For one reason or another, we have been on a bit of a mission in the last few weeks to reduce the amount of money we are spending on our grocery shopping. With ever increasing utility bills, it feels like the ways in which we can save money and reduce our outgoings are rapidly declining and this is pretty much one of the only areas we can still affect. (Is it just me, or do we seem to be busting a gut to use less and less gas, water and electricity only to find our bills climbing steadily up whilst our consumption is creeping down and down?! Someone around here is laughing all the way to the bank and it’s definitely not us!) Anyhoo…climbing down off my soapbox, my point is…we gotta save some money somewhere! So, here are my top tips for saving money on your grocery shop. Now all I need to do is use some of them!
1. Plan your Meals
This is one that I am really trying hard to do more. (I so need to practise what I’m preaching here!) We have always roughly planned out our evening meals before doing a food shop but I’m stepping things up a notch and making a big effort to plan ALL of our meals. On each occasion that I make time to do this, I estimate I save around £40 in one week. Having our breakfasts and lunches planned out stops me from making a surprising amount of ‘just in case’ purchases. It’s all the extra cartons of soup, bread rolls, salad, pre-sliced chicken, tins of tuna etc that I buy ‘on the off chance’ that someone might want them for lunch that makes a huge difference.
I find it useful when planning our meals, to think about how we will spend each of our evenings – what activities everyone has on and how long we’ll have for meal-prep. When I am shopping now, I am constantly asking myself ‘is this item needed for the meals we have planned?’ and the answer is often ‘no!’ Oh, and I always plan at least one night, to have something from the freezer which gives wriggle room if our plans change and we need to switch things up for a night out or an ‘emergency’ take-away!
I created a meal plan and shopping list template which you can download for free by clicking on the link below the picture.
I always take a photo of it when I’m done so that I don’t end up at the supermarket without all the info I need.
2. Shop Online
It’s no surprise that if you shop online you won’t be grabbing all those extra impulse purchases on your way around the supermarket but there are other ways shopping online saves you time and money…
You don’t have to take anyone with you – I don’t know about you but I find if I drag my kiddo’s around the supermarket, I always spend much more than if I go alone. (My hubby might argue that the same applies when he takes me!)
You save on petrol – New cheaper delivery prices from £1 (and one-hour delivery slots!) at some stores mean that if you live any distance from the supermarket, you are definitely saving on petrol driving there and back.
You can work while they shop – If you are lucky enough to work from home, you can have your shopping done for you while you clock up extra hours for your timesheet (just make sure you get a lunch time delivery so you can put it away during your lunch break!)
You can still benefit from special offers – Shopping online doesn’t mean you don’t get to take advantage of special offers (but it does mean you will probably only buy the things you really needed in the first place!) Most special offers are available online (they’ll appear as you shop each item) but you can even look through all the offers in one place on most of the popular grocery shopping websites if you want to.
3. Try a brand swap
I am the world’s worst culprit for insisting on a certain brand or product (‘Diet Coke anyone?!’) However, (diet-coke aside – obvs) the supermarket equivalent to so many of my favourite brands have turned out to be just as good. I am aiming to keep replacing one branded item each week with the supermarket brand equivalent and see how it goes. If I don’t like it, I won’t buy it again, but if I do? We save money every time. Win-win!
4. Shop your home first
This is a big one for us. We are so bad at buying things only to realise we already had one in the cupboard when we get home. This is where the beauty of online shopping really comes into all its glory! I’m forcing myself to get the laptop in the kitchen and as I go through my list, I’m checking whether we already have any items I’m not sure about, as I go. It’s a revelation I tell you! (O.k, not really, but it definitely stops me buying stuff I don’t need.)
5. Have the same person do your grocery shop each week.
I feel like I’m shooting myself in the foot here as my hubby hates the internet shop and I’m insisting we shop online, thus resigning myself to the fact that if I want it that way, I’ll be doing it. However, the only way to be sure you don’t buy twice (or three or four times!) is to buy it once yourself! So, from here on, I’m in charge of food shopping!! Hear that hun?! (He probably didn’t hear – he’s at the supermarket!)
6. Stick to your list (yes, the one you wrote and left on the side at home!)
I know, it sounds so easy! So why can’t I do it?! I make a list each and every time I go to the supermarket and never, ever, ever do I come home with only what was on that list! NEVER! I’m hoping the online shop will help with this. At least I won’t have to look at all the temptation in my path, it’ll just be virtual temptation! I’m trying hard to shop from the meal plan and the list and not add anything else. (But with the online shop there’s always the option to sneak back into your order up until midnight the night before delivery and add that item that you forgot, without buying 10 you never needed anyway!)
6. Use your vouchers (they don’t just take the money off because you have them in your purse! Whaaat?!)
Most of the big supermarkets now price-match their products with the other leading chains and along with your receipt you usually get a little slip that either…tells you how much you saved compared with others, or takes the difference off your next shop. You can use these vouchers online as well as in-store. Infact, most vouchers have a code that you can enter when you do your online shop, so don’t forget to use them
like I do!
7. Ask yourself if you really need this item within the next 7 days
This one really helps me to stay focused on what I actually, properly need. If you have half a tub of greek yogurt in the fridge and you only eat it a couple of times in a week, chances are, it will last you until you need to go shopping again. If you buy a whole new tub every week, you’ll end up throwing half of it away. The same goes for apples in the fruit bowl, packets of snacks and bottles of juice. Seven days isn’t that long. Asking myself if I really need it this week always makes me question whether I really do. And if I’m reducing the amount of waste we’re creating, and saving money, that’s got to be good.
Is anyone else out there desperately trying to save money on their grocery bill? Any super tips that are going to rock my world? Please share them in the comments – I could use all the help I can get!
PS. You can check out some more of my ‘top tips’ here and here.
PPS. Thank you so much to everyone that entered my Wallcreate Facebook Giveaway. Winners will be announced at 5.00pm today!
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