Do you feel like every trip to the supermarket ends up costing more than you expected?
Grocery bills are the number one area you can save on in your weekly budgets. All it takes is a little bit of planning and some great habits to start feeding you and your family for much less.
So, here are our top 12 supermarket saving tactics to make it happen.
1) Meal Plan Around Sales Catalogues
By planning your meals you can quickly get a handle on your grocery budgets.
A fixed list of items helps you know exactly what you need to buy for the week and keeps your budget from blowing out.
Sounds easy enough, right… but you can also take it a step further by shopping to weekly sales catalogues.
Meal planning around the best deals can make a huge difference and as an added bonus, you’ll get to try a variety of different foods!
2) Buy Home Brands
When buying products with plain packaging you can feel like you’re skimping out, but in many cases, home-brand products actually come from the same factories as popular name brands.
But not all home-brand products measure up in quality. So how do you find the hidden gems?
Why not try this:
Every shop, make a point of picking up one new home-branded item. If you don’t like the taste, putting up with it for a week isn’t the end of the world and you can go back to your old-faithful name-brand. But if you can’t tell the difference, you’ve found one more way to save!
3) Don’t Shop When Everyone Else Does!
Shopping at peak times equals more and more money spent!
Because trying to work your trolley around seven shoppers with prams to get a couple cans of crushed tomatoes makes you rush and decision-making tends to suffer.
Studies show that the quietest days at the supermarket are Monday and Tuesday.
However, it is worth considering Wednesday for the weekly shop, despite the fact it’s a bit busier. This is the day when supermarkets kick-off their new weekly specials.
Great specials sell fast, and missing out will throw your meal planning completely out of whack, so don’t wait!!
4) Buy Small for the Little Ones
When you buy fruit, it makes sense that you are drawn to the biggest and juiciest pieces.
Choosing one big apple instead of two smaller ones means you pay for less of the stuff you throw out and get more of the juicy fruit.
But if you’re buying for packed lunches and snacks, one apple is generally enough, no matter how big or small it is.
Look for the smaller fruit and you’ll get more individual pieces for the exact same price.
5) Only Buy Discounted Items if You Actually Need Them
Specials tempt us but you should always ask: “Do I need this and would I buy this if it wasn’t on sale?”
If a deal doesn’t contribute to your weekly meal plan, it’s just a waste of money dressed up as savings.
6) Stock Up on Specials
Great specials on long-life products don’t mean much if you only buy enough for the next week or so. By the next time you visit the supermarket, the deal will be over and you’ll be back to paying full price.
So why not buy a couple months’ worth? You bump up the savings and all you sacrifice in the long run is a bit of pantry space.
7) Use Unit Pricing
By checking the unit price (price per unit of measure) you can compare what you are actually getting for your money ‘pound-for-pound’.
Packaging is often designed to make it seem like you’re getting more than you actually are – especially with the more expensive name-brands.
A study showed that shoppers who were educated about unit pricing saved an average of 17-18% on their weekly shop, so start comparing and saving today.
8) Never Shop on an Empty Stomach
Research shows that shopping when you’re hungry means you buy more, even when it comes to non-food items.
Our hunger tells our brain that you need to buy something, and it doesn’t really care what.
Everything looks more delicious when you’re hungry, so you should always shop well-fed.
9) Make Meals from Scratch
Pre-prepared meals from the supermarket can be tempting for their convenience but they are usually less healthy and always significantly more expensive.
Instead, cook easy-freeze meals in large batches and store in single size portions. After a hard day at work, pulling a homemade meal out of the freezer is just as satisfying as eating a store bought one.
10) Create Seasonal Recipes
Fruits and vegetables are cheaper when they’re in season.
- Tomatoes can cost as little as $3 a kilo in January and as much as $7 in June.
- Pink lady apples can be less than $2 a kilo in the winter but can spike above $4 in January
- Depending on growing conditions lettuce has shown to increase in price by up to 500% in winter
Tailoring our meal plans to match produce that is currently in season is a natural and healthy way to save throughout the year.
11) Spot a Real Deal When You Know Where to Start!
Finding the best specials is a lot easier when you know what items usually cost.
Not every great deal is printed on a piece of yellow paper with big red capital letters.
While Coles and Woolworths rarely miss a chance to tell us when they’ve marked something down, the independents can have a less structured approach to pricing and if you’re not across normal pricing you can miss out on some great savings.
12) Shop Alone To Save
The tips above are great, but you will never nail them all unless you shop alone.
Whilst it might be fun to shop with your friends, it’s a surefire way to spend up a storm.
As soon as you add another person things get complicated. They will have different ideas of what ‘important purchases’ are. Even if you’re both trying to be frugal, it won’t be long until there are things in the trolley that weren’t on the list.
And that’s the first warning sign of ‘budget creep’.
Do you have any other great tips on how to get the most out of your weekly supermarket budget? We’d love to hear about them in the comment section below.
You should read this bit: The above links belong to a variety of websites and not Nimble, so clicking on, and using them, will take you away from Nimble’s website meaning we’ve got no control or responsibility over the content. Nimble does not endorse and is not affiliated or associated in any way whatsoever to the businesses named in this blog post. The information in this blog post is general information only and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. The information contained in this blog is correct at the date of publication.