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Are you feeling the financial pinch at the moment and wondering how to save money on your grocery shopping?
Have a read of my list of 17 easy tips on how to save money on food and non-food groceries when you do your weekly supermarket shop.
This list includes easy ways to save money that you can start using right now. Tips that will help you make savings straight away.
HOW TO SAVE MONEY ON GROCERIES: 17 EASY WAYS TO SAVE MONEY ON GROCERY SHOPPING
Ever feel like your grocery bill is growing out of control? Particularly in the current economic climate, where the cost of food is spiralling upwards and a ridiculous rate.
Well this list of money-saving ideas will help you start making savings straight away.
The tips I’ve put together are based on my experience of trying to make savings on food shopping over the years.
I first started looking at ways to make savings when I went onto maternity leave and wanted to prolong the amount of time I could stay at home without working.
It was the first time I’d really thought about keeping to a budget and I learned a lot during those early months of parenthood.
It’s amazing the savings you can make on grocery shopping when you know how.
And once you know how it becomes quite addictive to keep finding more ways to save money!
So, if you’re ready to start making some savings, dive into my list of tips on how to save money on groceries, read the tips one at a time and see which tip you are going to implement right now.
17 EASY WAYS TO SAVE MONEY ON YOUR GROCERY SHOPPING
1. MAKE A GROCERY SHOPPING LIST AND ONLY BUY WHAT YOU NEED
Now, you all know I love a list 😉
But shopping lists do actually save you money. I promise.
Because writing out a shopping list is essentially writing out a shopping planner and planning ahead is always a sure fire way to make sure you get the outcome you desire.
Creating a shopping list will help you make sure you don’t run out of your grocery essentials, which means you won’t waste money panic buying them.
A list also means you can plan which ingredients go together, so that when you buy the ingredients for one meal, you can work out what else you could use the ingredients for.
That way you will avoid unused vegetables slowly going mouldy in the bottom of the fridge.
A list will help you avoid wasting money on unnecessary groceries – as long as you stick to the list!
Another plus point of a grocery shopping list is that it makes it easier to do price comparisons on your food shopping basics.
Take a look at my essential grocery shopping list content for more tips on how to put together a really useful shopping list and you can also download a free grocery shopping list template there.
2. FREEZE MILK, BREAD, BUTTER, EGGS AND JUICE
Your freezer is 100% your money-saving friend when it comes to saving money on your food shopping.
I always freeze my sliced bread on the day I buy it.
We only ever have bread as toast in our household, so it’s just as easy to pull a couple of slices from the freezer as pulling them from a breadbin and it means that the bread lasts a lot longer, so therefore we always eat every single slice.
I know most people know you can freeze bread, but I bet there are lots of you out there who don’t realise that there is a whole bunch of other food items that freeze really well:
- Butter – you can even grate butter from frozen into recipes
- Fruit juice
- Grated cheese
- Flour – you can use it straight from the freezer
- Nuts – pop them in an airtight container
- Cooked pasta
- Eggs – don’t freeze eggs in their shells, crack them into something like a silicon ice-cube tray for large ice cubes
3. BUY FROZEN VEGETABLES AND FRUIT RATHER THAN FRESH
Now, if you really want to know how to save money on groceries, look at buying frozen vegetables – and fruit for that matter – is a great way to save money.
Not only do you ensure that your vegetables won’t go off, there is actually science to say that you get better nutritional value from frozen vegetables than you do from fresh vegetables.
You can also buy fresh vegetables and then cut them up and freeze them. They key to doing this well is to use really good freezer containers.
I really like the Igluu range of glass food containers, because I much preper microwave defrosting food in a glass container over a plastic one. This set of five Igluu food containers comes with an extra lid.
4. CUT DOWN ON CLEANING PRODUCTS
Of course there is more than food and drink to buy at the supermarket and these non-food groceries can easily increase the total cost of your weekly supermarket shop.
Luckily there is one very easy way to cut the cost of cleaning products and that is to stop buying them.
Well ok, you will need to buy some, but if you switch to using bamboo cloths.
Bamboo cloths are naturally both antibacterial and anti-fungal. Use them with warm water or warm water and a little vinegar or washing up liquid to clean most kitchen and bathroom surfaces hygenically for a fraction of the cost of buying expensive cleaning products.
They also replace kitchen roll in lots of instances, which means you won’t need to buy nearly as much kitchen roll.
I really like the Eco Egg Bamboo Cloths, I bought a roll of them a couple of years ago and it’s still going. The cloths can be washed in the washing machine, they do shrink up a little, but are still useable many times over. You can buy a roll of 20 Eco Egg Bamboo Cloths and they will keep you going for ages.
5. KNOW YOUR UNIT PRICES
If you’re going to find real bargains you MUST know your unit prices.
I write down my target unit price … the best price I know I can get by shopping the sales … per oz, wash, roll or whatever’s relevant for each item.
I can then easily compare prices between different sized products.
And it means I know what’s really a great sale price and what’s not.
6. SHOP OFFERS, BOGOFS AND SALES SMARTLY
Look for special offers, such as discounts, buy-one-get-one-free deals and other offers across your whole shopping list. But pay particular attention to deals on expensive items such as laundry detergent and dishwasher tablets.
You need to be prepared to be flexible on the brand you buy, but if you’re a savvy offer shopper you can find a good special offer on one or other brand every time you shop.
And one final tip on discount offers… don’t be tempted to buy stuff you wouldn’t normally buy and therefore won’t actually get round to eating or using.
7. BULK BUY CAREFULLY
Most of the time buying will save you money. Whether that means buying the largest size packet or box or something or buying a bundle or multi-pack.
