Discipline is the key to saving money on food and groceries
If you have been following our blogs, by now you should have a household budget, and a set amount allocated to spend on food and groceries each week. So how do you make yourself stick to your budget?
There have been many good ideas put forward for ways to stick to your household budget, including the following great tips:
- Plan ahead - Plan what you are going to eat each day of the week. Then write a shopping list of the main ingredients you’ll need to prepare each meal.
- Write a list - Keep a shopping list and pen on the fridge. During the week, add to this list as you run out of pantry staples like flour and sugar. Take your list with you when you go shopping, and only buy exactly what's on the list.
- Eat before shopping - Eat a meal or have a snack before you go to the supermarket. When you’re hungry, you tend to buy more food.
- Force yourself to stick to your budget - Put your allocated grocery money into an envelope. Don't take any other cash or cards with you, so you can only spend what you have.
- Buy in bulk and compare prices - Buy in bulk to reduce overall food costs.
- Check the unit cost of each item – It is now compulsory for supermarkets to display unit prices of food – that is how much the item costs per set volume, size or weight. Use this information to choose the best value sizes to buy.
- Limit your time in the shops - Only go grocery shopping once a fortnight. Use all the food in your pantry before you buy more.
- Leave the kids at home - Go shopping without the kids! You'll have more time to compare prices, and won't fall victim to 'pester power' or be tempted to buy sweets or lollies.
- Buy home brand, generic labels and specials - Substitute brand names for generic products wherever you can, and keep an eye on catalogue specials to grab weekly bargains
- Check the dates - Check the 'use by' and 'best before' dates on food so you don't waste money buying things you won't use before you have to throw them out.
- Try going vegetarian - Meat can be expensive, so buy less of it and try making more meals which are healthy vegetarian. You don’t need to eat meat or fish every day or every meal!
Next week we'll be looking at ways to change bad spending habits. Keep those savings tips coming in and watch this space!
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