All of us experience periods in life where money is tight. Luckily for us, there are a number of expenses that we can easily eliminate, for example cable TV, gym memberships, and eating out at restaurants. Despite this, there are other expenditures that we simply can’t avoid. Debt repayments, rent and school fees are just a few of the mandatory expenses that are fixed and there’s not much we can do about it. Having said that, there is one mandatory expense where we can all save a considerable amount of money; and that expense is food.
Having done some research, I’ve found there are a range of ways in which we can all save on food expenses. Needlessly to say, eating out at restaurants is much more costly than eating at home, but I’m referring to saving money on your weekly food bills. You’ll be amazed at just how much money you can save by sticking to some basic guidelines, so here are some useful tips that can save you thousands of dollars annually on your food bills.
Plan your meals and prepare a shopping list
Have you ever had to toss out food 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. Look in your kitchen to find what ingredients you presently have, which ingredients you need to buy, and prepare a list of all the ingredients you’ll need for the upcoming week.
The majority of us are regretful of impulse buying at the supermarket, so planning your meals and sticking to the ingredients on your list will considerably minimise any impulse buying. Remember to always keep a paper and pen in the kitchen, so when you run out of a particular ingredient, you can write it down immediately and perhaps eliminate a second trip to the grocery store. And always shop for groceries on a full stomach!
Don’t bring your kids to the supermarket
In some cases it can be tough to organise, but if you go grocery shopping when your children go to 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 more quickly, but you don’t have to drain your energy by saying ‘NO’ to your children every aisle. Normally this can be frustrating, so lots of people will give in here and there, and these excessive products will add up over the year much more than you’d envision.
Shop in the evening
Speaking of shopping at night, you’re most likely to find the best prices at this time of day. Large grocery stores will typically discount goods when they’re overstocked, and perishable goods such as bread, fruit and veggies will also likely to be discounted. While it may sound a tad harsh 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, particularly on discounted items. Be cautious though, you don’t want to buy excessively and throw away food, but always keep in mind that you can cook meals and freeze them for later in the week (or month). Bread, butter, and cheese will keep up to three months in the freezer, and meat will usually last up to six months. Just ensure that you have enough room in your freezer first!
Try discounted grocery stores
Discounted supermarkets like Aldi will always have items that are less costly than the supermarket giants like Woolworths and Coles. On the contrary, some products will be more costly, so try finding bargains at discounted supermarkets prior to heading to your normal supermarket. Even though you may not recognise some of the brands, the quality of the food is essentially 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 a fantastic idea.
If you’re going through financial issues, always keep in mind that there are basic ways to save a great deal of money on one of your largest expenses. By making some modest adjustments along with a dash of discipline, you can potentially save thousands of dollars each year on your grocery bills.
If you discover that your financial situation is still worsening, it’s always better to seek financial advice sooner rather than later. Call the professionals at Bankruptcy Experts Gold Coast on 1300 879 867, or visit our website for more financial advice: www.bankruptcyexpertsgoldcoast.com.au