Ten Ways to Trim the Food Bill

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Groceries. That weekly wallet drain that (according to Australian Bureau of Stats) is sucking between $100 (single person) – $300 (family) each time it takes from you. That adds up, and can take a significant chunk away from your income (indeed food is often the highest cost associated with living).

That being said, it doesn’t have to. While coupons are one option, they are not the only way to save on your grocery bill. This article is going to overview 10 ways to save on your grocery bill.

  1. Budget

The biggest name of the game in grocery savings is preparation. The better prepared you are before you shop, the easier it will be to avoid impulse buying. This begins with a budget, you need to know what you can afford to spend so you don’t overshoot throughout the week.

  1. Never go without a grocery list

This may sound simple, many of us try to go with our lists in our head, but the truth is there’s something about having a concrete physical list that really drives home what you need – and what you don’t. Before you go to the store, make a list of what you need, and try not to pick up anything else.

Grocery stores spend thousands each year marketing to the impulses of their visitors, don’t get sucked in!

  1. Avoid weekly specials you didn’t already plan on spending on

A lot of weekly specials that grocers put on are designed to attract impulse buying, and may not actually be the best deal. As a general rule, unless you’ve considered the special in advance, it’s likely you’re better off skipping it.

  1. Be mindful of unit pricing

Every product, by law, must be marked with not only a product price but also a unit price. For example, if you get a box of 24 granola bars, the total cost might be $4.99, but the unit price would be the cost of each individual bar.

The reason that you want to watch the unit price is because grocery stores often try to talk people into buying in bulk, when really the unit price is no different. This can take up valuable kitchen space, without actually offering you savings.

  1. Skip the brand name

Wherever possible, skip the brand name products. They often cost more, but taste similar, to the lower cost brands – meaning it’s a greater value to ignore the brand name when making a purchase.

This is another place where marketers get you, as they often rely on customer loyalty as they drive up their product prices!

  1. Shop at more than one store if necessary

If you’ve looked at flyers and found that there are good deals at multiple grocery stores, don’t be afraid to hit up multiple grocery stores! Saving a few dollars on each product may well be worth the short drive.

  1. Take a basket, not a cart

Using a smaller carrying basket, rather than a cart, can psychologically encourage you to spend less. As human beings we look to all sorts of cues, and one of them can be how full our carrier is. If you know you can get away with a basket, take it and not a cart, lest you feel the pressure to fill the cart instead.

  1. Shop the season

Unlike physical products, produce products are often cheaper when they’re in season. Stock up on strawberries when they’re on sale rather than the middle of winter when they want triple the cost. The same is true of several fruits and vegetables.

  1. Grow food at home wherever possible

Produce and spices are two potentially huge costs to your grocery bill that can be extremely minimized by growing your own at home. If it seems cheaper, why not grow your own cucumbers?

  1. Create a no spend challenge day

One of the most fun ways to save money is by making it a game, creating a no spend day challenge. One day a week, goal to spend absolutely nothing on food – having to create only from leftovers and cupboard stock. This can become fun if you make it, and can encourage the family to get in on the saving fun!

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