Did you make a New Year resolution this year? I did. I decided 2021 is MY year. My year to slay it at the supermarket that is. My mantra is to spend SMART. Waste LESS. Basically not go giving our local supermarket all of our cold hard cash, if I can help it. Supermarket savings, come at me!
We all have our strengths and weaknesses, right? My strength is I love to cook (on my terms) and discover new things at the supermarket. My weakness is I can be lazy and wasteful. And so, 2021 is the year of my supermarket reset and correcting wasteful habits. *deep breath*
Here I share tips on how I’ve been saving money at the supermarket. Spoiler alert: Organisation IS KEY.
Step 1: Kitchen stocktake
Take a look at what’s in your pantry and your freezer. What needs using or could be used? Having unused produce in your kitchen is a real savings opportunity – use it, don’t waste it!
Step 2: Plan your meals
I know I’ve said it before, but meal planning really is a game-changer. I’m starting small with just writing a list for the fortnight, but I have this mum’s epic meal plan and prep system as a goal.
I plan meals for the week from breakfast, lunch boxes and all the snacks in between. You want NO eating opportunity to fall through the cracks. Because as soon as you forget something, you have to go BACK to the supermarket to spend more money!
TIP: Schedule yourself an “easy dinner” night every week. It’s a night where you can eat leftovers to minimise waste. If you don’t have leftovers, make it a soup or toasted sandwich night!
Step 3: Shop. But shop wisely.
This is the crunch factor for me because the supermarket is my weakness. I bloomin’ love it. I steer my trolley, the dopamine spikes and I have a trolley full of stuff. So I have these very important points to consider:
- Set a budget. Many of us don’t we just buy what we want without any thought. I challenge you to set a limit and challenge yourself!
- Shop the specials. There are often savings to be had!
- Shop online. Grocery shopping online allows you to focus on keeping within your budget. PLUS you save time not having to slug it out at the supermarket – and you can do it from your couch with a glass of wine. What is there not to love?
- Buy less, make more. Do you have time during the week to make things from scratch? Save on processed goods by making them yourself (or get the kids to give you a hand!). Biscuits? Yay!
- Buy fruit that will last. Buying slightly underripe fruit is a great tip – it’ll last longer. Fruit like oranges, apples and pears also last much better than stone fruit and berries and are still delicious, so balance out the fruit purchases.
Step 4: Store it right
You’ve gone to all the trouble of planning and shopping, now we have to store your grocery haul right to make it last! Investing in fridge and freezer storage is money well spent on preserving fresh food. If you’re not going to use meat in the next day or two, freeze it. Set a reminder on your phone to get it out and defrost it the night before you need it.
If fresh fruit and veggies start to take a downwards turn, don’t throw them out! Throw that bag of spinach leaves in the freezer to add to pasta later, chop and freeze the fruit for after-school smoothies or make a fruit crumble for dessert. Throwing out food is throwing out money.
Step 5: HANG IN THERE
It’s a lot, this keeping organised thing and there WILL be moments you want to throw in the towel. I purposefully set myself an “easy dinner night” (see Step 2) because cooking EVERY SINGLE NIGHT can be a real grind. You’ll soon find your groove, your cooking mojo and start reaping the supermarket savings as a reward – more money for FUN THINGS!
Who’s with me and ready to take charge of their supermarket spending? I’d love to hear YOUR supermarket saving tips!