Most of us pass through periods in life where money is tight. Luckily for us, there are particular expenses that we can easily eliminate, such as cable TV, gym memberships, and eating out at restaurants. Despite this, there are other expenditures that we simply can’t avoid. Rent, debt repayments and school tuition are just a few of the necessary expenses that are set and there’s very little we can do about it. Having said this, there is one necessary expense where we can all save a considerable amount of money; and that expense is food.
Having conducted some research, I’ve discovered there are a number of ways in which we can all save on food expenses. Naturally, dining out at restaurants is much more costly than eating at home, but I’m talking about saving money on your weekly grocery bills. You’ll be delighted at just how much money you can save by sticking to some general guidelines, so here are some quick tips that can save you thousands of dollars annually on your food bills.
Plan your meals and create a shopping list
Have you ever had to throw away food simply because it’s past its expiry date? I know I have! By planning every meal of the week, you can be sure that you just spend money on food that is really needed. Have a look in your kitchen to find what ingredients you currently have, which ingredients you need to buy, and create a list of all the ingredients you’ll need for the next week.
The majority of us are regretful of impulse buying at the supermarket, so planning your meals and purchasing only the ingredients on your list will drastically lessen any impulse buying. Remember to always keep a paper and pen in the kitchen, so when you run out of a particular ingredient, you can write it down immediately and potentially eliminate a 2nd trip to the supermarket. And always shop for food on a full stomach!
Don’t bring your kids to the supermarket
Often it can be difficult to organise, but if you go grocery shopping when your kids are at school or in the evening when someone can keep an eye on them, you’ll save a great deal of money. Not only can you shop a lot quicker, but you don’t need to drain your energy by saying ‘NO’ to your kids every aisle. Normally this can be frustrating, so many people will give up occasionally, and these excessive products will accumulate over the year much more than you’d envision.
Go shopping in the evening
Speaking of shopping at night, you’re most likely to uncover the best prices at this time of day. Big supermarkets will regularly discount items when they’re overstocked, and perishable goods such as bread, fruit and veggies will also likely to be marked down. While it may sound a 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 cautious though, you don’t want to buy excessively and throw away 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 about three months in the freezer, and meat will normally last up to six months. Just ensure that you have enough room in your freezer first!
Have a go at discounted supermarkets
Discounted grocery stores such as Aldi will always have products that are less expensive than the supermarket giants like Woolworths and Coles. However, some products will be more costly, so try finding bargains at discounted supermarkets before visiting your usual grocery store. Though you may not recognise some of the brands, the quality of the food is basically the same. The structure is also different, so it may take a bit of getting used to, but if you need to save money on food then this is a terrific idea.
If you’re experiencing financial troubles, always remember that there are simple ways to save a substantial amount of money on one of your biggest costs. By making some minor adjustments together 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 situation is still worsening, it’s always better to seek financial advice sooner rather than later. Talk to the professionals at Bankruptcy Experts Maitland on 1300 795 575, or visit our website for more financial advice: www.bankruptcyexpertsmaitland.com.au