OPINION: 5 ways I cut my grocery bill by $150

TWO weeks ago, it was borderline intervention time.

I added up the amount of money I had spent on groceries that week and almost spewed. It was nearing $400 on one week's shop. That's for only two of us!

Suddenly my two blocks of $12 goat's cheese didn't taste so necessary.

Journalism really doesn't pay well enough to keep that up, so last week I went on a grocery-cutting expedition and I think I have turned a new leaf.

Here are a few tips I picked up from my Google frenzy:

#Write a list: As a list-nut, I do this anyway… but who has ever stuck exactly to their list? There is always a little something just waiting to pounce into your trolley as soon as you hit the confectionery aisle, let's be honest. But this time I stuck to it. Go me.

#Pay with cash: Initially I thought this was totally unnecessary and a waste of time going to the ATM, but my goodness it makes you do your maths. There is nothing more embarrassing than not having enough money when you reach the checkout, so this one is a total mind game. And it works.

#Be brand un-loyal: Just because you know a certain brand has the best yoghurt, doesn't mean you have to buy it every time. Check what's on special. You may just find your new favourite brand. I'll let you know how this one goes for me when I try my latest plain-labelled goodies.

#Check your stocks before you shop: This one always gets me. My kitchen is currently overstocked with sweet potatoes. For some reason I always feel the need to get some when I shop, never considering I have about 20 at home still. This week - no sweet taties in my trolley.

#Avoid quickies: Buy once, buy right. If you stuck to your list, (hopefully you did a bit of a meal plan before you wrote it) you should have enough food to get you through the week. No, you don't need to go home from work the next day via the supermarket because you had a sudden craving for roast lamb (and who the heck can afford lamb these days anyway?). Stick to the plan.

I will admit, I still did a dash to the butcher and bought enough meat for a couple of weeks and I still did my fruit and veg from my favourite market which is a bit on the expensive side, but worth it. But my total tally was about $150 less than that horrific-week-that-we-shall-not-speak-of-again. Winning!

What are your grocery cost-cutting tips?


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