Food shopping is one of those tasks that nearly always seems to end up costing you more, rather than actually helping you save money.
For many women, particularly those mums who are trying to budget and make healthy food choices at the same time, the weekly food shop can be a financially and mentally draining exercise.
According to the HelloFresh decision detox program, we make around 70 conscious food decisions each day while making 226 unconscious ones. Many of these decisions are likely to involve spending money.
Whether you’re trying to feed your family on a budget with some cost-saving lunch recipes or you’re just trying to offset rising bills, there are plenty of reasons why you’d be looking for savings in your weekly grocery shop.
Let’s take a look at some easy tips you can use to save money.
Make use of what you already have
The best way to save money on your weekly food shop is to re-consider what you need to buy in the first place. If you already have an adequate supply of something at home, then you obviously don’t need to waste money buying it again.
Look inside your fridge, freezer and pantries to take stock of what you have and start thinking about how these items could be used together. Perhaps there’s an opportunity to throw something together using ingredients you hadn’t considered mixing before.
This is a great way to improvise meals so that you don’t need to worry about spending money on dinner that night. It’s a good idea to do this every week before you go grocery shopping so that you make use of everything and don’t lose any money on wasted food.
The whole idea here is to stretch your groceries further so that you don’t need to replace them as often. If you’re constantly throwing out a certain item because it’s going out of date before you can use it, then it’s a sign you should probably buy less of it.
Create a list
While it isn’t anything revolutionary, having a more thought out version of the weekly shopping list is one of the best ways to help you save money at the supermarket. This is because you are planning out what groceries you expect to need rather than scribbling down a list as you run out of the house.
Think about the dinners you plan to make each day of the week and only buy the necessary ingredients. To save even more money, make fewer meals in larger portions so that you’ll have leftovers that you can take to work or heat up the following evening.
When you sit down to create a list it also gives you a chance to think more about which brands you are going to buy. This allows you to make smarter choices as you can substitute more expensive selections for cheaper alternatives.
If you’re only going to one big supermarket chain for all of your grocery needs, then you are likely paying extra just for the convenience of doing all your shopping in one place. If you don’t mind doing a little footwork, you save a lot of money by checking out different stores.
You may find that you can buy all of your fruit and veg much cheaper at a local grocer or you may find a discount store that sells certain household items at slashed prices. It’s always worthwhile to look at the surrounding area and spend your money at a variety of local businesses rather than one big corporation.
GIY (grow it yourself!)
While this option is definitely not for everyone, it’s worth mentioning simply because of how many people have used it successfully. You’d be surprised by just how easy it is to plant a vegetable garden in your backyard or even grow a small selection of herbs on a windowsill.
If you grow your produce at home then you don’t need to waste any money buying them from the store. Short of starting your own farm, there are plenty of small fruits, vegetables and herbs that can be grown from the comfort of your home.