Tips and tricks to help get you through the dreaded weekly food shopping trips.
Most people hate grocery shopping, the thought of leaving your home driving in unbearable traffic to the grocery store and weaving your way around clueless shoppers s new most people into a frenzy! And don’t even get me started on those wonky shopping trollies! Thank god for online shopping! But regardless if you are making a trip instore or browsing the web, here are a few tips to help you through this treacherous task.
- Plan your meals ahead of time – my husband gets paid every two weeks, so I do a meal plan for those days that way I know what I need and if I am missing anything. I only buy what I know I will be cooking. This saves money on buying items you “think” you might cook but never do.
- Write a list and check it twice – write a shopping list before you go! And when in the store or even if you are shopping online stick to it! It is easy to be tempted because there is a special on tuna this week but did you really need those 15 cans of tuna even though they were on special! Check your list before you go incase you might of forgotten something. There is nothing worse than shopping for hours and then returning home to find out you forgot he most important item you needed! I like to keep a list on the fridge and when I runout of something I write it straight away on the list so that I don’t forget it. I have trained my family to do the same.
- Check your local junk mail catalogues for weekly specials. Note down he specials on the items you are buying only! Or items you know you will need in the near future. Countless dollars are wasting by buying items that are discounted but in the long run you will never use.
- Shop where you will save the most money that week – loyalty does in some circumstances pay but sometimes it also pays to check out other stores in the area that can offer you better deals. I alternate between two major grocery stores in my area depending on where I can save the most with that weeks particular shop.
- Buy meat, chicken and fish in bulk – once a every one to two months my husband and I go to our local wholesale butcher shop. We work out what we will need for approximately an 8 week period as this fits in with our budget and we buy accordingly. This saves me from running down to the shops to “pick up a few things for dinner” and ultimately spending money I hadn’t intended on spending! I always have something fo dinner and I have saved a big portion of our two weekly grocery bills. We spend roughly $200-$250 each time we go, which equals to roughly $25-$50 per week depending on how much we buy. When buying in bulk keep in mind your other expenses at the time as it is easy to get carried away and overspend on your budget. Also keep in mind your unit price to make sure you are saving money compared to your local supermarket.
- Buy your fruit and vegetables at your local farmers market or green grocer – whenever possible I try and buy my fruit and vegetables from my local green grocer, it is very fresh as they buy from local farmers and wholesale markets. I can buy enough to last me two weeks and it keeps for that time. And the savings are incredible. I spend roughly $80 for two weeks worth of fresh produce and there is plenty to eat.
- Add up your purchases as you go along – use your phone or a calculator to keep track of how much you are buying. This comes in handy so you don’t get bill shock at the checkout.
- Look for items on the top and bottom shelves of the store – most grocery stores keep the most expensive brands at eye level as the bank on shoppers not taking the time to look. But if you scan the shelves carefully you will find that you can get an equivalent product for cheaper. If you save $1 on each item you buy that is a savings of and average of $80-$100 per shopping trip, taking into account that you will have an average of 100 items or more in a weekly shop! Be wary of end of aisle and checkout counter displays as they are designed to make you spend money you have not planned to!
- If possible shop in the late afternoon- this comes in handy as most grocery stores discount fresh items like baking goods and meats. You can sometimes save up to 50% on this items as the store wants to sell them quickly.
- Eat at home first before you shop! – never go shopping on an empty stomach! That is when you will spend the most money! Also eating at home will save you money buying take away food. Make snacks and sandwiches at home and bring with you to give to your kids incase they are hungry. You will be surprised how much you can save by eating at home.
- Use your loyalty cards – always make sure you give the check out operator your loyalty card to scan, they do not always remember to ask. With most store you can convert the points into dollars to use with your shopping or buy other luxuries in their points catalogues
- Look for apps that help you earn points for shopping – i currently use two apps. One is called Scan’n’Go which is available in the App Store or Google ply store. This app allows you to scan your itmems of your recent shopping trip and submit the list to he surveys company for market research in turn can earn points which you can convert to gift cards to use in participating retailers stores. I recently earned enough points for a voucher at my local electronics store. The second app is called Valued Opinions, with this app you create an account and fill out the surveys that are sent to you by the company in turn you earn points that can be converted into gift cards from participating retailers. I claim gift cards from my local grocery store. So far I have earn $200 in gift cards which I used to pay for groceries.
Well these are some of my money saving tips! I would love to hear yours! Feel free to comment on your shopping tips at the bottom of this article.
As always thank you for reading my blog post I hope it was of value to you
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