I’ll be the first to admit that budgeting isn’t my strong point. I am more of a spend-as-you-go kinda gal, which has suited us just fine.
I’ve officially been told by the co-boss-man (aka my partner) that it’s time to start “saving our pennies”. Whatever the hell that means.
So I put myself on this thing called a ‘budget’ where I actually track my spendings and set allowances in different categories (I’m new to this, remember). Anyhow, the main area where I need to make a change is in the grocery department.
How to save money grocery shopping
My mission – to decrease my weekly grocery budget by $100. Can I do it?
I’m four months in and happy to report that, yep, it’s possible. And it’s all thanks to these supermarket savings tips, which cut on average $100 a week from my grocery bill! Winning!
If you want to save money grocery shopping too, then read on.
1. Eliminate those impulse buys
How? Try online shopping to remove your likelihood of shopping with your eyes. Online shopping is especially awesome because it saves your previous shopping lists so you can stock up on the essentials without the risk of ‘accidentally’ dropping four chocolate bars into the trolley.
2. Shop alone
Leave the kids at home (not unattended of course). I save at least $20 a week when I go without the kids, simply because I don’t have them adding things to the trolley or begging for a doughnut after we shop. Which I give in to. Because #doughnutsarelife
3. Make lists and stick to them
Before you go, make a weekly meal plan and a list of the items you need for each meal. And then treat yourself to a solo doughnut because you’re officially an organisational goddess.
4. Shop seasonal produce
Not only does this save some serious cash, but it also ensures your kids try more fruits than just strawberries and bananas. Our favourite fruit at the moment is the papaya, which is packed with health benefits too.
5. Don’t shop hungry (or pregnant)
Okay, so you probably can’t avoid NOT shopping during pregnancy but you can avoid entering a supermarket while hungry. Eat before you shop to combat those aisle three cravings and save money grocery shopping.
6. Buy in bulk (when on special) and package them at home
Portion those big sizes into smaller containers and baggies and store for when you run out. Just make sure you label everything so you know what you’ve already bought.
7. Consider local
Buying local is also going to save money grocery shopping, but it’s important to check the deals first. Make a plan to visit your local fruit and veg market (or grow your own) and fish monger once a month.
8. Hit up the discount stores
For items like detergent, deodorant, rubbish bags, etcetera. the discount stores are often cheaper than supermarkets. But check the catalogues and compare first.
9. Bulk cook and swap
If you have mates or family members that are interested, hit them up for a bulk cook swap. Make several portions of the same (freezer-friendly) meal. Have your friends do the same but with a different meal. Then swap meals.
Once a month I make three family-sized lasagnes. I give two to friends and get a shepherd’s pie and a chicken casserole back. I only have to do one big cook-up and I can buy the meat in bulk. Plus, I get a couple nights off cooking! This system can work with more than just three families – just make sure you make as many meals as there are groups involved.
10. Sign up for Rewards or save your Flybuys
We’re Woolies people so use the Rewards system but I assume Coles’ Flybuys is similar. In general I get $10 off a shop every month or so thanks to the points system.
Another good idea is to save your points and use them during the busy Christmas season. You should be able to accumulate around $100-$150 in points over a year.
11. Go meat free once a week
We do Meat-Free Monday and save around $15 a meal. Plus the kids have discovered that things like stuffed capsicum and portobello mushrooms aren’t going to kill them. Go figure.
12. Consider Homebrands
For certain items, you may not be able to taste the difference. But, this depends on your taste buds. And how fussy your kids are. If you open the packets and place them into storage containers, most times they won’t even know the difference. But your hip pocket definitely will.
13. Shop your freezer and pantry first
Before you do your weekly shop, take stock of what’s in your freezer or fridge and use these ingredients first. Do the same with your pantry so you don’t buy things you don’t need.
Our resident Mum Central chef Lexi did this last month and saved $800 simply by shopping on her pantry shelves first. You can out how to do it in our Shelf Cooking Challenge article.
14. Pay in cash
You’re more accountable for your money when you use actual money, not a card.
15. And, finally, don’t forget those reusable bags!
After you unload from a big shop, return the bags to your car so they are ready for next time. Because there’s no faster way to blow your grocery dough than having to shell out for new bags to haul it all home each week.
So there you have it – 15 easy ways to save money grocery shopping. The only question left is, how much money will you save each week? And will you save the money? Or spend it on something fun … like a holiday? The Maldives look nice this time of year #justsayin’
If a family holiday is on your radar, here’s how to save for one.