How to reduce your grocery expenses!
Grocery Shopping can be the biggest expense of the family budget, and can be one of the best ways to reduce your expenses and get more money back to use towards your family goals. I love grocery shopping, I love finding the best deals to make my family healthy and budget friendly food. We are a family of four, two adults( one celiac), a 7 and 4 year old. We spend $100 a week in groceries while eating a healthy variety of foods.
Here are some tips on how you can start reducing your grocery budget.
- Shop what you’ve got
The first step in reducing your grocery expenses is to use what you’ve got first, so before you go to the shops. Go through the fridge, freezer and pantry and write down everything you need to use up. (See my ‘How cleaning your fridge once a week can save you hundreds’ for more in depth tips on this.)
Use this to start making a meal plan. Writing a list of possible meals you could make with what you’ve got and then it’s time to make a list of what you need to buy.
- Shop the specials
Before you head to the shops, first check all the grocery catalogues and specials and decide where to head for what!
Don’t just head straight to Coles or Woolworths without looking, first check out your local discount stores, local fruit and veg shops and butchers and hit them first, then for anything that is left over on your list. Shop seasonally, it saves a huge amount of cash.
Personally i shop Produce and meat first, then discount home supplies and then Coles and other supermarkets.
- Keep a well stocked pantry
Having the right herbs and spices and the basics in the pantry can really make a huge difference in cooking from home and not eating out and if you do it right it can save you even more money.
- Choose affordable recipes
Eating well and a good variety on a budget is not as hard as people think once you know how to shop well. Although, trying to eat lobster and duck every day is and staying on a low budget could be unachievable. We still eat steak, prawns, salmon, duck, lamb, turkey and pork but we buy it on super special and stash it away in the freezer so we get to eat a good variety. Thinking about what you want to eat, look at new recipes and try new things.
Another thing to make things more affordable is bulking out your meals, adding extra veggies, lentils and bulking up things like mince with minced carrots and onions.
Cutting your meat into smaller pieces means it will go further in each meal and try instituting a vegitarian night every once and awhile as meat can be the most expensive part of the meal..
- Cook once and eat multiple times.
Plan for leftovers, buying a bigger piece of meat and cooking it and chopping it up and using it for multiple meals not only saves you time but also money.
- Buy bulk – Buy big and break it down into your portions
Buying a big bag of pretzels is much less expensive than buying individual packets, or buying a 1kg tub of yoghurt is cheaper than buying a 12 packet of small yoghurts.
Keeping up with saving money by buying things in bulk tip, when you find something you eat a lot on special or clearance it is time to stock up. If a tin of tomatoes is usually $1 a can and you find them for 50c each, it’s time to grab a few. That way you are locking in those savings and you won’t have you buy them at full price later.
Some suggested items to stock up on, tinned tomatoes, Pasta, Rice, tinned fruit, meats and frozen veggies.
7. Consider making some things from scratch
Every mum and grandma knows that making things from scratch can save you a ton of money. Doing things like Baking, Making yoghurt, custards and stock are easy ways to drastically reduce your grocery budget.
- Use your freezer
Soups – 2-3months
Casseroles – 3 months
Breads and cakes – 3 months
Cooked chicken – 4 months
Fruits – 12 months
Vegetables – 8-12 months
Beef – 2-3 months
Poultry – 6-12 months
Be sure to date your items and write down what it is, (you think you’ll remember but trust me you won’t). Make sure you remove as much air as possible from the packets to stop freezer burn.
How much do you spend on your groceries?