How To Cut Down Your Grocery Bill
Monthly costs are increasing, but salaries, unfortunately, aren't keeping up and we are being forced to look at ways to cut down on our monthly bills.
Our monthly costs are skyrocketing not only due to the recent lockdown restrictions we were faced with, but also a fact of life we mut live with. But what happens when salaries don't keep up with inflation or one or more breadwinner in the family loses their job? In this article, we look at a few ways that you can cut costs on your monthly grocery bill by being sensible.
Keep up to date on pricing of goods that you purchase regularly
Be Price Savvy
Hubby and I have got into the habit of collecting weekly shopping specials that are circulated by the various shopping outlets, whether this is Checkers, Pick n Pay, Woolworths, Dischem or one of the many other larger retail chains. By doing this, we get to shop around for the best prices on what's on offer and save a substantial amount by shopping around.
Invest or make up your own shopping bags so that you don't have to pay for plastic bags
Sometimes, we find items cheaper at one store than another and end up shopping at both stores, which can save us quite a bit. Keep an eye out for specials such as buying two and get one free, or purchasing larger pack sizes than you normally would and making this go further. One example of this is buying meat products where the price per kilogram is reduced if you buy more weight of the product. For example, a pack of 6 de-boned chicken breasts costs around R69.99 per kilogram, but this can be reduced to R59.99 per kilogram if you buy 12 or more chicken breasts. Agreed, you might not need that many chicken breasts, but when you get home and divide the pack into two meals you have already saved quite a bit.
Check monthly advertising leaflets for special offers and reduced pricing on items you regularly shop for
Be A Coupon Clipper
We may not have the discount coupon anymore, but that doesn't make you can't clip out special offers and bargains and put these aside when you do your monthly shopping. That way, you can keep track of who is offering what and shop instore to save.
Collect loyalty points that can be used to purchase monthly groceries
Sign Up As A Cardholder
You don't need to be a loyal shopper to qualify for a loyalty card at more than one store. Most of the larger retail chains offer loyalty cards that give you even bigger discounts over their normal special prices. I have a loyalty card for plenty of different stores and wait to see who is offering the best price before I buy.
For groceries purchased regularly, see how much you save if you buy in bulk
Shop In Bulk
It might seem a little silly to spend more to save, but the fact of the matter is that most retail chains operate on a monthly cycle, with special offers each month-end and additional savings every 8 to 10 weeks. Also, take into consideration any public holidays or special occasions where you can obtain even further savings. As soon as you see items that you regularly shop for on a special, take advantage of this to stock up your pantry so that you can save when prices go back up. I regularly do this with coffee and tea as well as expensive cleaning products. I have also learned that sometimes it is better to look at alternative or eco-friendly cleaning products as opposed to spending more on expensive brands that do the same job.
Before buying in bulk, check that prices are indeed less than those advertised at your local supermarket, as this isn't always the case
Make Up A Meal Plan
When you buy in bulk, making up a meal plan will allow you to use the bulk buys to best advantage. As an example, buying a larger whole chicken at a discounted price doesn't mean you have to eat the entire chicken at one time. A larger chicken will mean leftovers that can be put towards another meal.
Another option is to separate and divide bulk packs into portions and put these in the freezer until needed.
Bulk up meals with pulses, pasta, rice or mealie meal and fresh - not frozen - vegetables. Frozen goods are far more expensive than fresh, and you are only doing good for your family by serving fresh ingredients.