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11 Ways to Save Money Your Groceries

11 Ways to Save Money Your Groceries

How to Reduce the Cost of Groceries

Grocery prices have increased drastically on everything. Even those things that don’t seem to have a price rise have shrunk in size so it’s the same thing.

This list is made to be simple and these tips don’t take heaps of extra time. It doesn’t include tips like grow or make your own. Even though that’s a good tip, it’s not practical for those who are time-poor (such as busy, single parents), many senior citizens and many on disability.

Although, you can grow some items from scraps and having herbs even on the window sill can save a lot. If you do want to grow your own, check out these 9 things to grow in your garden to save money and this DIY vertical lettuce hanger.

When we say groceries, I mean all food, toiletries, cleaning products, the lot. Some people only count food but since I do the shopping all at once, I have always included it in one budget.

Disclosure – this post may contain affiliate links to products and services I use. Read the full disclosure here.

1. Change What You Eat

How many of us eat processed food, larger portions than we should and eat when we are probably dehydrated? By making a few changes with portion sizes, adding more in-season vegetables, trying new frugal recipes etc you can save a lot.

Years ago, I had a mobile hair and beauty business with numerous clients from other countries. It was amazing to learn what they ate and how they did it frugally. Many Indian dishes such as dhal are so cheap and filling. It’s a favourite in our house.

Later, when travelling through Vietnam, Indonesia, Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands I learned so much more. Each of these cultures went to the market daily, bought minimal items, only what was in season and ate accordingly.

In most of those countries, breakfast consisted of soup such as Pho in Vietnam or tuluk (meat wrapped in cassava dough then banana leaves and steamed) in Vanuatu. Eggs, vegetables, rice, rice noodles, fish and easily acquired items were made into a variety of dishes.

Take inspiration from other countries and change what you eat.

2. Only Shop on Sale with Discounts and Cash Back

Why pay full price? Check what is on sale, buy enough to get you through until the next sale cycle if you can and shop that way.

Join the rewards or VIP program for wherever you shop and shop accordingly.

With the loyalty programs, split your shop and only get the sale items at each shop. This way, your total spend is lower and they send you better offers for lower spends. If you do all your shopping at one store, you will have to spend more to get the bonus offers and points.

Check out how to get a discount on everything and our guide to cashback programs for Aussies. Plus how to get free and super cheap food and how to keep your groceries under $150 a week for a family of 4 for more discounts and tips. Note, the $150 per week was January 2020. Prices have increased but the tips still apply.

If you want to try meal delivery services, you can use these discounts:
Get up to $130 off your first 4 boxes with HelloFresh
Get 40% off your first box with EveryPlate
Get $100 off Marley Spoon (split across your first 4 boxes)
Get $60 off Dinnerly (split across your first 3 boxes)

3. Compare Prices

Sales get rotated around the shops and not all shops price items the same. It is worth it to check the prices of items you buy and ensure you get the best price.

Sometimes, items will be half price one week at Coles then half price the next week at Woolworths. Often, their half-price sales are cheaper than Aldi too.

Know what you buy, how much they usually cost and compare online before you shop or take your phone with you to compare prices on the spot.

4. Shop at Markets and Other Stores

Supermarkets are not the only place to buy food and groceries. Look for warehouses for buying in bulk as well as international stores. I found items in international/multicultural stores were often much cheaper. Spices, nuts, lentils, rice etc.

All those foods can be bought and stored in bulk. Check the different stores in your area instead of just sticking to Aldi, Coles and Woolworths.

Butchers are another great example. Buying direct from a butcher is much better quality and you can often discuss discounts for bulk purchases. In some locations, they drastically reduce their prices right before they close if they have a day off. E.g if they are closed Sunday, prices can be slashed on Saturday afternoon.

Farmers markets have fresh produce, often at lower prices. Our local markets are on a Sunday and about 45 minutes before closing they begin slashing prices. We can often get local produce for $2.

Lastly, reject and discount stores have various items at a discount (check the prices) and often have items go on sale. Most are close to their use-by date or they are old packaging. I’d picked up shampoo for 50c that retails for $8, gluten-free snacks and pasta for 50c among other items.

5. Use ALL Leftovers to Make Something new

We are so wasteful compared to other countries. When we were in the islands, we wasted NOTHING and spent significantly less on groceries as a result.

Turn your leftovers into something new if you struggle with eating the same thing over and over. Check out the following for ideas:

29 meals for leftover chicken. 25 meals for leftover ham. 20 meals for leftover sausage(s). Also, what to do with leftovers (Christmas based but covers ideas for loads of foods).

Stale bread can become croutons, breadcrumbs, stuffing, used as a mini pizza or pie base etc. Vegetable peels and bones from meat can be used to make stock. Roots of some vegetables such as lettuce, herbs and celery can be sprouted and grown.

Cake can be turned into cake pops, trifle or other desserts. Stale biscuits and crumbs can be used in desserts as a base e.g. cheesecake or a topping or even sprinkled on ice-cream for something different.

Leftover vegetables can be used in risotto, lasagne, on pizza, in pies and so much more.

Check out the eBook 26 Ingredients(only $4.95) for ideas on what to do with leftovers and super frugal recipes.

6. Barter and Free Food

There is so much free food around through overloaded fruit trees, offers in community Facebook Groups or Pay It Forward and similar. If you grow something or have an excess of something, try bartering with others to get other items you could use.

Facebook Marketplace and Facebook local community groups are two great places to do this.

7. Shop With a Full Stomach

When you are hungry, you are more likely to grab snacks and other food you wouldn’t normally. Shopping after eating means you feel full and make better decisions plus can resist most temptation.

This alone can save hundreds, if not thousands a year.

8. Always Shop With a List

As boring as it is, having a list makes shopping efficient. When you have a list, you know what you need to get so you won’t forget items and have to return. You can plan your shop to get the best prices and you are less likely to be tempted to impulse buy.

While shopping, add it up as you go so there are no surprises. Take note of prices too and also check they scan properly.

9. Check Your Receipt

Items do not always scan at the correct price. Either get it corrected as it scans if you notice it or check your receipt after every shop to ensure you paid the correct price.

Often, this can result in a free item or if buying multiples, first one free.

10. Check the Scales

When buying fruit and vegetables, check the scales before they get weighed and rung up. Sometimes the scales are out slightly, causing you to pay more.

While you’re at it, check the weight of any prepackaged produce to ensure it is actually 1kg or whatever the packet says.

11. Time Your Shopping

I hate shopping at peak times. It’s busy, people are cranky and pushy plus items are not usually marked down then. If you shop close to closing time or right on opening, you are more likely to get discounted items.

Special occasions such as Christmas Eve can result in massive discounts on meat and other perishables you can freeze resulting in high savings for a long time.

Check your local butcher, farmers markets and similar as mentioned above to see if they slash prices at closing as well and plan your shop around where you will get the best prices.

What tips do you have to reduce your groceries?

Resources

9 things to grow in your garden to save money
DIY vertical lettuce hanger
How to get a discount on everything
Get up to $130 off your first 4 boxes with HelloFresh
Get 40% off your first box with EveryPlate
Get $100 off Marley Spoon (split across your first 4 boxes)
Get $60 off Dinnerly (split across your first 3 boxes)
Check out the eBook 26 Ingredients

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