Save an extra $250 per month on grocery
We all know the key to financial freedom is saving money and being smart with what we spend money on. Nevertheless, saving money is easier said than done. When my husband and I sat down and looked at where our money was going and how much we spent on groceries versus other expenses, we were shocked to find that we spent the most on grocery.
I have since realized that we spend $800-1000 per month on groceries. When I implemented some strategies to save money in this area and became intentional about it, I saved at least $200 per month on grocery alone. So here are the money saving strategies that have helped our family cut back on unnecessary costs.
1. List your needs versus wants
Differentiate between what your essential requirements are versus your wants and desires, and list them by putting pen to paper – yes, seriously. Take time to list items that you absolutely need (your essentials) and list the stuff you buy because you want them and like to have them.
This may sound over the top and unnecessary, but when you are honest with yourself about what you actually need and how much you buy based on impulse and just because you’ll see where you can quite possibly cut back. This may also bring up questions of what you don’t mind sacrificing to save money.
Some people are willing to really cut back on treats and snacks, just to save or to pay off debt, even if it’s only for 12 months. So you do have to take into consideration how much of your quality of life you are willing to sacrifice. The more you want to save, the more you need to crack down on those unnecessary spendings.
2. Find cheaper substitutes
Now, not all cheaper products are good, but so much of the groceries we buy can be traded in for generic home brand ones that are equally tasty and decent. In a world of consumerism, it’s easy to believe that we need to have a specific brand for our food to be easier to cook or tastier.
I used to subconsciously buy brands I saw on TV commercials just because they just caught my attention when I was at Woolworths. I discovered I never put in much thought to what I bought or why. I just did. But when I actually paid attention to all the other options and sales for the same product, I began saving money.
It may not seem like much when it’s one item and you get $2 off, but all those savings add up when you go through your checkout (and your overall monthly grocery bill). Another helpful tip to remember is to look above or below waist level when shopping. You’ll often find that the cheaper items are strategically placed either up higher or down the bottom to keep people’s attention on the more expensive brands in the middle.
3. Buy smart
Think creatively about each household item you buy and work towards finding alternative products. For example, if you decide you can’t do without fabric softener, then choose a concentrate for $1.50 that you can dilute with 2L water, rather than buying a $10 2L pre-made softener.
4. Try DIY
There are also many options for DIY especially when it comes to cleaning products that are not only cheaper and just as effective but also non toxic. Check out these simple cleaning hacks that will have you saving money in no time.
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5. Shop less often
You’ll be surprised how much you can save just by sticking to fortnightly shopping. I used to go to the supermarket every 3 days and come back home with more than I actually intended on buying to start with. There will be some perishables such as milk and certain fruits that you can’t stock up on and will have to go back for more depending on how much of it you use in your household. And that’s ok, just be sure to take note of what these items are and make sure you stick to buying what’s on that list. Write what you’ll need as you run out of it that way you won’t constantly have to go back for items you forgot to buy.
Well, that’s a wrap. What have you found to be helpful for saving money when it comes to grocery shopping?