8 Quick ways to lower your grocery bill
It’s always amazes me just how much a trolley full of groceries can cost, especially if you add anything and everything to the trolley without a second thought. Luckily there are ways to bring your grocery bill down, it just takes a bit of planning and thinking ahead.
Pre-kids we used to spend what seemed like tiny amounts on groceries, then our two kids came along and it felt like for a few years our grocery bill skyrocketed. Over the past year or two we have tweaked our habits and now spend under $150 a week to feed the four of us, partly thanks to Aldi opening in Adelaide last year. We eat a very healthy diet and always have a fridge loaded with fresh fruit and vegetables. These 8 quick ways to lower your grocery bill will help you do the same.
Only buy the groceries you NEED
Think about your last trip to the supermarket. Were there some items that found their way into your trolley that you didn’t really NEED? Think chips, lollies and soft drink. Sure, they might be nice to have as a treat, but if you want to lower the cost of your grocery bill these are the first to go.
Wait until you actually need to go shopping
I started doing this a while back and I noticed a drop in the amount I was spending on groceries, all thanks to less waste. Instead of having a set grocery shopping day, wait until you are actually running out of food before you head to the grocery store. It will force you to use what you actually have at home before buying more, and I find I can get pretty creative with dinners even when I think there is nothing in the house.
Make simple meals
It can be fun to make complicated meals when you have the time, but they can cost a small fortune in ingredients, especially if some of the ingredients are harder to find more expensive ingredients that you don’t already have on hand. When meal planning, include meals that are simple and use ingredients that you already have at home.
If you are planning on making a recipe and there are a few ingredients that you don’t already have, see if there is anything in the fridge or pantry that could be used as a substitute. I do this all the time, whether it be a different vegetable or a simple spice or sauce.
Don’t throw out those leftovers! Freeze them for another day, eat them for lunch the next day, or see if you can incorporate them into the next nights meal, even if they are served as a side dish.
Be flexible with your shopping list
If a similar item is on sale, but that instead of the one you intended to buy. This also applies with fruit and vegetables, be flexible with your list and buy fresh produce that is in season and therefore cheaper.
Make meat stretch
Meat is so expensive these days, especially beef, so it makes sense to find ways to bulk up meat. Aside from having a meat free meal or two each week, I like to bulk up meat with vegetables. This especially works well with mince; try adding grated vegetables like carrot, sweet potato and zucchini. It’s makes the meat go much further, and no one will even notice it’s there.
Don’t look at the catalogues
I used to find the half price deals in the weekly supermarket catalogues were a great way to cut grocery bills, but now they are mostly filled with junk food. Don’t flick through the catalogues, but instead stick to your list and keep an eye out for any half price deals while you are in store, but only when it comes to items that are actually on your list.