Today I’m showing you how to cut your grocery bill in half! Yep, by half – How? By going through every item that you buy during your weekly grocery shop, and treating it like money.
Grocery bills are our biggest expense, and as much as we love to save our money – we do have to eat and live!
Shoppers are getting savvier about what we are buying, and how we are buying it. We no longer just go into a shop and pay whatever they are asking. This is a good thing for us, the consumers. You turn every item over to see how you can possibly get that product cheaper. And guess what, it’s easier than you might think! There are some great and innovative ideas here on getting that grocery bill right down.
Be Prepared – Not Just a Scout Saying!
Before you even think about jumping in the car and heading to the grocery store – STOP! First of all – clean out your fridge! Not only does this make room for your new groceries, you can also see what needs to be used up.
Next – write a list! Include all the groceries you need in order to use up those odds and sods that might be going to waste in your fridge.
An excel spreadsheet is an excellent way of keeping track of the usual groceries that you buy week in and week out – and then just add what you need and subtract all the items that you don’t.
On a Strict Budget? Shop Online!
Many people knock grocery shopping online – but I love it! Because I know exactly how much my groceries are going to cost – plus I don’t have to leave the house – after all – my time is precious too! There are no impulse buys when you shop online (that adds up really fast). Plus many of the large supermarkets have ‘Online Only’ specials – so it’s worth checking out that category for the really good deals that supermarket shoppers just won’t see!
Plus – if you aren’t sure about what you need to add on your list, popping onto the supermarket website is a great way to browse the grocery shop without being there.
How to Save Money on Biscuits:
- Buy the cheap biscuits – the generic supermarket brands are often as good as the known brands. Also, look for the specials. I personally love the ones at Aldi – they have a great range of biscuits and they are cheap cheap cheap!
- Bake biscuits in Bulk and keep the dough in the freezer so you always have fresh biscuits on hand. Check out our recipe for 120 Biscuits.
- Buy bulk biscuit mix. You can purchase or make huge batches which will save you a fortune. Check out large bakeries or look for bulk recipe mixes.
Save Money on Bread:
- Grab out your breadmaker! The pre-made bread mixes work out to be about $1.30 per loaf – are fresh and delicious and you can make them only when needed!
- Buy large bread mixes directly from your local bakery supplier and most supermarkets. When sealed well, your normal loaf of bread could be as cheap as 30c! This is particularly good if you need to eat Gluten-Free Bread, as it is notoriously expensive to buy at the shop.
- Buy the generic brand bread from the supermarket. Again, I like to buy my bread from Aldi because you can get all the whole grain, wholemeal and seed types you get at other supermarkets, at half the price. But if you don’t have an Aldi local to you, the generic stuff is still pretty good and much cheaper.
- If you live in a hot part of the country, the bread will only last for a couple of days before going mouldy. Keep your bread in the freezer and only take out the pieces that you need!
- Check out our home recipe for white bread you make in the bread machine.
Bread Makers are a Great Way to Save Money!
Save Money on Butter:
- Use less of it. Often kids won’t even notice if you don’t put it on their lunches!
- I hate to say this – buy use margarine in cooking. Margarine is cheap and a good butter substitute for when money is tight.
- In Winter, keep your butter on the counter in a container – that way it is easier to spread, thus using less!
- Don’t buy the expensive butter, the cheap stuff is just as good in cooking.
- Whip your butter in the food processor for a few minutes. It will double in size, and save you money!
- Butter is easy to make at home if you have loads of cream to get rid of – this is how!
Save Money on Breakfast Cereal:
- Look for the generic brands of cereal. Generic Rice Bubbles taste no different to the real thing.
- Go to Costco if you have one close to you, and buy the bulk packs of cereal.
- Only give your children a small amount of cereal at a time in the mornings. If they are still hungry they can have more. This stops waste!
- Invest in one of those ‘cereal dispensers’ to limit the amount the kids pour into their bowl.
- When you are nearly out of cereal, use the loose ends and mix with other cereals that are nearly out – and make some ‘Left Over Cereal Bars’.
Save Money on Champagne:
- Yes, the good ole champers is lovely – but if you are on a budget – here is a cheating way to ‘fake it’ that I discovered on YouTube. Grab some white wine and run it through your Soda Stream – instant fake champagne!
- Believe it or not – you can now buy wine and champagne IN A CAN! Now us people who drink from casks have someone to look down on lol!
- Check out websites for cheap bulk wine packs.
Save Money on Cheese:
- Again, there’s nothing wrong with generic supermarket brands here. They are so much cheaper! I love the cheese at Aldi. They have 1kg blocks for $6. Grate some into ziplock bags and freeze them for long life.
- Alternatively, if your family go through a lot of cheese, check out the prices at Costco (only if you are a member – as it costs to have membership).