But do make sure to do your maths to make sure that the price actually does work out cheaper than buying a smaller quantity. I have noticed that sometimes the largest washing powder box isn’t actually the most cost-effective one to buy.
You will also find that sometimes smaller size packets or boxes are on offer, whereas the larger ones aren’t.
The other thing to note about bulk buying is that you won’t make a saving if you get through the bulk purchase just as quickly as if you’d bought a smaller size or amount. I find this to be a particular problem if I, ahem, bulk buy chocolate 😉
8. MEAL PLAN AROUND YOUR SHOPPING LIST
I meal plan around core ingredients on my grocery list.
Every month our meals will feature a zillion different ways with a great tomato sauce, hidden veg cheese sauce, curry sauce, bread dough, mashed potato and shortcrust pastry all of which have been bulk prepared and frozen to be easily incorporated into 20-minute meals.
I tend to totally avoid recipes involving ‘special’ ingredients that I know will just sit and fester in the cupboard or go bad in the fridge because I’ve only used a fraction of them in a recipe.
Read more: Save BIG Money on Family Food – employ these simple tips to make big savings weekly
9. SUPERMARKET SHOP ONLINE
First off I should say that online supermarket shopping doesn’t work for everyone. But I find online supermarket shopping way more convenient and more cost-effective than going to the supermarket. I mention it in my working mum survival tips.
I also make a saving on fuel for the car by avoiding a trip to the supermarket.
I find it much easier to adjust my shopping trolley when I do my supermarket shop online. I also find there are a few other major benefits to online supermarket shopping:
- It’s much easier to find offers … one click … and compare unit prices
- I don’t get tempted by “oooh looks lovely” impulse buys … I shop the list
- It only takes 10 to 15 minutes
- And I don’t just grab stuff to get out the store because of meltdowns!
10. AVOID IMPULSE PURCHASING AT THE TILL
If you do shop in an actual supermarket make sure to avoid making impulse purchases at the checkout.
This may well mean having to use the word NO very firmly if you have your kids with you.
11. NEVER SHOP WHEN HUNGRY
Try to always have a nice balanced blood sugar level when you head to the supermarket. This might sometimes be easier said than done when you have to rush to get there from work or early on a Saturday morning.
But if you do find yourself shopping on an empty stomach try to employ mindfulness, be aware that you are hungry and try and focus on shopping your list rather than your cravings!
12. USE CASH BACK SUPERMARKET APPS
Supermarket apps like the super popular Shopmium app give you special offers and discounts. They also allow you to submit your supermarket shopping receipt to get cashback. Give Shopmium a try.
13. SET YOURSELF A BUDGET AND WORK BACKWARDS
It is well worth setting yourself a weekly grocery shopping budget if you really want to make sure you save as much money as possible.
Work out how much you can ideally afford to spend and then tailor your shopping list to make sure you don’t go over your maximum budget.
14. SWAP MEAT FOR VEGETARIAN OR VEGAN ALTERNATIVES
It doesn’t always follow that prepared vegetarian or vegan food is cheaper than meat products, but swap out costly meat based meals for cheaper vegetarian alternatives and you could save yourself some money each week.
For example, macaroni cheese is a favourite in our house and works out cheaper than making spaghetti bolognaise. We’re also fans of a simple vegetable sauce over pasta.
15. DON’T THROW FOOD OUT JUST BECAUSE IT IS PAST IT’S SELL BY OR USE BY DATE
Now clearly you have to use both common sense and also a spot of googling to make sure that this is safe to do.
But you can often find that food is perfectly edible past its sell by or use by date.
I learnt recently that as long as eggs aren’t spoiled you can actually use them way past their use by date.
16. DITCH READY MEALS AND COOK FRESH FOOD INSTEAD
I know, I know, we’re all time-poor and sometimes quite frankly we just don’t have the energy or the will to prepare a freshly cooked meal. But, if you really do want to save money, you really have to leave the ready-meals on the shelf.
If you meal plan you can make sure you have a few good ingredients to hand that can be used for at least two recipes each week and you can also bulk cook food and freeze it, so you only have to prepare and cook it once, in effect creating your own ready-meals!
It’s really useful to have food storage containers for creating your ready-meals, I really like the lasagna storage dish with its own lid from Igluu because you can use it to cook the food and then use it to store the food in the freezer – genius!
You don’t have to use it for lasagne, you can use it for any tray bake that you want to freeze. You can cook in it, let the food cool and the stick the lid on and pop it in the freezer. So grab yourself one of these Igluu lasagne containers and get cooking up your own ready-meals.
17. INVEST IN A SLOW COOKER OR MULTICOOKER
Now this tip does involve an up front investment, but it is a great way to save money on grocery shopping over the long-term.
The beauty of slow cookers is that you can use them to cook cheaper cuts of meat and you can also leave them cooking all day, which means you don’t have to worry about cooking when you get home and then find you’re too tired to prepare a meal.
As an added bonus, slow cookers also use far less energy than using a hob or oven, so given the steep rise in the cost of gas and electricity, you will also save money on your utility bill.
I have an Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1 Smart Cooker and I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT. It makes the best fluffy rice amongst other things and to-die-for melt in your mouth chicken or beef stews.
I have the 5.7 litre Instant Pot and it is more than big enough for a family of four and even for using to cook for a few guests as well.
Seriously, I cannot live without my Instant Pot, especially in the winter months, so do yourself a favour and buy an Instant Pot right now and you absolutely won’t regret it.
I really hope my big list of 17 ways to save money on groceries really helps you understand how to save money on groceries and that you are able to start making those savings straight away.
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