This week marks the end of Saving’s Month but hopefully it marks the start to your on-going saving endeavours? A saving habit is not formed easily and needs to be practiced daily, weekly and monthly, just like you would practice any fitness regime. Make saving on everyday things, like your groceries, a weekly activity, and add the difference to an interest bearing account.
Here are 8 tips that could help you save on your groceries:
TIP 1: Plan your meals around deals
Your grocery budget will go a lot further if you plan your meals around deals. Walk the fresh food aisles, view the specials and build menus around it. Alternatively, browse the internet or the store’s catalogue for deals, before you head out. Online shopping is also a great way to make shopping for deals as convenient as possible.
TIP 2: Do a stock take and use what you have!
How long has that lone chicken breast been in your freezer? Or how about those tins in the corner of the pantry? Make sure you use the produce you have! Do a weekly stock take of what is going on in the fridge, freezer and pantry. Not only will it make menu planning easier and save on unnecessary purchases, but it will also prevent the food you have from spoiling.
TIP 3: Allow time to compare prices
Doing the shopping is time you’ll never get back, we know. But you don’t have to rush it either. Rushing your shopping leaves you with no time to compare prices or look out for specials. How many times have you returned from the store and realised you’ve forgotten something? Rather allow an extra 15 minutes and make sure you are getting the best deals and getting everything you need in one go.
TIP 4: Slice & dice yourself
These days, especially for working parents, time is the most precious commodity. Convenience is therefore an essential part in your meal planning. However, convenience items such as pre-sliced and pre-diced vegetables and fruits are more expensive than those in their original form. If you are serious about saving on your grocery bill this tip will save you a minimum of R5 per packet. When convenience items are on sale, that’s your time to buy bulk and freeze.
TIP 5: Grow your own herbs
If you prefer cooking with fresh herbs, you’ll benefit from growing your own. You don’t need green fingers or a lot of space to make your favourite herbs flourish. All you need is to plant your herbs in pots with good drainage, place your pots in an area that receives enough sunlight, and water them frequently. Don’t pay for your weekly rosemary, mint or basil fix, plant your own, and save!
TIP 6: Buy in bulk & freeze
Bulk specials are great, especially if you have a large freezer. If your freezer is too small why not team up with a few friends and let each friend buy a different bulk product for you to share amongst each other? This way you can benefit from the bulk price of minced meat, chicken pieces and chicken breasts for example, without creating a storage problem. The same sharing scheme can work for bulk fruits and vegetables, tinned food etc.
TIP 7: Use online coupons
Don’t forget about online coupons/vouchers. You can find them on the store’s website or check your bank for any vouchers you qualify for. Royalty cards also allow you to save on your grocery bill, so ALWAYS use them.
TIP 8: Find alternatives for expensive products
Fresh produce, especially meats are some of the most expensive items a household has to buy weekly. Try and find alternatives that would work for your family. For example, instead of buying only fresh or frozen fish, perhaps swap some of it for tinned tuna and make a delicious tuna casserole. Or, instead of for e.g. using 500 grams of minced meat in your dish, try using only 250 grams and bulk it up with high protein products like beans, lentils, soybeans or greenpeas.
At Debt Rescue, we know how difficult it can be to save, especially if debt is absorbing all your monthly cash flow. If you are trying hard to save but cannot seem to make ends meet due to debt, give us a call. Our expert debt counsellors are here to help.