Save Money on Coffee:
- If you can’t go without your fancy cup of joe every morning, find out what brand of beans your favourite vendor is using, and buy a bag and grind coffee yourself at home.
- Switch your coffee to the instant variety and drink it with evaporated milk – makes it taste just as fancy as from the shops!
- Buy your coffee in bulk from Costco and keep it in the freezer to keep it fresh.
- Get a coffee machine to use at home. Sure, it may be more expensive for the initial outlay – but it will soon pay for itself!
We love this KitchenAid Siphon Coffee Brewer from Catch
Save Money on Deodorant:
- Switch from expensive spray deodorants to roll-ons. They are usually half the price and last for twice as long.
- Try a different, more cost-effective brand.
- Check out places like Ozsale or Groupon who often have six cans for the price of one!
- Check out cheap shops like ‘The Reject Shop’ etc who often have loads of deodorants, shampoos, conditioners very cheap!
- Switch to deodorant crystals that last forever without having to be replaced.
- Try making your own version at home.
Save Money on Dishwashing Liquid:
- Buy good quality brands. They go a lot further with less. This is one area where it pays to pay for quality!
- Look at buying the good quality brands at the cheap $2 shops – they always have dishwashing liquid – and it is always cheaper than the supermarkets.
- Look at websites like Ozsale or Grocery Run that quite often offer a six-pack of good quality dishwashing liquid for a quarter of the price!
Save Money on Dishwasher Tablets:
- Make your very own dishwasher tablets – we can show you how!
- Dishwasher tablets can be replaced at home with a tiny drop of washing up liquid, and a tablespoon of bicarbonate of soda. Use white vinegar as the rinse aid!
- If you are able to get your hands on some Soapnuts, put a few in the cutlery section for every wash. Works out at about 5c per wash! Soapnuts are actually berries that develop a ‘sud’. You can usually buy them at health food stores.
- Keep an eye out on specials from places such as Catch or Ozsale that often sell the good brand of dishwasher tablets in bulk for a heavily discounted price.
- Cut your dishwashing tablets in half. They wash just as well!
Save Money on Fabric Softener:
- Don’t buy it! 1/2 cup of white vinegar per wash works just as well and will only cost a few cents. If you love the smell of fabric softener, add a few drops of essential oils to your wash for that fresh smell.
Save Money on Fruit:
- Buy your fruit at the local market. Even if you end up paying as much as you do at the supermarket, at least you know it will be fresh and hasn’t been sitting in a fridge for months. Even better, shop at the end of the day and offer a price for the entire box!
- Look for the ‘deformed’ box – yes your fruit might not look so pretty – but it will taste just as good and will cost you less!
- Start a co-operative with other members of your community. Everyone puts money weekly into a kitty and take turns buying fresh fruit and vegetables in bulk and then distributing it to everyone.
Save Money on Laundry Detergent:
- We all use WAY too much. One tablespoon of laundry detergent is all that is needed to effectively clean your clothing!
- Make your own laundry detergent, it will save you hundreds of dollars per year!
- If you have run out (this isn’t a long-term solution) – a teaspoon of shampoo will get your clothing clean enough until you get to the shop.+
- Again try places online such as Ozsale that have it on sale!
- I’ve found the local Hardware store is a great place to buy bulk laundry detergent on sale. So check out your local Mitre 10 or Bunnings.
Save Money on Meat:
- Have a look online for a local farmer that does on-farm kills. Go in with a few friends in a whole beast – you could get your meat for as low as $6/kg!
- Look at your local butcher’s ‘bulk packs’ and take advantage of their bulk deals.
- Buy loads of mince, sausages and chicken legs. They are the cheapest cuts and forms of meat – and kids usually are a big fan of them.
- Shop for clearance items or meat that is marked down. Then pop in your freezer!
- Keep your portion sizes down. Good on your hip pocket, and waistline.
- Shop at Costco – the meat is amazing and it is really well priced!
- Buy your meat at the end of the shopping day when it is marked down significantly, then pop it in the freezer until you need it!
Check out our article on Where to Buy Inexpensive Meat in Bulk – we list the cheapest and best butchers, State by State Australia wide!
Save Money on Milk:
- Buy milk made as locally as you can – keep our farmers employed and the money in your own community.
- Always keep a bag of powdered milk in your pantry. Good if you run out, reasonably priced and it keeps for a long time.
- If you live somewhere without access to fresh milk, the long-life varieties are often on sale and cheap to stock up on.
Save Money on Onions:
- Often the pre-cut onions in the freezer section of your supermarket work out to be cheaper than buying fresh onions – and they don’t go to waste. Check the unit pricing at your supermarket.
- Buy onions in bulk and chop finely and freeze.
- Grow them! They are really easy to grow in a small container and don’t need much love!
Save Money on Pet Food:
- Go to your local rural supplier. They have large bulk dry dog and cat food packs often 2/3 price of the supermarket.
