Put your grocery bill on a diet


Put your grocery bill on a diet



By Vanessa Beddoe-Sandstrom

Top 10 ways to save on groceries

 
Want to save money on your grocery bill but not interested in raising crops, chickens and sheep in the backyard? Follow these practical tips and save!
 
#1 Plan a weekly menu
The number one way to save money on your grocery bill. Plan your week’s meals in advance, before you shop. Plan meals around busy nights and special occasions; this means you won’t have to resort to buying lunch from bakeries and takeaways on the way home.
 
# 2 Remember your shopping list!
So you’ve planned your week’s menu and written your grocery list, now make sure you don’t forget it! A shopping list reduces the amount of impulse buying, or having to pay a premium for something you’ve forgotten at the local dairy or service station.
 
#3 Shop once a week
Topping up during the week is a sure-fire way to impulse buy and blow your budget. Try to shop at the same time every week, and make sure you never buy groceries when you or your children are hungry!
 
#4 Remember the humble lentil!
Try substituting at least one meat meal a week with lentils or pulses. Adding affordable lentils to casseroles and mince dishes can double the quantity, making your meals and dollar go further.
 
#5 Know your basics and buy in bulk
Basics are items that form the basis of many meals: tinned tomatoes, rice, pasta, tinned tuna, etc. Make sure to stock up on these items when they’re on sale; this also applies to cleaning products and toiletries. 
 
#6 Don’t forget to freeze it!
Don’t leave leftovers to fester on the bench over night. Freeze unused portions of lemon juice, stock, herbs, tinned tomatoes, etc. in ice cube trays or zip lock bags to be used at later date. Even veges like capsicum and celery can be frozen and added to stews and casseroles. 
 
# 7 Shop seasonally and shop around
Buying products in season is so much cheaper, so make sure to plan your menu around the seasons. Fruit and vege stores often undercut supermarket prices, and great deals can also be had at growers and farmers markets. 
 
# 8 Cook from scratch
Don’t reach for a jar of pasta sauce, reach for canned tomatoes instead. Making your meals and sauces from scratch is cheaper, healthier and tastier. It may take a few minutes longer, but the results are worth it.
 
#9 Shop down a brand
Don’t panic, we’re not asking you to shop entirely to No Frills, just think about swapping one of everything to a more ‘value’ brand. For example, if you usually buy four cans of Watties spaghetti, try purchasing three and add one value can or home brand. If you don’t notice a difference in taste, then consider choosing the value brand next time. Keep trying this method to see what works for you, and remember to taste with your mouth, not your eyes. This savings method is especially effective with cleaning products where taste doesn’t matter, or better still, clean your house the ecological way with baking soda and vinegar!
 
# 10 Look high and low!
The most profitable stock in a supermarket is placed at eye level (or your children’s!), yet profitable goods tend not to be the best deals. Look above and below for the best deals and cheaper options.
 
 

45 comments

   

Sarina Pearl on 12 November 2013 12:40
Lentils! Perfect :-)


   

Nicole Johnson on 13 November 2013 19:50
Some very good helpful tips. Now to stick to them.


   

Rochelle Hampton on 12 November 2013 18:09
Thanks for the great tips :)


   

Nicole Pask on 12 November 2013 13:17
I think this is a great list, also adding in 4 alcohol free nights helps even it out too.


   

Jeesun (Jenny) Yu on 12 November 2013 17:19
To me, 'Plan a weekly menu' is a must try to see if it affects my grocery bills. Thanks for these tips which confirm that I am already doing some of them, makes me proud ;)


   

sarah ellis on 12 November 2013 12:30
the top up for the grocerys always blows my budget :(


   

Alicia Scott on 14 November 2013 06:41
great tips!


   

Vicky Marshall on 12 November 2013 15:34
Fantastic ideas...its amazing how that grocery bill seems to creep up!


   

Nicola Burnett on 12 November 2013 14:01
Cook from scratch and we buy from the vege truck - much cheaper!


   

Aimee Findon on 16 November 2013 11:49
Thanks for the great tips! I use some of these, but get a bit lazy at times.


   

Nicole Blank on 12 November 2013 13:02
I do a few of these and its amazing the money you can save but there is a few extra good ideas in here I haven't thought of.


   

Sarah Pinnegar on 12 November 2013 13:27
Great tips! I already try to do most of these but there's a few I need to work on like freezing left overs and bot cooking with things from jars like pasta sauces!


   

Shannon Hawes on 12 November 2013 12:22
Great Tips, cant wait to go shopping in the weekend and try them out :)


   

Maureen Mckenzie on 14 November 2013 11:44
Great tips! Although I only shop fortnightly and top up with things I run out of in another small shop,( required fresh) bread milk etc. I agree some things are great to buy down a brand such as homebrand flour milk etc, but I will not compromise on flavour with some things especially Watties spaghetti, I will not budge lower :) Our budget is $175 a week ( family of 3) and we stick to that sometimes lower, so I feel we are doing alright


   

Avril Brown on 13 November 2013 13:56
I follow these tips and save loads-espcially in the fruit and veg shop


   

Angela Bary on 12 November 2013 16:06
So many good ideas! love reading the comments and getting more ideas too :-)


   

Kim Obrien on 12 November 2013 18:33
I work to do all of these as well as plant and grow my own veges and a few fruits but hubby is harder to reign in the shopping over and above the once a week. I think it's due to how we drew up in very different financial households.


   

Nicole Johnson on 13 November 2013 19:50
Some very good helpful tips. Now to stick to them.


