Photo: Brett Wortman / Sunshine Coast Daily
Photo: Brett Wortman / Sunshine Coast Daily Brett Wortman

LIVE+SAVE: Tips and tricks to save money grocery shopping

WE ALL spend a considerable portion of our income on our trips to the grocery store, but there are many ways to save a dollar when shopping. Here are six tips we find help us save!  

Eat First

Never go shopping when you're hungry - If you go to the grocery store when you are already hungry, not only will you buy things you don't actually need or want - these will be purchases that won't help your wallet or your waist line.   

Go with a list - Swap out, Don't Add

Going shopping with a list will help you with what you need to purchase, and will stop you buying food you will only throw in the bin. If your favourite snack is on sale, but it's not on your list, don't buy it. But, it is important to be flexible when you are shopping - if beef mince is $3 a kg dearer than pork mince or another brand of yogurt is $2 cheaper, why not switch it out?   

Look out for Clearance or Reduced items

Grocery stores are restricted legally by expiry dates, but it costs them money to throw food away. Usually, when food is reduced in price or in the discount section, it can still have up to a week left until it expires. If you are planning on cooking it that week anyway, why not save a few dollars, and feel good that no one had to throw out food! Just remember to check the dates!  

Think about your freezer

Your freezer is your best friend, a magic space where you can freeze time, at least on expiry dates. According to WebMD "Once a perishable product is frozen, it doesn't matter if the date expires because foods kept frozen continuously are safe indefinitely."  

This is your one chance to go slightly over your predicted budget. If you keep some extra funds in your bank for a day where a food you always buy is on special, then you might not have to buy that same product for a few extra weeks.

Just remember that an item isn't really going to save you money if it's not 45% off or more - see here for a list of safe ways to freeze food - http://www.taste.com.au/how+to/articles/936/how+to+freeze+food  

Research your local stores

Check out your local grocery store's catalogues and sales days. Some stores discount breads, meats and dairy on the same day each week. It might not be the most convenient time to shop, but it will save you a fortune in the long run.   

The cheapest isn't always the cheapest

Always look carefully at pricing. Different companies use different sizing to make customers think their product is cheaper.

REMEMBER when something is cheaper per unit (100 grams, per kilo etc.) only then is it cheaper - bring a calculator to the store to help you make these decisions.   Happy shopping!


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