Grocery shopping is a significant expense for most families. I love to save money when possible, but our grocery bill was making that hard for us. It has always been our biggest expense, but when it started getting larger each week I knew something had to change. We needed to make changes fast, so it could be affordable. I like to eat healthy and I always thought this would be an issue when it came to grocery costs, how would we get the price down without living off white bread and pasta?
When we first moved out of home, we were spending around $300 a week on groceries which I now realise is crazy! With these tips below, we ended up getting our grocery bill down to (give or take) $120 a week, for 3 people which included nappies, formula, wipes, animal food and home essentials. This was a massive achievement for us. Health is a huge priority for us, so while we could have saved more on our grocery bill, we would have had to change our diet which wasn’t an option for us. We were happy to pay a little extra each week and know we are fuelling our bodies with good foods.
10 steps for halving your grocery bill.
Meal plan: I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again. Meal plan! This step is so important. Not only does it set out your meals for the week, so you know exactly what you need to buy for each meal. It also stops you going into the shops through the week to pick up bits and pieces for meals, because we all know that adds up. Write out a weekly meal plan for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Write a list of the ingredients you’re going to need for each meal and stick to your list.
Shop smart: This could be anything from stocking up meat at Tasman’s, getting basics from Aldi, getting fruit and vegetables from fruit stores or local markets. Just know your prices. This doesn’t mean you need to spend the day shopping at 10 different stores. Just be aware of price differences and whether it would be worth you shopping in a different store for certain foods.
Sale items: It’s easy to know what’s on sale these days without stepping foot in a store. Check out the catalogue for the grocery store you shop at (I’m a Woolworths girl!) and create meals around sale meats and items. Sticking to seasonal fruit and veg is such an effortless way to save too.
Online shopping: This tip was by far the tip that saved us the most money, no question about it! Did you know that you can do your shopping online, and pick it up for free? I sit down on a Sunday night and workout out my weekly meal plan, grocery list and do my shopping all within an hour! This is such a simple way to shop, especially for parents with kids! It also means I don’t put ‘stuff’ into my trolley and it makes it so much easier to stick to my list. Then at the end I can see how much my groceries are going to cost, if I don’t like how much it is I’ll go through and erase a few things I don’t necessarily need that week.
Get in the kitchen: Packet food may seem cheap, but when you’re buying it weekly it does add up. Try to reduce how much packet food you buy and stick to making it. Buying baking ingredients may seem expensive, but it last so much longer! Make time in your week to cook up some quick snacks. Cut up some carrots for the week and pair it with hummus. Sticking to fruit as a snack is an easy way to save if you don’t have time to bake.
Deli meats: I don’t know why it took me so long to realise this. Deli meats are so much cheaper! We buy bacon, ham, chicken and kababs almost weekly and we have noticed a massive difference in prices. Plus, its less packaging. Stick to the deli!
Leftovers: Learn to love your leftovers! Start using up the meals in your fridge instead of throwing them away at the end of the week. Leave one night for ‘leftover night’ to clear the fridge before the new week. We used to waste SO much food weekly. Now instead of spending money on a ‘takeout’ night we just eat what’s left in the fridge.
Meal prep: Meal prep isn’t for everyone, but it does help so much! I cook up a big feed for my husband once a week, so that he has work lunches. This stops him buying lunch each day or looking for quick fixes. You don’t have to worry about having no food to make lunch, or feeling too lazy to make something, because there will be a meal ready for you each day.
Don’t over shop: Use what you have in your pantry. Work out what you can make with what you have already. Avoid buying new products when you already have so much in your pantry that you can work with! You have some rice, eggs and frozen veg? Perfect! Make some fried rice, this will make enough for left overs too! Making meals that will leave you will left overs are the best!
Home brands: Let’s be honest some home brand products can be pretty crap. But sometimes they’re just as good! Work out which home brand products work for you and buy them instead. Is it worth paying more for a product because it has pepper pig on it? Or could you switch that for home brand and save a few bucks each time? Every cent counts, this is an effective way of saving those penny’s.
These tips have saved us hundreds each week, they are such basic steps that have created a huge change. I hope this can help those who are struggling to bring down their grocery costs. I would love to hear if this has helped you, or your own tips and tricks over on my instagram @mama.alayna.
Love Loz. xxx