Do you ever feel like your weekly grocery bill seems to be increasing and starting to spiral out of control? Maybe the kids are starting to eat more, you have a large family or you’re finding that every week is a struggle to stick to the budget. Whatever the case may be, I’ve got 15 helpful tips to save you money on your next grocery shop!
I know what it’s like to feed a family of five and how costly it can be to feed a big and very hungry brood at home. I have 3 teenagers and a husband who are always looking for something to eat, which is why it’s essential that I not only have enough food in the house, but also stick to my weekly food budget. If I didn’t go to the shops each week with a plan in action of what food I needed, I’d easily be spending at least $200 a month beyond my budget. Once upon a time, I used to go to the grocery store with no shopping list and no idea what I would cook for dinners that week. I spent way too much money and bought way too much food. With a little bit of planning I am now saving money, reducing trips to the grocery store, having less food wastage and creating a balanced dinner plan each week.
I know that many struggle with keeping their grocery bill low, as I often get asked for tips on how I feed my hungry teenagers without blowing the budget. I want to help you achieve your budget goals. Read below for my 15 tips on how to save money on grocery shopping.
In partnership with Woolworths
Try to start with implementing a few of these tips to save money on your next grocery shop, and see how it affects your grocery budget. Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear from you!
1. SAVE $$ USING MY COUPON CODES
The wonderful team at Woolworths have given me coupon codes for all of The Organised Housewife community. See the Woolworths coupon codes for The Organised Housewife community here.
2. Start Meal Planning
When I initially wanted to reduce my grocery budget, the first action I did was start meal planning. For me, it’s the most important key element of keeping to my budget, this way I can base the meals on what meats are on special at the grocery store that week. Plus another bonus is that by writing out the meal plan and displaying it, everyone knows what’s for dinner, so if I’m not home or I’m busy my hubby or the kids can start cooking dinner. It also has some other benefits:
- Saves you time – you have all your food, so less trips to the grocery store
- Saves you money – you only buy what food you need
- Eliminates waste – you only have the food you will eat
- Balance your meal choices – you can have a good balance of red meat, seafood, chicken etc.
- Lowers your frustrations – stops the family asking what’s for dinner
I know if I didn’t meal plan each week I would waste far too much money on groceries, buying food that I don’t necessarily need and go a little crazy at 5 o’clock dinner preparation time with wondering what I can make. Ultimately by planning ahead I can create healthy meals, stay within our grocery budget, eliminate the ‘let’s just get takeaway’ mood and by knowing ahead of time what I am cooking I have a good indication of what time I need to start dinner.
AVAILABLE HERE: Magnetic Dry Erase Meal Planner.
2. Buy In bulk when there is a sale
When I notice there is a good discount on a product I know I use regularly I buy a bulk supply and stockpile it in my pantry. It may increase your grocery bill, but over the month it balances out and you’ll see a great saving. Here’s 2 examples:
- Let’s say a 1kg block of cheese is on special and costs $10, while a 1/2kg block of cheese costs $7.50, you’re saving $2.50 by buying the larger block.
- If you buy 4 blocks of that cheese for $40 and freeze three of the blocks for future weeks, that’s a total saving of $20.00 for the same amount of cheese.
I buy my washing detergent, ladies products, toothpaste, dishwasher tablets, loo paper and pantry items all in bulk. Although, I actually started buying in bulk when my kids were babies, learning it was so much cheaper to buy nappies, formula and food when they were on special.
BABY PRODUCT SPECIALS: See what’s on sale this week at Woolworths, baby food, formula, nappies, toddler snacks and more.
3. Buy Seasonal Fruit & Vegetables
The best way to save on fruit and vegetables is to buy seasonal produce. When in season, fruit and vegetable products are much cheaper to buy than when they are high in demand due to weather conditions. Strawberries, for example, are so much more expensive out of season. I also just started storing them in glass containers in the fridge to help them stay fresher longer. It’s actually working really well with the berries, I’m finding they don’t go mouldy as quickly in the glass containers!
4. Compare Prices of Fruit & Vegetables
Sometimes, it pays to compare prices on fruit and vegetables, because many stores have the same produce at a different price depending on where their suppliers are from and what the current weather conditions surrounding the products are. If fruit gets damaged in some places due to the weather, it will cost more to sell, as farmers will mark up their products to help with the loss. You may find the fruit shop just nearby the grocery store may be cheaper.
5. Always Make your own Salads
Don’t be tempted to buy ready-made salads at the grocery store! You will save so much money if you buy fresh produce and make your own salads each night to go with dinner. Plus any leftovers can be happily taken to work as a lunch snack. Be inspired by seasonal fruit and vegetables and get creative with some salad combinations.
READ MORE: Five Delicious Summer Salad Recipes
6. Grate & Cube your own Cheese
I have been doing this for years. I’ll buy that 1kg large block of cheese, cut it in half, grate one half and cut the other half into cubes. That way you’re not wasting money on two different packets of cheese and you’re saving a whole lot of money over time.
CHEESE SAVINGS: See what cheese is on special this week.
7. Freeze your Bread
I really like fresh bread, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t freeze bread to save its freshness. I am a great believer in freezing bread. You can also save a lot of money this way. Buy the loaves of bread fresh and popping it in the freezer will save you having to duck back to the grocery store (where you’ll probably spend more money on other things) and/or save you buying tuckshop or takeout for lunch.
8. Organise your Pantry
You know how much I love being organised and my pantry is a reflection of that. I always make sure I know everything that is in my pantry; what is running low, what needs to be purged and what I need to get in the next weekly shop to stock up on my supplies again. Start with getting your pantry organised so that you can see exactly what you have and can use up anything that might be close to going out of date to save you money.
READ MORE: Organised Pantry Inspiration
9. Buy Your Meat At The Deli
Buying your ham and salami at the deli will definitely save some money rather than buying it already packaged. I find that chicken breast can at times be cheaper at the deli rather than in the meat section. I also create my lunchbox and dinner plans based on what meats are on sale that week.
MEAT SAVINGS: Check out the current meat, seafood and deli savings.
10. Plant a Herb or Vegetable Garden
If planting a large vegetable garden is an overwhelming thought, start small and get yourself a little herb garden going. You will save money on buying fresh or dried herbs at the supermarket. There is nothing better than being able to go and pick your own fresh herbs when you’re cooking dinner! You can move onto a larger vegetable garden later and grow some of your own produce.
READ MORE: How to Grow Your Own Herb & Vegetable Garden
11. Use a Shopping List
It’s so easy to stray in your weekly shopping and purchase items that are a waste of money. Plan ahead and make sure you’re not spending too much money each week on unnecessary items and use a grocery list that you will stick to. Buy only what you need – no matter how tempting it is to buy those TimTams and other naughty treats that you can live without.
AVAILABLE HERE: Shopping Lists – notepads + downloadable options’
12. Plan School Lunchboxes
Consider bulk baking some items for your kid’s lunch boxes, so that you have school snacks on-hand to use for their lunches. My new Lunch Box Recipe Cookbook will help you get baking inspiration and pack those kiddie lunch boxes with goodness. My lunch box planner pad will also make planning your kids lunches a breeze.
What tips do you have on how to save on your weekly grocery bill?
This post is run in accordance with my disclosure policy.