Major purchases attract a lot of attention from people planning their budgets. Naturally, saving for a house deposit or buying a new car are significant financial undertakings. But you may be leaving money on the table, if these high profile concerns overshadow the rest of your spending decisions.
In the long run, under scrutiny, you may actually find that everyday spending has more of an impact on your financial health than major buys – particularly when you consider recurring expenses. In addition to monthly outgoings covering energy bills, instalment payments, and your mobile service; the money you spend at the supermarket represents a substantial share of your budget. As a result, tightening your belt at the grocery store can yield worthwhile savings.
If you are committed to stretching your earnings as far as possible, consider these accessible moves you can make to save money feeding your family.
1. Shop Your List
Meandering through the supermarket is a costly mistake. Rather than mosey down every aisle, searching for products on which to spend your money, dietician Susie Burrell recommends a more disciplined method at the market. According to the Australian mother of two, taking a more streamlined, pinpoint approach can yield big savings.
For consistently lower totals at the supermarket, always craft a list before your shop. That way, there’s no need to wander aimlessly, adding unnecessary items to your trolley. Instead, suggests Burrell, hone in on the items found on your list, and then get out of the market before you’re tempted to spend money you shouldn’t.
2. Buy Treats on Sale
A packet of crisps or an occasional sweet treat won’t shatter your food budget. But why pay full price? If you’re looking to save money and moderate your diet, waiting for treats to go on buy can help you do both things. The rewarding challenge keeps more money in your pocket and somehow the indulgence feels less guilty when you get a good deal on treats.
3. Limit Your Number of Supermarket Visits
When it comes to sustenance, primal instincts sometimes kick-in, prompting you to buy and house too much food. Perhaps instilled in our genetic code from forgone days of hunting and gathering; there’s something comforting about filling your trolley and pantry with excess foodstuffs. Instead of caving to poor spending decisions, resisting the urge can lower your supermarket tally, without leaving your family hungry.
Much like shopping to a list, limiting your market trips reduces your exposure to overspending. For results you’ll feel in your bottom line, shop essentials a couple times each month, covering basic necessities such as nonperishable items and frozen goods that’ll keep. Then, as your menus come together and you know what you need each week, rely on 10-minute supermarket drop-ins to fill in with fruits, vegetables, meat, and perishable dairy goods. Not only will you save money when compared to doing a major shop each week, but you’ll also reduce the amount of food that ends up in the rubbish bin.
4. Make Your Cooking Count
Scaling up your cooking can result in substantial savings – as long as you account for leftovers. Instead of preparing the bare minimum, enough for a single meal, cook up several serves at a time. But don’t let the food go to waste. Instead, plot your menu around a roast or whole chicken, which you can repurpose for more than one meal. These larger cuts of meat are more economical than chops, steaks, and chicken breasts, so buying wisely stretches the nutritional value of each pound you spend at the supermarket.
These are only a few of the most effective ways to reduce your supermarket spend. Being mindful of your habits and maintaining these simple standards, you’re sure to save money on every shop. For further frugal success, add your own creative savings ideas, pushing supermarket costs as low as possible, without feeling the pinch.