   

Sarah Pinnegar on 12 November 2013 13:27
Great tips! I already try to do most of these but there's a few I need to work on like freezing left overs and bot cooking with things from jars like pasta sauces!


   

Nadiya Ilalio on 12 November 2013 12:08
what good ideas! As we add to our growing family we are always looking for ways to save!


   

Eddie Colaco on 12 November 2013 14:45
We eat a lot of lentils and beans, they are healthy, cheap and easy to cook.


   

Sonia Hart on 12 November 2013 15:31
if you have the freezer space, buying 1/4 of a beefie from a butcher helps reduce the supermarket costs. Making home made meat patties, but doubling the recipe and freezing the excess for an easy dinner later on works great!


   

Samantha Shepherd on 12 November 2013 16:33
great tips every dollar counts when raising a family


   

Tavia Khaine on 14 November 2013 01:09
Interesting, but i have some buts! Shopping List - I only buy what is on special at the time, I would not pay top dollar for something I had 'planned' to make just because it's on my list when something (usually the meat) else is a great deal cheaper - so I don't have a list, I have a budget / Shop once a week - with a house full of children I would be out of food in two days and we'd go hungry for the rest of the week, unless I purchase a safe! I need to purchase a few days worth at a time to ensure it isn't all eaten too quickly / Buy in bulk - these basics are generally always cheap, on sale or available as supermarket brands so I don't need to purchase in bulk usually. (and couldn't afford to) It is the meats best bought when they are on super special / (Cook from scratch - YES! But buy tinned tomatoes - NO! Have you not read the research about how toxic these are, the tomatoes in particular leach out the chemicals from the tins lining into the food, they are not at all recommended if you want to keep your toxic load low - stick with the jars of tomatoes, or puree, plenty available at good prices and not full of chemicals :). Cheers!


   

Aasiyah Jamieson on 12 November 2013 13:46
another thing I do, is when I have cooked a meal I put another meal away in the freezer, to use later on


   

Sarina Pearl on 12 November 2013 12:38
Lentils! Perfect :-)


   

Justine Wilson on 12 November 2013 23:15
Wow i never looked High and Low till now, My Daughter really loves shopping with her Mum NOW


   

Sarina Pearl on 12 November 2013 12:38
Lentils! Perfect :-)


   

Avril Brown on 13 November 2013 13:56
I follow these tips and save loads-espcially in the fruit and veg shop


   

Kirsty Morton on 12 November 2013 13:43
I LOVE the 'home brand' products! Helps keep the bill down and tastes just as good (except the muesli bars!)


   

Peggy De Laat on 12 November 2013 13:30
Great tips - thanks!


   

Alicia Scott on 14 November 2013 06:41
great tips!


   

Lynley Goodwin on 12 November 2013 15:00
Very helpful ideas. I try and use cash so I can see how much I have left at the end of the week, this prevents me from over spending:)


   

Eddie Colaco on 12 November 2013 14:45
We eat a lot of lentils and beans, they are healthy, cheap and easy to cook.


   

Olivia Wallbank on 12 November 2013 13:26
Thanks for the fab tips! I will be putting these to use :)


   

Claudia De Jager on 12 November 2013 12:51
Ah the battle that is the weekly grocery bill/menu debacle! I find it all very difficult. Fussy eaters, increasing prices, loyalty programs vs shopping around to get the bargains, bulk vs as needed to avoid waste, yikes - It used to be more fun and now its a mine field. Friends now send me texts to tell me where stuff is super cheap - sometimes after you have already purchased it for fifty cents more elsewhere believing you had a great deal. Would eat more lentils if the children would only join me.


   

Amanda Hansen on 12 November 2013 12:21
great ideas that i would love to try. Do you have any suggestions for alternatives to legumes or beans as i am allergic! :(


   

karl Lindner on 12 November 2013 11:47
Some really awesome ideas here. Definetely be following some.


   

Catherine Larsen on 17 November 2013 11:08
I try my best to make a list and after reading the money personalities I'm definitely someone who can rattle off the exact price of many supermarket items and what the cheapest special price I've seen them for, I plan a menu every week otherwise we don't eat as well and can't resist just whipping to grab some takeaway. I find most weeks we can make a weeks meals from what we have in freezer and pantry and just buy some fresh fruit and vege as groceries. My trolley always looks depressing but I love when I come home with spare money after shopping. I'm thinking of implementing some way of saving this just have to find a way where I won't dip into it.


   

Jenny Perry on 12 November 2013 12:08
Always forget the lentil! Must buy lentils!


   

Tammy Aukett on 12 November 2013 13:50
Some great tips! The fruit & vege store is our saviour! Soooo much cheaper than supermarket & I'm replacing muesli bars with 'fancy' fruits (like watermelon, strawberries & pomegranate) for the kids to go with the usual apple, pear or banana. Must add more lentils! Kidney beans in Spag Bol a hit in our house.


   

Kathryn Vernal on 12 November 2013 12:30
Perfect. Just in time for shopping day tomorrow. Thank you Reach Me what would I do without you :)


   

Collette Savage on 12 November 2013 17:03
I have tried these ideas (tend to buy no frills any way) and it definatly makes a massive difference at the end.


   

Bushra Wahid on 13 November 2013 08:21
I usually do all that, and do alot of saving :)


   

Fleur Kay on 13 November 2013 16:29
Great article, thanks Reachme, especially as I have just finished working and am expecting my first baby in 3 weeks time! Defiantly have to budget now!


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