- Check the emails for specials from your local pet supplier. Although specialised pet suppliers are often notoriously expensive, sometimes they have great specials on pet food to get you in the door!
- Add scraps to your pet’s food. Eggs are very good for your pet, cooked vegetables and rice that your family doesn’t’ eat can bulk up your pet’s food!
- Make your own pet food! Throw together rice with generic branded mixed vegetables, add some diced chicken or rood meat as a cheap protein. It will last in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Save Money on Potatoes:
- Buy the brush potatoes (yes the dirty ones!). Not only are they cheaper, but they also last a lot longer too. Store them in a dark place!
- Grow them at home! You can now buy ‘Potato Growing Bags’ which are a cylinder with a flap in the bottom. Homegrown potatoes are just delicious!
Save Money on Shaving Razors:
Invest in the good quality variety of razors. Then once you start using them, keep them in a small dish of olive oil after every use. It will stop them from rusting and going blunt!
- if your razor does need sharpening, do so on a pair of denim jeans (old ones). Just gently rub your razor up and down on the denim in the reverse direction that you shave, and your razors will be sharp again!
- Buy your razors online in bulk deals. Try Ozsale, Costco or Chemist Warehouse.
Save Money on Sour Cream:
- Don’t buy it! Instead, use Greek Yoghurt! Just as much tang – and is healthier for you too!
Save Money on Shampoo:
- Look at the cheap shops for high-quality brands of shampoo and conditioners at supermarket prices.
- Buy bulk packs from Costco or Ozsale.
- Try making your own! There are loads of recipes online for ‘No-poo Shampoo’.
- Don’t use shampoo, instead use conditioner to wash your hair! Great for people with curly or dry hair – and it does get your hair clean! (Check out our article on the lady that hasn’t used shampoo in two years!)
Save Money on Shaving Cream:
- Don’t buy it! Cheap conditioner works just as well, in fact BETTER than shaving cream and is as cheap as chips!
- Other great substitutes for shaving cream include soap (but a bit drying), shampoo, baby oil, hand or body lotion, coconut oil, dishwashing liquid and peanut butter!
Save Money on Tea:
- Buy leaf tea and have it in a teapot every morning. Tastes much better than tea-bags, and so cost-effective!
- Buy the bulk packs when they are on sale – check the unit pricing to make sure you are getting a really good deal.
Save Money on Tomatoes:
- Invest in some cherry tomato seedlings from your local nursery. They grow like weeds in small places and aren’t as prone to pests as other tomato varieties.
- Keep bought tomatoes on the window sill of the kitchen. That way they get used up faster (as you see them all the time) and won’t die and go ‘chalky’ in the bottom of your fridge.
- Tinned Tomatoes are GOLD. Buy generic brands and if they come on sale, buy up big, you’ll always use them up!
Save Money on Toothpaste:
- Look at the bottom shelf of the supermarket. The toothpaste there is much cheaper, and works just as good!
- If you have run out of toothpaste, wet your toothbrush and dip it into some bicarbonate of soda. Your teeth will never feel as clean (good for getting rid of stains on your teeth too!)
- Toothpaste is another great product often sold at $2 stores at a significantly reduced price. Grab your favourite brand there.
- Personally, I buy mine in 12 packs from online stores like Ozsale when they come on sale.
Save Money on Vegetables:
- Buy the frozen variety – they never go to waste!
- Buy your fresh vegetables at your local farmers market.
- Only buy what you know your family will consume. Otherwise, blanch your vegetables and freeze them so nothing ever goes to waste.
Save Money on Window Cleaner:
- Don’t buy it! White vinegar and crushed up newspaper will get any glass or mirrors shining like brand new!
Save Money on Wine:
- Buy cleanskins. Cleanskins are branded wine that don’t have labels on them – you can quite often buy them at the cellar door, at your local bottle-o or online.
- If you are a serious wine drinker, consider joining a wine group and perhaps going halves or quarters with a few friends to take advantage of the discounts.
- Love champagne but can’t stomach the price? Grab some cheaper boxed wine (that you love the taste of) – and run it through a Soda Stream machine. Instant champagne!
Save Money on Yoghurt:
- For kids that love to eat yoghurt at school, buy the large tubs of yoghurt and spoon it into reusable containers. Works out much cheaper and goes a lot further!
- To flavour plain Greek Yoghurt, puree any fruit that are nearly going out of date and mix into the yoghurt. Other things to add to bulk it up include rolled oats and dried fruit.
- Buy an EziYo. You can get them at most supermarkets and they make beautiful yoghurt!
- Check out our recipe on how to make yogurt in your slow cooker!
Save Money on Zip Lock Bags:
- Don’t buy them! As much as I adore ziplock bags, a reusable container is much more cost-effective!