We all suffer through stages in life where money is tight. Luckily for us, there are a number of expenses that we can quickly eliminate, like cable television, gym memberships, and eating out at restaurants. On the contrary, there are other expenditures that we simply can’t avoid. Rent, debt repayments and school tuition are just a number of the necessary expenses that are fixed and there’s little we can do about it. Having said that, there is one necessary expense where we can all save a considerable amount of money; and that expense is food.
Having undertaken some research, I’ve found there are a multitude of ways in which we can all save on food expenses. Of course, eating out at restaurants is far more expensive than eating at home, but I’m referring to saving money on your weekly food bills. You’ll be surprised at just how much money you can save by adopting some basic guidelines, so here are some simple tips that can save you thousands of dollars each year on your food bills.
Plan your meals and create a shopping list
Have you ever had to throw away food because it’s past its expiration date? I know I have! By planning each meal of the week, you can be sure that you just spend money on food that is needed. Take a look in your kitchen to find what ingredients you currently have, which ingredients you have to buy, and create a list of all the ingredients you’ll need for the next week.
Most of us are guilty of impulse buying at the supermarket, so planning your meals and purchasing only the ingredients on your list will drastically reduce any impulse buying. Don’t forget to always keep stationary in the kitchen, so when you run out of a particular ingredient, you can write it down straight away and perhaps prevent a second trip to the supermarket. And always shop for groceries on a full stomach!
Don’t bring your children to the supermarket
In some cases it can be difficult to organise, but if you go grocery shopping when your children are at school or in the evening when someone can babysit them, you’ll save a great deal of money. Not only can you shop a lot quicker, but you don’t have to drain your energy by saying ‘NO’ to your children every aisle. Commonly this can be over-bearing, so many people will give up occasionally, and these unneeded products will accumulate over the year much more than you’d imagine.
Go shopping in the evening
Speaking of shopping at night, you’re more than likely to uncover the best prices at this time of day. Large grocery stores will usually discount goods when they’re overstocked, and perishable goods like bread, fruit and veggies will also likely to be marked down. While it may seem a bit cruel after a long day, you can bag a lot of bargains by shopping at night.
Buy in bulk
It should come as no surprise that buying in bulk will save you money, especially on discounted items. Be careful though, you don’t want to purchase too much and waste food, but always remember that you can cook meals and freeze them for a later time. Cheese, bread, and butter will keep as much as three months in the freezer, and meat products will usually last up to six months. Just ensure that you have enough room in your freezer first!
Have a go at discounted grocery stores
Discounted grocery stores such as Aldi will always have goods that are much cheaper than the supermarket giants like Coles and Woolworths. Conversely, some products will be more expensive, so try finding bargains at discounted supermarkets before visiting your regular supermarket. While you may not recognise some of the brands, the quality of the food is just about the same. The design is also different, so it may take a bit of getting used to, but if you need to save money on food then this is a superb idea.
If you’re experiencing financial issues, always keep in mind that there are simple ways to save a great deal of money on one of your biggest expenditures. By making some modest changes as well as a dash of discipline, you could potentially save thousands of dollars each year on your grocery bills.
If you discover that your financial position is still worsening, it’s always better to seek financial guidance sooner rather than later. Get in contact with the professionals at Bankruptcy Australia on 1300 795 575, or visit our website for additional financial advice: www.bankruptcy-australia.net.au