I have had a few people ask me (from my 1st blog post)how I keep my grocery bill so low. So today I’m writing about a few of the tips that help me.
Firstly, something that you need remember when looking at your shopping budget, is that every family is different. I have often read articles on how little a family spends on their shopping and think, why can’t I get mine down that low. Families come in all different shapes & sizes. Some are large families, some are small. Some families eat a lot, some don’t. Some families have foods that they need to avoid, others don’t. Whatever your situation, don’t compare yourself to other families; instead consider where you could cut down in your budget. At the moment, we have a shopping budget of $5200 a year ($100 a week). This is very achievable for our family. When our 3rd bubba starts eating, that budget might raise a little. For my sister, she has a bigger family, with some food allergies, which means they have to avoid some foods. Not to mention the fact that they also have 2 in nappies. With all of this, they still manage to stick to a budget of $150 a week. Although she spends more $$, I think that shows that she is actually doing a lot better than me at getting the most out of her shopping budget.
So here are some tips as to how I keep our shopping budget down low.
1) I make a meal plan – I create a fortnightly meal plan and then repeat it for the 2nd fortnight in the month. I will often try to plan foods that have overlapping ingredients. By doing this I minimise waste (and yes trust me, I can still manage to waste food even on a small budget).
2) I shop monthly – I try to do the majority of my shopping monthly and then keep some money in the budget to get top ups of fresh food during each week.
3) I don’t stick to a $100 a week! – Although my budget allocates $100 a week, I do my budget over the month. That way I can buy in bulk or if I find an extra great sale, I have money to stock up on it.
4) I shop at Aldi – I do most of my shopping at Aldi and only go to Woolworths if I need to buy a particular brand name item. I know Aldi is more work and you have to pack your own bags, but the savings far outweigh the work. I love Aldi and am very thankful to be able to save so much money by shopping there.
5) I shop at my local fresh fruit market for fruit & vegies – We have this fantastic fruit market close by that does fruit & veggie boxes. You tell them how much you want to spend and they get a box, walk you around filling it up and tell you when you get close to your budget. They don’t weigh anything which means you get a great bargain, great fresh food and a chance to support local even on a limited budget. Not to mention the fact that they even walk it to your car for you....fantastic service!
6) I have stopped buying soft drink and limit our junk food – When you are addicted to something, it’s easy to spend money without thinking anything of it. I now drink mainly water which is much better for my health and have limited the processed junk food that I buy. This of course doesn't mean we don’t eat junk (you will know this if you saw my post on the 100+ cookies recipe) but I found that our family struggles with temptation and we are trying to loose weight, so not having much processed junk in our house is the best option for us and heaps cheaper.
7) I’m trying not to buy take out – It is easy to forget that take out still falls into your budget when you don’t buy it at the supermarket. I once read an article where a lady said that they don’t buy takeout because if she is going to spend money on it then she would rather take her family out for a lovely dinner outing and not have to do the dishes after woods. This makes so much sense!!! So with this in mind I have decided to make freezer meals that we can grab out and eat when we are exhausted or having a really lazy night. This is something that I haven’t done yet, but is my plan for this month.
So there you have it, my top tips to keep my grocery budget down. I hope that you find them helpful.I'm off to bed now. Remember to turn back your clocks and enjoy your extra hour sleep!:)