Use these tactics to understand your spending habits and stay on track with your long term goals!
Controlling your finances and staying on track with your long term goals can sometimes feel entirely derailed by the weekly grocery bill, but it doesn't have to be that way. We've put together six foolproof ways to help you stay on track and smash those savings goals.
Plan, plan, plan (and meal prep)
Now, we know it's not for everyone but meal prepping, even if it's just your lunch, can save you a very pretty penny! Let's imagine you've found yourself a great lunchtime deal for $10. That equates to $50 per week or $2,400 per year (48 working weeks). Now imagine what you could do with $2,400 back in your budget.
Taking the time at the start of the week, or whenever you do your shopping, to plan what your meals are going to be can seem like a chore but the simplicity it brings to your life, and budget, is better than you think. Choose your recipes and write your shopping list around them, or add them straight to your online shopping cart!
There is nothing worse than coming home from a long day at work and having to think about what's for dinner. Do yourself a favour and plan!
Do your grocery shopping online
There is no chance of you forgetting your list, or being unsure if you have butter at home. You can quickly check the cupboard or the fridge. It's also much easier to avoid the chips aisle when shopping online, which will help not only your weekly bill but also your waistline. Win-win right?
This is your secret weapon to staying on track with your grocery budget! You have the power to easily compare and swap things out to make sure you stay on or under budget.
Don't be married to one brand
We're not here to tell you to buy the cheapest loo paper you can find, but not all things need to be a brand name. Are you really going to notice the difference between a 70 cent dishwashing sponge and a 12 cent one?
It's worth trying the generic brands, as sometimes they can even come out of the same factory as the brand name one, but they're a fraction of the price.
If your favourite brand of something goes on sale, stock up, it might blow the budget for this week, but you'll be spending less in the following weeks as you'll have a plentiful supply.
Unit price vs sale price
Everyone loves a bargain, and some of us even naturally gravitate towards the shiny sale stickers, but sometimes things aren't as 'cheap' as they appear. Check the sale price against the actual price, and you may be surprised to find a discount of only a few cents.
The best way to see the actual cost of a product, regardless of volume or weight, is to compare the unit price. When looking at this, you can make an informed decision on whether the 'discount' is worth it.
Tip: use this strategy to compare products against others of the same type. You'll soon see the price difference between brand name and generic prices.
Only buy what you need
Having a fridge full of food can feel excellent, but only if you are going to eat all of it. Throwing food out is not only bad for your budget, but it's also bad for the environment.
Use your list, the one you prepared before going shopping, to know what you need to buy. There is no point in buying a kilo of carrots if you only need one for your salad - even if they're on special.
Bring your own bag!
While 15 cents per bag doesn't sound like a lot, and you may think 60 cents per week (4 bags) doesn't add up to much, but that money could be put towards something else. Like a coffee on a Sunday morning with your favourite human.
Plus you don't end up with a cupboard overflowing from reusable bags that you never reuse.
Try these tips for a few weeks and see how it affects your grocery budgeting, you might surprise yourself!