Saving Money on Groceries | Every Cent Counts
When you are trying to save money, every dollar makes a difference. Knowing how to save money on groceries is often a great and easy place to start.
We all need to eat! Unfortunately buying groceries is just part of being an adult. But there are definitely a huge number of money saving tips that you can use to save on groceries.
Like most types of savings, it all adds up. What might seem like tiny amounts, when added up over years and years can result in some really solid savings.
1. Meal Plan
Meal planning involves thinking ahead and planning out what you are going to eat in the future. Meal planning is typically done in week long blocks.
Planning out your meals for the week to come can save time and money from your next trip to the supermarket. By knowing what you plan to cook and eat for the next week, you can ensure you buy the perfect amount of food so that nothing goes to waste!
2. Think Value Not Price
When food shopping, look for value in products not just overall price. You might be able to buy one loaf of bread for $4 or three for $8.
Many people trick themselves into thinking they are saving money only spending $4, yet they are actually overpaying compared to what they could have paid if they paid attention to value and not overall price.
Of course, if you go for value and end up chucking the item in the bin, it goes without saying, you are not saving money, you are wasting it.
3. Use Supermarket Rewards Programs
Now days, most large super market chains have their very own rewards program. You sign up for free, get your own rewards card, scan it when you buy groceries and earn rewards points. You can use these points to get free items and discounts in the future.
Right now, Everyday Rewards is probably the most well known rewards program. Earn points by making purchases at Woolworths, BWS, Caltex and more. Again though, the end goal is to save money, be careful not to spend more just to earn points to try and save money…
4. Use Cash Back Platforms
This is very similar to using rewards programs but slightly different at the same time. Cash back platforms like ShopBack give you instant cash back on purchases with selected partners.
5. Buy Foods That are On Sale
This is one of the easiest ways to save money on groceries. When you are wanting to buy a particular item, simply look to see if there are any sales or price reductions on that item.
It’s as easy as that! There will often be sales on items for a variety of reasons, a common example is that it is getting close to its expiry date. If it is something that you know you are going to consume in the next couple of days this isn’t a problem at all!
6. Use a Grocery List
When you go grocery shopping, make a list. Having a list enables you to stick to what you need. Without one it can be easy to get tempted into buying plenty of things that you don’t actually need.
Make sure you create a list so you that you shop efficiently and stick to buying what you need and not what you feel like eating whilst you’re shopping.
7. Don’t Waste Food
It might seem really obvious, but we are all guilty of this one. Whether its chucking out left overs, letting food go off or cooking a meal and not finishing it, we all waste food from time to time.
Every-time you waste food, you are wasting your own money. By consciously making an effort to not waste food, you will enable the food that you buy to feed your for longer, in turn, saving you a few dollars.
8. Don’t Eat Out
You might be thinking how does not eating out save me money on groceries? Well firstly, eating out is just plain right expensive. So by eating out less, you are instantly saving money.
The second part to this however, is that every time you eat out, you are not eating the groceries that you bought. Essentially you increase the chance of things going past their used by date and wasting food.
9. Create a Budget For Your Groceries
Create a budget for your groceries. By doing this, you are effectively working backwards. Rather than focusing on saving when buying your groceries, you are setting a maximum amount that you are willing to spend.
When you shop with a budget, you have a pre-set amount that you know you can’t go over. This will help you be more selective at the supermarket and overall save you money.
10. Stick to Water
Not only is water probably the healthiest for you, but it is also the cheapest. By sticking to water you can save plenty at the supermarket.
Simply sticking to water enables you to cut out soft drink, fruit juices, cordials and other non-water drinks and save money.
11. Grate Your Own Cheese
Have you ever gone to buy cheese and noticed how ridiculously expensive all of the grated cheese is compared to a plain old block of cheese.
Stop buying the grated cheese. You can buy a block and grate it yourself. You are purely paying for convenience.
12. Buy in Bulk
When you buy in bulk you can often get discounts on the items that you are buying. For example, you might be able to buy 10 rolls of toilet paper for $5, but then you might be able to buy 50 rolls for $20.
This is an easy way to save a few dollars on groceries, but again it doesn’t work if the items you buy in bulk end up getting wasted. So keep this in mind!
13. Buy No Name Brands
This one is a no brainer. Often the no name brands are actually made by the same brand, taste virtually identical yet cost a fraction of the price.
By ditching the big name brands, you can realistically save up to 50% on a lot of different items.
14. Buy Less Pre-Made Products
Think of stuff like shredded lettuce or pre-made salad mixes. You might not notice it but every time you buy things that are pre-made, you are paying for that convenience.
You can save plenty of money by buying the raw ingredients and cooking the meal yourself. Of course there is a time and a place for everything and sometimes you might be in such a rush that buying the pre-made stuff is the way to go.
But if you do make a bit of an effort to cut down on the pre-made stuff, you can definitely earn yourselves some decent savings.
15. Check The Expiry Dates
Before putting something into your shopping basket, make sure to check the expiry date. There is nothing worse that buying something and realising when you get home that it expires in 1 day.
By simply checking the used by dates before buying items you can prevent yourself from buying stuff that is close to going out of date.
16. Use Meal Prep Services
Maybe you are 21 and have just moved out of home. If you were anything like I was at 21 you probably aren’t used to doing your own food shopping. The end result? You are probably shopping very inefficiently.
A perfect way to counter this is to use a meal prep service. Create an account, pick which meals you want and get the ingredients delivered to your door. This is often a cheap alternative that can save you some time and money.
17. Don’t Shop When Your Hungry
Ever gone shopping when you’re hungry? Well, it usually ends up with you binge buying foods that you feel like eating at that time.
Your shopping list goes out the window and you end up going over your budget. Don’t go grocery shopping on an empty stomach!
18. Ignore Specialist Ingredients
So you are following a recipe from a brand new recipe book you got for Christmas. One of the ingredients is a really unusual or ‘specialty item’. Something that you may put in this meal but will likely not use for anything else.
Considering this item will most likely sit in your pantry for the next year and never be used again, see if you can find a replacement ingredient or simply pick another recipe.
19. Buy Foods that Have a Long Shelf Life
When you are deciding which foods to purchase, make buying foods that have a long shelf life a priority. If you buy foods that expire quickly, it is inevitable that you are going to end up forgetting to use those items occasionally and chucking them out.
Of course you don’t have to do this with every single item, but making it a focus can help prevent you from wasting food and save you a few dollars in the long run.
Finding ways to save money on groceries can seem like a really hard thing to do at first. But when you take a step backwards, it can actually be incredibly easy to find a few ways to cut costs.
You don’t have to use all 19 tips at once, but if you can use even a couple of these money saving strategies, you can easily save up to $10 every time you go grocery shopping.
I completely get it, it isn’t a massive amount but it does adds up over time and also teaches you good money habits.
If you expand this $10 savings every week, you are saving $520 every year. This can buy you lunch for 26 days, buy you 54 coffees or pay for your phone bill for the entire year. Suddenly these savings don;t sound too bad.
Considering these money saving tips are very easy to follow and don’t cost you anything to do, they are definitely worth implementing the next time go grocery shopping!