All of us pass through times in life where money is tight. Fortunately for us, there are particular expenses that we can easily eliminate, for instance cable TV, gym memberships, and eating out at restaurants. Despite this, there are other expenses that we simply can’t avoid. Rent, debt repayments and school tuition are just some of the mandatory expenses that are set and there’s not much we can do about it. Having said this, there is one necessary expense where we can all save a great deal of money; and that expense is food.
Having done some research, I’ve discovered there are a multitude of ways in which we can all save on food expenses. Needlessly to say, dining out at restaurants is far more expensive than eating at home, but I’m talking about saving money on your weekly food bills. You’ll be surprised at just how much money you can save by following some practical guidelines, so here are some useful tips that can save you thousands of dollars every year on your grocery bills.
Plan your meals and write a shopping list
Have you ever needed to throw away food because it’s past its expiration 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. Take a 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 next week.
Many of us are guilty of impulse buying at the supermarket, so planning your meals and purchasing only the ingredients on your list will dramatically minimise any impulse buying. Remember to always keep a pen and paper in the kitchen, so when you run out of a particular ingredient, you can jot it down quickly and perhaps prevent a 2nd trip to the grocery store. And always shop for food on a full stomach!
Don’t bring your kids to the grocery store
At times it can be difficult to organise, but if you go grocery shopping when your children are at school or in the evening when there’s someone to watch them, you’ll save a considerable amount of money. Not only can you shop quicker, but you don’t have to exhaust your energy by saying ‘NO’ to your children every aisle. Typically this can be overwhelming, so many people will give in occasionally, and these unnecessary products will aggregate throughout the year far more than you’d imagine.
Go shopping in the evening
Speaking of shopping in the evening, you’re likely to stumble on the best prices at this time of day. Big supermarkets will usually discount products when they’re overstocked, and perishable goods like bread, fruit and veggies will also likely to be marked down. Although it may sound 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 cautious though, you don’t want to buy too much and waste food, but always keep in mind that you can cook meals and freeze them for later in the week (or month). Cheese, bread, and butter will last about three months in the freezer, and meat will generally last up to six months. Just ensure you have enough room in your freezer first!
Try discounted grocery stores
Discounted supermarkets like Aldi will always have products that are less costly than the supermarket giants like Woolworths and Coles. Likewise, some goods will be more expensive, so try finding bargains at discounted grocery stores before heading to your normal supermarket. Although you may not recognise some of the brands, the quality of the food is basically the same. The design 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 an excellent idea.
If you’re suffering from financial issues, always keep in mind that there are basic ways to save a great deal of money on one of your biggest expenditures. By making some small adjustments along with a dash of self-discipline, you can potentially save thousands of dollars annually on your grocery bills.
If you find that your financial situation is still worsening, it’s always better to seek financial guidance sooner rather than later. Speak to the professionals at Bankruptcy Experts Emerald on 1300 795 575, or visit our website for more financial advice: www.bankruptcyexpertsemerald.com.au