Save money at the supermarket

There are lots of ways to cut costs at the supermarket checkout without going hungry or sacrificing quality. Here are some ways you can save money on your groceries.

1. Buy in bulk
Buy in bulk when things are cheaper. Cut larger portions of meat into smaller packages so you only use what you need and keep the others frozen to use later on.

2. Utilise your leftovers
Cook a large batch of meals early in the week and freeze them to use as quick and easy leftovers. This can help avoid the last minute temptation of takeaways later in the week. Add your leftovers to your meal plan so you don’t forget they are there. If they go off before you eat them then buying and cooking in bulk becomes much less cost effective.

3. Shop less often
If you usually go shopping each week, try shopping once a fortnight. This will help get you into the habit of using all the food in your pantry before you buy more.

4. Buy generic
Swap brand names for generic products where you can. You probably won’t taste the difference, but the cost savings can really add up.

5. Check the specials
Before you reach for the brand you always buy, check if you can replace it with a cheaper alternative.

6. Check expiry dates
Check the ‘use by’ and ‘best before’ dates on food so you don’t waste money buying things you won’t use before you have to throw them out.

7. Try vegetarian meals
Meat can be expensive, so buy less of it and try making more meals without using it. Lentils and chick peas are healthy alternatives that bulk up meals when you want to cook a vegetarian meal.

8. Cut down on junk food
There’s nothing wrong with an occasional treat, but putting chocolates, biscuits, chips and soft drinks into your shopping trolley each week will have an impact on your wallet as well as your waistline.

9. Check all supermarket shelves
Supermarkets carefully plan where they place products around the store. The items they promote are usually at eye-level, so take the time to check the shelves above and below for any cheaper alternatives. This takes a little more work but it can make a big difference to your shopping bill.

10. Avoid impulse buys
Some grocery stores have special aisles with impulse buys that you would never think of buying unless you thought they were cheap and on sale. If you can’t trust yourself to walk out of the store without purchasing a few of these, avoid the aisle completely so you are not tempted to buy unnecessary items. Remember, just because they are cheap doesn’t mean you need them.

Courtesy of ASIC’s Money Smart

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