Buying groceries is the biggest recurring expenses for most households and it can be a huge drain on the weekly cash flow. Our Five Ways to Save tips will help you target the best opportunities for saving on the grocery bill.

1.    Plan at least a week ahead

Buy what you need by using a list for all meals for the upcoming week or month. This is will also combat the urges you may have while shopping to simply ‘stock up’ on everything, only to throw much of it out as it passes the use by dates. It is easy to plan ahead, simply make a list of meals required for the week, check with recopies and what food you already have in the pantry, and you’re done.

2.    Take your food to work

The bottom line is buying lunch at work is expensive in so many ways. Often, good food goes to waste that could have been taken to work. You will also get tempted to buy a lunch that is not only expensive, but can also be unhealthy and this leads to other costs associated with poor health.

3.    Take advantage of home brands

Home brands are normally much cheaper than big ‘well known’ brands. However, not everyone likes home brands due the perceived compromise on quality. The supermarkets have learnt the benefits of keeping the quality high and this is why most home brands are now good quality alternatives. Home brands for items such as milk, fruit and veg etc, is much the same quality (have you seen a home brand cow?) but of course at a much lower price.

4.    Get good at Maths!

Nothing beats being good at math to really work out the true cost/benefit of groceries especially when evaluating ‘special offers’. It’s hard to shop without being offered product as a 3 for 2 special, or the same item being offered in several different sized packaging, with only one size being discounted.  All of this can be confusing.

Being able to mentally do the math and calculate the true value of a special is great. If your math is not good just practice and you will improve. If all else fails take a simple calculator with you, (you probably have one in the form of a mobile phone).

5.    Avoid driving around town for specials

The true cost of running a car is often not fully understood (see Five Ways to Save – Car). The cost of depreciation, wear and tear is far greater than the cost of fuel. Not only that, it takes time to drive around, park etc and time is money! Try and shop somewhere close by where there is a fair bit of competition. Use a bit of shoe leather to find the deals and make you way home to do more profitable work.

Bonus Eight Quick Tips for your visit to the supermarket:

  1. Eat before you go –  This will reduce temptations to buy because you are hungry
  2. Be wary of big displays at the front or back of aisle – They are targeting impulse buying from shoppers
  3. Look at products high up and low down on the shelves – they tend to be cheaper.  The products at eye level pay to be there so will most likely be more expensive or are well known brands
  4. Keep a check on when perishable stock gets reduced – Sunday afternoons can be a common time, and shop then as savings can be had when you intend to use the products quickly
  5. Cross off items the shopping list as you shop – Keep on track with your purchases and stop you straying to buy impulsively
  6. Go without the kids – This will save you the pester power products
  7. Avoid busy times – It will reduce stress and prevent you from buying on impulse to make you feel better or get out the supermarket quicker
  8. Find out when the fresh vegetables and fruit come into season – They last longer when you get them home. Get to know your local fruit and vegetable market staff, they’ll keep you informed.

Image: Ambro /

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