Secrets to Spending Less at the Grocery Store
The rising cost of living means everyone’s looking to cut costs where possible – and where better than the grocery store?
When it comes to grocery shopping, you can have your cake and eat it too, at a price that doesn’t break the bank. All you need is a little cleverness and forward planning.
Here are five great secrets to spending less at the grocery store.
Buy to a Plan
Like any area of budgeting, make a plan and stick to it. Prepare a meal plan for the week ahead and then shop to a list. With most grocery stores featuring comprehensive websites, you can even complete a shopping list online with up-to-date product pricing, while also taking advantage of any specials.
Buy in Bulk
Whether it’s from your local butcher or by taking advantage of savings by buying large cartons of washing powder, where possible, it pays to buy in bulk. Local butchers often offer significant savings per kilo if you buy in 2kg or higher amounts.
The trick to this is creating meal plans where you can use the same ingredients in different ways; this is a skill that the cook in the family excelled at in years gone by. It may mean making twice the amount of bolognaise sauce and using half in a pie or lasagna, and freezing the other half for spaghetti. But it definitely doesn’t mean meals have to be boring.
Using different cooking tools, such as your oven, slow cooker, or even barbeque, you can repeat ingredients with totally different results. These days, shops like BBQ Galore have made the barbeque commonplace in household cooking, and barbeque creators such as Ziegler & Brown have some great ideas when it comes to inspirational recipes.
Buy in Season
Fruit and vegetables that are in season are usually more affordable than their shipped-in counterparts. This is especially evident at the corner fruit shop. It also means you are more likely to be buying local and fresher produce, so there are some real benefits to keeping season in mind.
Buy on Special
It almost goes without saying, but keep an eye out for specials. Even the most expensive items like coffee, olive oil, and washing powder regularly come on special and, if you’re prepared to fork out and buy in bulk or in large portions, there are some real savings to be had.
While buying 20L of olive oil that is half price may make your initial grocery bill a bit higher, it also represents a real saving across a few months. Keep an eye out for items you know you usually need and that won’t go off.
Buy Store Brand
Store brand items are almost always cheaper than their beautifully branded competitors, and often there’s very little difference in the manufacturing or ingredients. This particularly applies to tinned fruit and vegetables, herbs, and sauces.
Saving at the grocery store is like most things in life: it’s a bit of a habit that takes a little extra time to perfect. But if you treat it like a game and put in a little work, there are some great savings to be had.