We could all do with saving a little bit of cash every now and then and one of the easiest and most effective ways to do this is by looking at our grocery shop and seeing what we can do in order to cut down on unnecessary items or save a few bucks here and there so we look at a few ways you can save cash on the weekly shop in order to help out in other areas.
1. Make A List
It may sound obvious and a little simplistic but a list can actually save a lot of money. Most people just make a note of what they have run out of and then buy more stuff on top of that. If you have a plan of action of exactly what you are going to eat that week, how long certain foods will last and what you need to prepare meals, there is absolutely no need for extraneous buying and you are less likely to pick up pointless impulse buys.
2. Only Use Coupons On Things You Need
Coupons are a great way of saving money but all too often, they are used as an incentive to lure us into buying products we don't actually need just because there is money off. It is a chance to try a new brand for cheaper than your regular brand then give it a go but it is still cheaper to not spend the money on something you don't need than to buy it, even at a reduced rate. So coupon wisely and only use when it helps out on your regular shop.
3. Check Unit Prices
All too often, a great deal can be too good to be true as you get it home and realize, there is actually less of the product than you thought and it would have been cheaper to go for the seemingly more expensive option. Check labels for the unit price and work out which product gets you more for your buck. It takes a little bit of basic math but it is totally worth it in the long run.
4. Buy Own Brands
There is a general consensus of feeling that big brand names have higher quality or taste but studies have shown time and again that this is simply not the case. In many cases, it is the same branded products just with less colorful packaging and still people insist on buying the name they know. Go for store brands and you can save yourself a bundle.
5. Don't Shop On An Empty Stomach
It has been shown that shopping whilst hungry can lead you to spend up to 70% more on your total bill as you buy more food as it is on your mind and you become more susceptible to impulse buys of candy at the counter. Buy after you've had a good meal and think about the products you're putting in your basket.
6. Plan Meals After You Shop
It sounds like doing things the wrong way around but if you buy products you need and then plan meals with what you have, you will buy fewer ingredients and end up making far cheaper meals because otherwise, you are likely to buy things you would have never bought before just because you are following a specific recipe.
7. Look For Items On Sale
Like the coupon issue, items on sale can be a godsend when you need them but don't dive into stuff you don't need just because it's cheap. Have a look around and see what is on sale and then get the cheapest product you can for what you need and don't waste money on other things.
8. Bulk Buy On Deals
If there is a deal or special offer on that increases your savings then bulk buy as it then elongates the savings over a greater period. Freeze or store the other items until you need them and you will be laughing all the way to the bank. Don't, however, be seduced by deals on luxury items and always be on the lookout for offers on things you use quite often.
9. Stock Up On The Versatile and Cheap
Buying foods that can be used in many different dishes is a great way of making your shopping go further. Potatoes are a great base for everything and can be made into mashed, fried, boiled made into hash browns, potato wedges, fries, baked potatoes etc. Lentils and other pulses are good for bulking meals out and certain veg can always be used as a filler.
10. Go Meat Free Once A Week
Going meat-free for just once a week can make significant savings as meat is quite often the most expensive part of a shop. It's not a problem for veggies or vegans but even carnivores can make savings just by cutting down their meat consumption. It is also much better for the environment and healthier so give it a go!