As I said in my last money saving post, having a disabled child is an expensive business! This month I am working with Wow! FreeStuff to try and save you even more cash on your food shop and am sharing their top tips for money saving!
1. Never go shopping for food when you’re hungry
Many of us have heard this before but often we fail to adhere to this good advice. And yet, when we go shopping hungry we find that we almost always buy things we didn’t need #guilty. So make sure to eat a nice meal or at least a snack to help ensure that once at the supermarket you stick to the list. It’s even a good idea if you bring along your own personal bottle of water so if you begin feeling hunger pains you can drink it and the hunger will fade away.
2. Make a list
One of the best ways to maximise saving money at the supermarket is by making a list before you go. For those that are technically inclined, I use my Amazon Echo to write my shopping list and I have set up an IFTT recipe to email me shopping list to me! For those less technically minded, there’s nothing wrong with a good old fashioned pen and paper (although I always forget the list when I write one!) One of the reasons that making a list is so important is that many people will forget an important item forcing them to return to the market a second time and there’s always the risk of spending more than you need when returning to the store. If it’s not on the list don’t buy it.
3. Stick to your budget
If you want to save money you have to determine what your budget is and then be willing to stick to it. Today it is easier than ever to know what the price of any item is. You can easily look on the internet and gather together what the prices will be where you are going to shop. Even if the price is not perfect, knowing approximately what the price will be can help you figure out the needed budget based on your list. Today most people have smartphones and those phones have a calculator so you can simply keep a running total of the items that you’re buying. Once you reach your limit don’t add any more items. This is one way that scan & shop is brilliant!
4. Keep food staples in the pantry
Staples are those things that you will use on a very regular basis. Sugar and flour are a couple of the examples. These items can be kept for long periods of time and they’re something you’re likely to use almost daily. Items that can be kept easily and are used on a regular basis should be purchased when they’re on sale. Don’t wait until you’re completely out of these items but instead have them available and even if you have some but you find them on sale go ahead and stock up. Having these items in the pantry ensures that you and the family always have something to eat.
5. Buy in bulk
Items that you are certain to use and that are non-perishable should be purchased in bulk when possible. Things like toothpaste and toilet paper and other such items can easily be bought in bulk regardless of how long it takes to use those items. But it is important to make sure that when you’re buying in bulk you’re actually saving. When following this advice it’s also important that you remember not to buy things just because they’re on sale. If it’s something that you’re absolutely going to use and it’s on sale buy it but otherwise leave it on the Shelf.
If you have the space in your freezer then keep plenty of frozen vegetables. Fresh vegetables are great so long as you eat them before they go bad but frozen vegetables can be kept a very long time and so they almost never go to waste. Frozen vegetables are also easy to prepare because they’re already washed and clean and ready to be cooked with. When possible by the larger bags because buying in bulk is usually cheaper.
7. In most cases meat is expensive
Try to reduce the amount of meat that you eat on a regular basis. Mixing it in casseroles or adding it in with pasta and sauce are good ways you can use less meat and yet still satisfy yourself and your family. It’s also possible to replace meat with beans and as long as it served with vegetables and either some potatoes or macaroni and cheese then the whole family will still enjoy the meal. It’s also possible to bulk up things like spaghetti by using lentils and vegetable shavings in the sauce giving it more volume and yet it hides vegetables from the kids so they can still enjoy it. Try meat-free Monday’s as a way of reducing your spend on meat.
8. Over cook and freeze the rest
Cooking large amounts so that there are plenty of leftovers is one way to make meals easier to prepare and to save money. Cooking in this way allows you to easily buy in bulk and then prepare very large servings and freeze the unused amounts. Then anytime you want you can go into the freezer, pull out one of the frozen meals, and simply thaw and heat and you’re ready to go.
9. Don’t forget the coupons
Anytime you’re preparing to go shopping you should look to see where the best deals are going on. If you have coupons check to see if one of the local supermarkets has a double coupon day. There may even be a situation where some items are being given away for free. Remember coupons are often available online with sites like WOW! FreeStuff. If one store that is a little bit further away has some really good specials going on that day it might be worth it to make the special trip there. But do account for the additional distance to make sure that you’re not burning more gas than your saving.
As always, hope these tips help you, I am certainly going to follow this advice as my bank balance is looking a little scary at the mo! I’d love to hear your money saving ideas in a comment below.
*This is a sponsored post and includes affiliate links which won’t affect your purchase but may earn me a small referral fee.