All of us go through times in life where money is tight. Luckily for us, there are several expenses that we can readily eliminate, such as cable television, gym memberships, and dining out at restaurants. On the other hand, there are other costs that we simply can’t avoid. Rent, debt repayments and school tuition are just some of the mandatory expenses that are fixed and there’s little we can do about it. Having said this, there is one mandatory expense where we can all save a great deal of money; and that expense is food.
Having performed some research, I’ve found there are a variety of ways in which we can all save on food expenses. Clearly, eating out at restaurants is far more costly than eating at home, but I’m talking about saving money on your weekly food bills. You’ll be delighted at just how much money you can save by adopting some practical guidelines, so here are some quick tips that can save you thousands of dollars each year on your food bills.
Plan your meals and write a shopping list
Have you ever needed to throw away food simply because it’s past its expiry date? I know I have! By planning each meal of the week, you can make sure that you just spend money on food that is needed. Have a look in your pantry to see what ingredients you already have, which ingredients you have to buy, and create a list of all the ingredients you’ll need for the following week.
Many of us are regretful of impulse buying at the supermarket, so planning your meals and sticking to the ingredients on your list will drastically diminish any impulse buying. Don’t forget to always keep a paper and pen in the kitchen, so when you run out of a specific ingredient, you can jot it down instantly and possibly prevent a second trip to the grocery store. And always shop for food on a full stomach!
Don’t bring your children to the supermarket
Often it can be hard to organise, but if you go grocery shopping when your kids are at school or at night when there’s someone to babysit them, you’ll save a considerable amount of money. Not only can you shop a lot quicker, but you don’t need to exhaust your energy by saying ‘NO’ to your children every aisle. Often this can be overwhelming, so a lot of people will give up occasionally, and these needless products will add up throughout the year far more than you’d envision.
Shop in the evening
Speaking of shopping in the evening, you’re most likely to come across the best prices at this time of day. Big supermarkets will often discount goods when they’re overstocked, and perishable goods such as bread, fruit and veggies will also likely to be marked down. Even though it may sound a little bit harsh after a long day, you can bag a lot of bargains by shopping at night.
Buy in bulk
It should come as no surprise that buying in bulk will save you money, particularly on discounted items. Be cautious though, you don’t want to buy too much and waste food, but always bear in mind that you can cook meals and freeze them for a later time. Bread, cheese, and butter will keep about three months in the freezer, and meat products will generally last up to six months. Just see to it that you have enough room in your freezer first!
Try discounted grocery stores
Discounted grocery stores such as Aldi will always have goods that are much cheaper than the supermarket giants like Coles and Woolworths. Likewise, some goods will be more expensive, so try finding bargains at discounted supermarkets prior to heading to your normal grocery store. Although you may not recognise some of the brands, the quality of the food is essentially the same. The design is also different, so it may take a bit of getting used to, but if you intend to save money on food then this is a fantastic idea.
If you’re experiencing financial challenges, always keep in mind that there are practical ways to save a considerable amount of money on one of your largest costs. By making some modest changes coupled with a dash of discipline, you can potentially save thousands of dollars yearly on your grocery bills.
If you find that your financial circumstance is still worsening, it’s always better to seek financial guidance sooner rather than later. Contact the professionals at Bankruptcy Experts Port Macquarie on 1300 795 575, or visit our website for more financial advice: www.bankruptcyexpertsportmacquarie.com.au