We all have to buy groceries, unfortunately we have to eat.
Food and household items can make up a big chunk of your weekly budget, it can be daunting when youget to the checkout and find out how much your trolley load has cost you.
We can’t eliminate the whole cost of groceries but we can definitely give some tips on how to save in your weekly shop.
I actually applied these tips originally not to save money but because I was sick of seeing wasted food in the fridge at the end of the week.
About 2 years ago at the end of a week I would be throwing out left over’s, some veges and some fruit and some things that went out of date without even being opened. I saw this is really over indulgent especially when there are people in the world without food. So I started putting ideas into place to limit my wastage, what I soon found out was I actually started to save money. I have a weekly budget for groceries which I would hardly ever see anything left over from and all of a sudden I could almost save half of what I was spending.
These arethe tips I use to save on wastage and to save money.
Clean out your cupboard and fridge:
Before starting, go through your cupboard and fridge, clean out and get rid of any out of date stock. Have a clear look of what you have in your cupboard, set aside items you can use in main meals and try and plan meals around them. For example if I have a jar of salsa, I would say jacket potatoes one night for tea, if there is a taco kit same thing tacos one night. I then jot down what ingredients I need to complete those meals. I right down exactly what I need for instance if I say jacket potato’s I write down 4 potato’s, in the past I would just buy a big bag of them, if you only need 4 for one nights meals only buy 4.
once you have worked out what ingredients you have left over in the fridge, plan your next week’s meals. For eg if I have a whole bag of carrots, I will think I will make a vege pasta sauce as I make a sauce based on carrots, and a carrot cake or slice for afternoon tea and then I think about what ingredients I need to contribute, eg 500gm of mince a tin of tomato’s and spaghetti etc. I write down what I need for each meal as I go. One thing I use to do was just walk through the shop filling up bags with fruit and veges, I don’t do that now I plan everything down to the amount of fruit we eat a day and I will buy 4 apples 4 pears etc. no more filling bags only buy what you need.
When cooking you don’t have to use full ingredients for example use half a cucumber instead of a full one, most of the time the left over salad gets thrown out so monitor and try and make just enough for each to have some, without left over’s. In saying that there are certain meals I cook more of so I can freeze, and I have a trick with freezing food which I will share in another blog post.
In short meal plan, being organised does save money!
To make meal planning easier we have a FREE printable for you to download, you can print it out by simply clicking here: FREE PLANNER
Write down your full shopping list of everything you need, then make a section for what treats you would like if the budget allows, if the budget doesn’t allow avoid the sweet isles. There are still plenty of treats you can make on a budget, keep your eye out in February as we will be posting a lot of homemade treat recipes.
Take your shopping list with you and follow it to the “T”
Don’t shop when hungry you will often buy a drink or something to eat while shopping, which let’s face it can be over $10 in itself and you will end up adding more to your trolley if hungry.
If you can shop with cash then do it, you won’t be tempted to spend more if you don’t have your eftpos card on you.
Read the junk mail you will be surprised what you can save, by comparing prices.
Buy in bulk
Wholesale butchers or even Costco if you have one in your area, are great for saving money.
Join a co-up
Join a fruit and vege Co-up in your area. I remember growing up my mum ran one of these she would get a group of mothers to all put in $20 and they would buy big from the wholesalers and get a lot more for their money once they divided up between them.
Join up to reward programs like Woolworths Super Savers, you will get certain products at reduced prices.
Don’t leave left over’s in the fridge FREEZE them, this is for two reasons, one is it will either not get eaten or two it will get eaten but lunch food wont and Ill guarantee you will have more wastage at the end of the week.
Be Open to Store Brands
Most times, but not always, store brands are of equal quality to brand name foods. Sometimes they are very similar.
Take it back
Sometimes it happens. Something you’ve purchased is bad or rotten. Don’t be afraid to take it back, food is expensive and you are just throwing out money if you can’t use it. Most stores will gladly oblige.
Leave the Kids at Home
This isn’t brain surgery I mean what mum wants to take their kids grocery shopping with the constant, mum I want this and finding a trolley full of whizz fizz and fruit loops every time you turn your back. And let’s not forget the magic power a super Wmarket has to bring out a tantrum in a child at any age lol Kids are kids and of course they will want to buy anything shiny or that even looks like it has sugar in it, and because they have not built up a resistance to advertising, it can get pretty hairy if you say no to that pepper pig bubble kit and kinder surprise. While we are on the subject leave hubby home to, believe me you will save more shopping on your own lol.
If you need to be convinced about leaving your kids with someone while you do the groceries, you can read Jess’s recent shopping experience here: http://thecolourfulhousewife.com.au/?p=1438
We are about to kick off our 30 days of meals under $15.00, each day for January we will post a different meal. Be sure to check back daily for easy cheap meal inspiration.
And don’t forget to download your free meal planner and groceries list here: http://thecolourfulhousewife.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/tch-mealplanner3.pdf
Courtesy of: The Colourful Housewife