Grocery shopping is a necessary evil.
But there are so many ways to cut the fat – frugal living means you have more money in your pocket at the end of the week! More money at the end of the week means less debt and more fun! Here are 15 Frugal Grocery Shopping Tips!
1. Always Shop with a List
Sit down and plan your weekly/fortnightly/monthly meals including school lunches and work lunches – and work it all out. An Excel spreadsheet or similar is perfect to set out all the ingredients you need. By not using a list you risk missing an important component of the food shop – and means more trips back – where you can be tempted by their tricks! Keep a list on the fridge or somewhere you will see it and add to it as required. Try and train your family to do the same! The main thing is – if it isn’t on the list -you don’t buy it!
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2. Don’t Shop When you’re Hungry
Don’t go when you’re hungry. This is a common tip, but it’s true: when you’re hungry, you want to buy all kinds of junk. You’ll end up spending a lot more. Eat a good meal first, and you’ll be more likely to stick to your list. Plus always take your own bottle of water and some for the kids too if you take them. Bottled water is an expensive drink – more expensive then milk these days!
3. Have a Budget
Know how much you can spend on groceries and stick to that limit. Having a book or using the internet so you know the prices of grocery items is time-consuming – but can help you stick to that budget. Do a rough running total as you shop so you know how much you have spent, and how much you have to go. If you are notoriously bad at over-spending at the supermarket, get your cash out first and leave your card at home. Take a calculator – that way there is no possible way you can go over budget! Harsh, but it works.
4. Keep a Pantry Staples List
Staples mean you always have the cooking basics in your cupboard – and replace them as needed. Items like flour and sugar and milk. Know what you usually stock in your pantry and pick up extra if they are on sale. It’s also a great idea to keep a few easy meals on hand in the pantry – like pasta and pasta sauce for those nights you are tempted by take out! A well stocked pantry with basic ingredients means there is always a meal in the house!
How Stay at Home Mum can help?
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5. Buy in Bulk
But only on non-perishable items unless you have the freezer room! Especially items like toilet paper and toothpaste that have no expiry date. Store them in your linen cupboard when they are on sale and save save save! Don’t just buy items on sale for the sake of it – make sure they are what you need, what you will use and a brand you are familiar with. No point buying toothpaste on sale if no one in the family will use it! Plus see if you can buy items like this at discount stores like Aldi, the cheap shops or even Costco if you have one nearby, yes it might cost you more at the time, but if you can save money by using it over the course of a year or so, you are saving heaps!
6. Keep Frozen Veggies in the Freezer
Personally, I adore frozen veggies – there is never any waste. It won’t wilt and turn into water in the bottom of the fridge, it doesn’t take much preparation, and they are nice and quick (7 minutes in the microwave with a splash of water). Great for nights you really don’t feel like cooking. Buy the bigger bags to get the best deal and make sure once opened you seal the bag with a clip to prevent freezer burn!
7. Keep a Food Price Diary
Make a note of the foods you buy all the time – like Tomato Soup for example. Write the price down in a book or in a spreadsheet – it will help you keep a tally of what’s on sale, what’s good value for money, and what is expensive. Okay so this is a BIG JOB…. but if you have the time – it’s a great way to evaluate how much you spend on groceries. Use your shopping docket to enter the prices into the spreadsheet. It’s also a great list to use when compiling your shopping list!
Next Page: More Tips of Saving Money at the Supermarket