Finances & Money

Is it Really Possible to Save Money on Groceries?

bananas-698608_640A lot of us don’t think about what we’re putting into our shopping cart. I know I’ve been guilty of just driving to the nearest store and taking whatever came to hand without really thinking about the price which is an easy trap to fall into. A family of four spends, on average, $247.10 per week on food and that’s doesn’t include dining at restaurants or ordering takeout. That’s definitely an incentive to spend less! Don’t assume that your grocery and food costs and fixed they aren’t and there’s a few ways you can make significant cuts to the bill.

Buy seasonal produce. Large stores sell a huge variety of fresh fruit and vegetables all year round thanks to their global supply chain, but did you realize that you’re paying a premium for out-of-season produce? Look at the origins of what you’re buying if something has been sent around the world, chances are it’s not in season. I prefer to pick up my fresh fruit and vegetables at my local produce store. First of all, they only sell what’s in season, so it’s cheaper, and I find the quality to be much better. Looks like I’m not the only one who thinks so either a recent study found that 38% of the public said their local store offers higher quality produce.

Make use of coupons. You’ve probably heard of ‘extreme couponing’, with people purchasing a month’s worth of shopping for a couple of dollars. You can get really involved with couponing and spend hours on it, but understandably, this doesn’t really appeal to people balancing a busy work and family life. That said, it’s a good idea to spend a little time scanning the internet and flicking through the Sunday newspaper to finding coupons that will cut the price of your grocery shop every dollar counts.

Shop monthly. When we’re busy, we don’t want to spend three hours on our day off in a busy supermarket, but by planning out what you actually need, you’re less likely to make impulse trips to the store every few days. Of course, you can’t bulk buy fruit and vegetables, but take stock of what’s in your cupboards and freezer and figure out what you need to buy. Toiletries, frozen food, and pasta, are all things that can be bought well in advance, and some smart shoppers have even stockpiled a year’s worth of toiletries!

Go to a different store. We all have our favourite supermarket, but that might not be the cheapest. Aldi was found to be the cheapest supermarket, with the contents of a shopping cart averaging at $72.30 but there are some limitations, such as a smaller selection and condensed store opening hours. Find out which products you can buy for less and if it’s worth making the trip there.

If you’re not in the habit of keeping track of your monthly grocery budget, or if you don’t think it’s possible to cut down your spending you might be surprised. Even if you don’t cut your grocery spending in half, it’s easy to save small amounts that all add up.

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James

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