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Saving money when shopping for groceries

Updated on January 9, 2011

Food is a necessity for life. Everybody has got to eat so no matter how you look at it, you need to regularly spend money on groceries at the local supermarket. But that does not mean you can ignore this area of your monthly expenditures when considering how to cutback your spending. There are plenty of ways to slash your grocery bills without adversely impacting on your lifestyle.

Plan out your shopping

The same principles of fashion shopping also apply to shopping for food. If you go in with the intention of browsing the store and buying what you like, you will end up spending more than if you had a plan. So before going to the supermarket, always have a look at what you currently have in the kitchen and compile a shopping list of the items that you are running low on. Not only would this give you something to focus on while wondering down the shopping aisles, this would also eliminate the risk of you buying items that you already have at home, saving the amount of food you end up throwing out at the end of every month.

In addition, before you hit the shops, you should always have a lot at the catalogues for the week to find what items are on sale at which supermarket. Sometimes, after getting used to going to the same shops for years, you may forget that there is plenty of competitor shops all vying for your business. Looking at the catalogues will ensure that you are getting the best price for your purchases.

Cut back on your visits

Studies have shown that the more frequently you visit a shop, the more you will end up buying. After all, no matter how strict you are with your shopping list, some brightly-decorated item on the shelves will always tempt you into taking it home. Therefore, one way to cut back on impulse purchases is to visit the supermarket less. Consider only doing your groceries every fortnight or if you buy mostly long-shelf items, every month. Without even consciously trying to cut down your purchases, you will end up spending less. 

Loyalty cards

Check out whether or not your local supermarkets offer loyalty cards. Here in Australia, our two biggest supermarket chains Coles and Woolworths both offer their own loyalty cards that generate points every time you purchase things from them. Both cards offer discounts on petrol and frequent flyer points. Since you are going to have to buy groceries anyway, why not use this to passively generate some savings on other parts of your spending?

Generic brands

Supermarkets nowadays are all introducing their own generic brands on various popular items to compete with the popular brands. Because of simpler packaging and less brand advertising involved in the process, generic brand items are usually a lot cheaper. While some items are generally of an inferior quality to the brand items, other basic items such as salt, pasta and flour are usually the same. So substituting a few basic items on your shopping list with the equivalent in generic brands can end up saving you heaps.

These are just a couple easy painless ways for you to slash your grocery bill without even realizing it. Enjoy the savings!


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