we can readily eliminate, for example cable TV, gym memberships, and dining out at restaurants. Despite this, there are other costs that we simply can’t avoid. Debt repayments, rent and school fees are just a few of the mandatory expenses that are fixed and there’s little we can do about it. Having said that, 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 discovered there are a number of ways in which we can all save on food expenses. Of course, dining 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 shocked 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 annually on your food bills.
Plan your meals and prepare a shopping list
Have you ever had to toss out food because it’s past its expiration date? I know I have! By planning each meal of the week, you can ensure that you only spend money on food that is needed. Look in your kitchen to find what ingredients you currently have, which ingredients you have to buy, and write a list of all the ingredients you’ll need for the upcoming week.
Many of us are guilty of impulse buying at the grocery store, so planning your meals and buying only the ingredients on your list will markedly reduce any impulse buying. Remember to always keep stationary in the kitchen, so when you run out of a certain ingredient, you can write it down straight away and perhaps prevent a second trip to the supermarket. And always go grocery shopping on a full stomach!
Don’t bring your kids to the grocery store
Often it can be tricky to organise, but if you go grocery shopping when your children go to school or in the evening when someone can babysit them, you’ll save loads of money. Not only can you shop more quickly, but you don’t have to waste your energy by saying ‘NO’ to your children every aisle. Typically this can become over-bearing, so lots of people will give in occasionally, and these nonessential items will aggregate throughout the year much more than you’d imagine.
Go shopping at night
Speaking of shopping in the evening, you’re more than likely to find the best prices at this time of day. Large supermarkets will usually discount products when they’re overstocked, and perishable goods such as bread, fruit and vegetables will also likely to be discounted. Although it may sound a little 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, particularly on discounted items. Be careful though, you don’t want to purchase too much and waste food, but always remember that you can cook meals and freeze them for later in the week (or month). Butter, cheese, and bread will keep as much as three months in the freezer, and meat products will generally last up to six months. Just ensure you have enough room in your freezer first!
Have a go at discounted supermarkets
Discounted grocery stores such as Aldi will always have items that are less costly than the supermarket giants like Coles and Woolworths. Nevertheless, some products will be more expensive, so try finding bargains at discounted supermarkets prior to heading to your usual grocery store. Even though 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 fantastic idea.
If you’re dealing with financial challenges, always bear in mind that there are simple ways to save a lot of money on one of your largest expenditures. By making some modest changes along with a dash of self-discipline, you could potentially save thousands of dollars each year on your grocery bills.
If you find that your financial circumstance is still worsening, it’s always better to seek financial advice sooner rather than later. Get in contact with the specialists at Bankruptcy Experts Wyong on 1300 795 575, or visit our website for more financial advice: Bankruptcy Wyong