Published On: Tue, Oct 7th, 2014

Reduce Your Grocery Bills

You know why thReduce Your Grocery Billsey put those special ‘Parents With Prams’ parking spots right near the entrance to the supermarket or mall?  Not only do we have the trickiest kind of people to put in the car, have bulky shopping and not a lot of time, but surely we deserve prime position because we seem to be their main source of revenue and spend our lives there in keeping our pantries and fridges stocked. My family of five can go through 3 litres of milk in a day!

I know just about every staff member in my local supermarket, and as I make my often daily visits I smile knowingly at them “yep, me again.” It can be a costly affair for anyone, especially seeing as most families are either one or one and a half income dependant. But there are ways to save on your shopping by just being a bit sensible with the numbers.

  • Make a list! Anyone who knows me well will laugh reading that because I am a little bit mental about making lists. I never ever ever go shopping without one because there is nothing more I hate than returning with arms laden with goods only to find that you’ve forgotten bread and have to turn back around again.
  • Stick to the list! Straying from the essentials can easily bump up the bill. You know those stands by the registers filled with gum, chocolates and magazines? They’re called Impulse Bars, don’t fall into the trap.
  • Look for specials in the shelves or aisle ends when making choices. An easy but necessary point to make, and now the way that price labelling is laid out is very easy to interpret, you can make your comparisons without needing a calculator.
  • Look for fresh produce and meat that is in season. Better for you, lighter on the budget.
  • Homebrand products are a fantastic way to save. There will always be some brands to whose loyalty you just cannot break, but wherever you can, go the no-name option. I probably save around $200 a year just because I use no label dishwasher powder instead of brand tablets.
  • Don’t shop hungry – one of the biggest mistakes you can make! If you’re anything like me when you shop on an empty stomach you come back with three different meals to eat instantly and a chocolate bar for afters.
  • Don’t take the kids if possible. They do love to give their opinion on things and beg and plead to get this or that. Don’t take the dads either. It’s harder to say no to them.
  • Going shopping at night is not only quiet, but often you can get extra discounts on things particularly in the bakery and meat sections.
  • Buy in bulk where you can. It isn’t always the best answer for a tight space, but it can save you. Buying bulk items too instead of single serve packets will reduce the cost and waste also.
  • Reading through the catalogues is a smart way to stay ahead of the price game, and using it to plan the big shops is clever too. You can use the same system to plan and buy for the week’s meals.
  • Petrol dockets, rewards vouchers, coupons and the like all save the little dollars here and there. Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves!
  • Keep receipts of groceries for a week or two, clothes and other general for a year. Yes I know this is painful but when something is broken, bad or wrong, it hasn’t been a waste of money if you can return or exchange it.

Everyone has a different budget, and regardless of whether it is tight or a free-for-all, I do not know a single soul who doesn’t like to save money at the supermarket or any other shop for that matter. So shop sensibly. If the budget IS tight, then the more sensible you are with the dollars, the easier it will be to pay the bills. And just like we treat the kids, clever list-making and budgeting to save money can allow us to treat ourselves every now and then and not feel guilty that we are blowing the bank in doing so.

Emma Eastman 2014
Copyright 2012 Mummy Weekly

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