All of us pass through periods in life where money is tight. Luckily for us, there are a few expenses that we can quickly eliminate, like cable TV, gym memberships, and eating out at restaurants. Despite this, there are other expenses that we simply can’t avoid. Debt repayments, rent and school fees are just a couple of the necessary expenses that are fixed and there’s little we can do about it. Having said that, there is one necessary expense where we can all save a good deal of money; and that expense is food.
Having undertaken some research, I’ve discovered there are a multitude of ways in which we can all save on food expenses. Certainly, eating out at restaurants is far more expensive than eating at home, but I’m talking about saving money on your weekly food bills. You’ll be amazed at just how much money you can save by adopting some helpful guidelines, so here are some simple tips that can save you thousands of dollars every year on your food bills.
Plan your meals and create a shopping list
Have you ever had to throw out food simply because it’s past its expiry date? I know I have! By planning every meal of the week, you can be sure that you only spend money on food that is needed. Take a look in your kitchen to find what ingredients you already have, which ingredients you need to buy, and create a list of all the ingredients you’ll need for the next week.
Many of us are regretful of impulse buying at the grocery store, so planning your meals and sticking to the ingredients on your list will markedly lessen any impulse buying. Don’t forget to always keep stationary in the kitchen, so when you run out of a certain ingredient, you can jot it down straight away and potentially eliminate a 2nd trip to the supermarket. And always shop for groceries on a full stomach!
Don’t bring your children to the supermarket
At times it can be difficult to organise, but if you go grocery shopping when your children are at school or in the evening when someone can keep an eye on them, you’ll save a great deal of money. Not only can you shop a lot quicker, but you don’t have to drain your energy by saying ‘NO’ to your kids every aisle. Usually this can become overwhelming, so lots of people will give up occasionally, and these unnecessary items will build up over the year far more than you’d envision.
Shop at night
Speaking of shopping in the evening, you’re most likely to come across the best prices at this time of day. Large supermarkets will typically discount items when they’re overstocked, and perishable goods such as bread, fruit and veggies will also likely to be marked down. Even though it may appear to be a little bit cruel after a long day, you can bag a lot of bargains by shopping in the evening.
Buy in bulk
It should come as no surprise that buying in bulk will save you money, especially on discounted items. Be careful though, you don’t want to purchase excessively and throw away food, but always remember that you can cook meals and freeze them for a later time. Cheese, bread, and butter will keep as much as three months in the freezer, and meat products will normally last up to six months. Just make sure you have enough room in your freezer first!
Try discounted grocery stores
Discounted grocery stores like Aldi will always have goods that are more affordable than the supermarket giants like Coles and Woolworths. However, some goods will be more costly, so try finding bargains at discounted grocery stores prior to visiting your regular grocery store. Even though you may not recognise some of the brands, the quality of the food is basically the same. The structure 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 an exceptional idea.
If you’re dealing with financial issues, always keep in mind that there are simple ways to save a lot of money on one of your biggest expenditures. By making some modest changes coupled with a dash of discipline, you could potentially save thousands of dollars annually on your grocery bills.
If you discover 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 Hobart on 1300 795 575, or visit our website for more financial advice: www.bankruptcyexpertshobart.com.au