- Food is likely one of the biggest expenses in your budget.
- Our top 20 money hacks to save money on your grocery bills include making a shopping list and not shopping when you’re hungry.
- You should try different supermarkets, try and find the secret clearance shelf and shop at night for timed discounts.
Food is the one thing that always bring a smile to my face.
If you’re a fellow foodie, you get that it’s a life priority. It’s also likely one of your biggest expenses when looking at your spending decisions for the month.
Across the world, food is one of our biggest budget items.
In Australia, it’s our second biggest expense, after housing costs. Food is an essential expense but it doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, with a few small changes, food and how we buy it can be a huge opportunity to save money.
Here’s our Top 20 money hacks to save a fortune on your grocery bill:
1. Make a shopping list (and stick to it)
Taking the time to make a shopping list means that you know exactly what you need and stick to it.
2. Don’t shop when you’re hungry (or hangry)
When you’re hungry, or worse hangry, you will crave foods like sugar for quick energy. Instead, eat before you leave home so you don’t reach for unhealthy food.
3. Look past the sales price
While the sales sticker draws you in, check the product discount percentage and consider whether it’s worth spending money on.
4. Sample the home brand products
Many supermarkets produce a home brand version of a product, without fancy branding but for less money.
5. Try shopping at a new supermarket
We tend to shop at the same supermarket out of habit. Switching to different supermarkets will save you money by seeing what else is out there.
6. Create a set meal plan
Avoid wandering around the supermarket by creating a set meal plan so you know what ingredients you need to buy.
7. Check the pantry before you shop
Your pantry likely has multiple versions of the same item. Check what you already have at home before you go shopping to avoid buying more of what you already have.
8. Go late night shopping for discounts
Supermarkets discount products close to their expiry date. They apply these discounts late at night so it’s worth shopping at this time to pick up a bargain.
9. Use your freezer to keep bargains fresh
When your favourite food is on sale, you can make use of your freezer. Freeze what you don’t need so you have it ready for later.
10. Compare unit prices of products
Unit prices mean comparing product prices per 100g to determine what is better value for money. If you compare unit prices rather than price alone, you can get more product for less money per 100g.
11. Try a buy nothing week
Force yourself to use up what’s in your pantry, fridge and freezer by trying a buy-nothing week.
12. Use coupons to save money
Buy a coupon book or see what online coupons are available, particularly on food products you buy regularly.
13. Go vegetarian for a day or two each week
Meatless Monday is a recent trend promoted by celebrities, whereby you eat vegetarian meals for at least one day a week. Meat often costs more than vegetables so this could save you money during the week.
14. Find the secret supermarket clearance shelf
Most Supermarkets will have a secret clearance shelf where they put heavily discount items that are damaged or nearing expiry. Look through your local Supermarket to find its clearance shelf to pick up a bargain.
15. Buy in-season produce
Fruit and vegetables are produced at different times during the year. You can often save money by buying local produce when it’s in season.
16. Try growing herbs at home
Pick up a herb garden to have access to fresh herbs all year round, without needing to keep buying them.
17. Bring your own bags to carry your shopping
Many countries in the world, including Australia, charge for using supermarket bags. Bringing your own reusable bags with you will save you money over the course of a year.
18. Avoid your trigger aisles in the supermarket
All of us have a temptation aisle, where we’ll lose self-control. If you know that the sweets or crisps aisle is your weakness, avoid it to save money.
19. Shop online to compare prices
Consider shopping online to help keep track of what you spend and more easily compare pricing between products.
20. Use a basket rather than a trolley
Unlike a trolley, a basket gives you limited space to fill so you’re more likely to buy only what you need.
Cutting your grocery bill can be a great way to save money fast.
By making smart choices and swapping some behaviours, you can save money on this everyday expense. You can then direct that saving towards other money goals like building an emergency fund.