With food prices rising almost weekly since the start of the pandemic, many people are finding it hard to maintain their lifestyles. We’re all trying to cut costs wherever we can and adjusting how we spend our money. While you have no control over the cost of goods and services, you have control over your grocery bill.
So here are ten ways to save on your grocery bill:
1. Only buy essentials
Though it may be tempting to still stick to your old grocery list; you may need to cut down on some of the food items you love, and which are considered luxury items. Stick to the essentials and let your family know that some of their favourite foods might not make it to the list because of food prices going up.
2. Write a list
Whatever you do, don’t just go to a store unprepared. Walking through a store without a list, blindly choosing items from each aisle, is a recipe for a bill disaster. Before creating your list, check your pantry and see what you have and what you need. Create a list keeping this in mind and follow your list. Although it’s tempting to buy a packet of sweets or chips, do not put it in your trolley unless it was part of your list.
3. Make sure you get the best deal (compare brands)
It is important to compare brands if you are trying to save. Sometimes you may find that the store brand might be a lot cheaper than your favourite brand. In many cases, the store brand’s quality is the same or similar to your favourite brand anyway.
4. Go to a cheaper store
If you are trying to save, it may be a good idea to compare prices from different stores. Sometimes this may mean going to get food at stores that are not necessarily your favourite, but bear in mind, as long as the quality is good, it’s ok to change stores.
5. Buy in bulk
Sometimes buying in bulk can save you a lot of money. You may think R5 or even R10 is not a lot of money, but when you add it all up, you may find that you have saved a fortune.
6. Buy online
Buying online not only helps you stick to your list, but some stores also offer free delivery, and that means less petrol costs for you. That’s a double win. Also, it might help save your sanity and keep the anxiety of being out in public away
7. Buy during the best time of the month
Many stores reduce their prices in the middle of the month because most people would have done their grocery shopping month end. It may be a good idea to not do your grocery shopping when everyone else does and wait for those days when stores reduce their prices.
8. Do the chopping yourself
Instead of buying ready-made salads and vegetables or chopped vegetables, do the work yourself. You can also get your children involved by giving them the chopping or peeling chores. Also keep an eye out for local fresh produce suppliers in your area. The pandemic has led to the rise of many small businesses like these, who usually also include delivery in their service. It’s a good way to support local and you’ll also know exactly where your produce is coming from.
9. Sign up for discount programmes
Sign up for loyalty and discount programmes. These can be in-store loyalty cards, store discount apps, as well as general grocery saving apps. Check your app store for the various store and discount apps available. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at what’s available.
10. Don’t go shopping hungry
Going to the store when hungry is a bad idea. You’ll end up stopping at a restaurant, buying take-aways, or piling things into your trolley that you don’t need. Leave home on a full stomach and you’ll make much better food choices.