We all pass through stages in life where money is tight. Luckily for us, there are certain expenses that we can simply eliminate, for example cable TV, gym memberships, and dining out at restaurants. On the contrary, there are other costs that we simply can’t avoid. Rent, debt repayments and school tuition are just a few of the necessary expenses that are fixed and there’s very little 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 found there are a range of ways in which we can all save on food expenses. It goes without saying, eating out at restaurants is far more costly than eating at home, but I’m talking about saving money on your weekly food bills. You’ll be astounded at just how much money you can save by sticking to some helpful guidelines, so here are some useful tips that can save you thousands of dollars annually on your food bills.
Plan your meals and create a shopping list
Have you ever had to throw away food simply because it’s past its expiration date? I know I have! By planning each meal of the week, you can make sure that you just spend money on food that is needed. Take a look in your pantry to see what ingredients you already have, which ingredients you need to buy, and write a list of all the ingredients you’ll need for the following week.
The majority of us are regretful of impulse buying at the supermarket, so planning your meals and sticking to the ingredients on your list will markedly diminish any impulse buying. Don’t forget to always keep stationary in the kitchen, so when you run out of a specific ingredient, you can write it down quickly and possibly eliminate a second trip to the grocery store. And always go grocery shopping on a full stomach!
Don’t bring your kids to the supermarket
Sometimes it can be difficult to organise, but if you go grocery shopping when your children are at school or in the evening when someone can babysit them, you’ll save a significant amount of money. Not only can you shop more quickly, but you don’t need to waste your energy by saying ‘NO’ to your children every aisle. Commonly this can become overpowering, so many people will give up occasionally, and these nonessential items will accumulate over the year much more than you’d envision.
Go shopping in the evening
Speaking of shopping in the evening, you’re more than likely to come across the best prices at this time of day. Big supermarkets will usually discount products when they’re overstocked, and perishable goods such as bread, fruit and veggies will also likely to be marked down. Even though it may appear to be a little bit cruel after a long day, you can bag a lot of bargains by shopping at night.
Buy in bulk
It should come as no surprise that buying in bulk will save you money, particularly on discounted items. Be careful though, you don’t want to buy too much and throw away food, but always remember that you can prepare meals and freeze them for later in the week (or month). Butter, cheese, and bread will last as much as three months in the freezer, and meat will normally last up to six months. Just ensure you have enough room in your freezer first!
Have a go at discounted supermarkets
Discounted supermarkets like Aldi will always have products that are less expensive than the supermarket giants like Coles and Woolworths. On the other hand, some products will be more expensive, so try finding bargains at discounted supermarkets before visiting your regular grocery store. While you may not recognise some of the brands, the quality of the food is basically the same. The structure is also different, so it may take a bit of getting used to, but if you want to save money on food then this is a terrific idea.
If you’re going through financial challenges, always remember that there are useful ways to save a significant amount of money on one of your biggest expenses. By making some small adjustments along with a dash of discipline, you could potentially save thousands of dollars yearly on your grocery bills.
If you discover that your financial circumstance is still worsening, it’s always better to seek financial advice sooner rather than later. Get in touch with the specialists at Bankruptcy Experts Darwin on 1300 795 575, or visit our website for more financial advice: www.bankruptcyexpertsdarwin.com.au