Saving money on groceries is often easily said, but not always so easily done. This doesn’t have to be the case though. Saving money on groceries is possible, and with a little extra effort and some creativity, you would be surprised by what you can achieve – who knows, you might even have fun! Here are a few tricks of the trade that can help you.
The first thing you need to do is plan; to fail to plan is to plan to fail!
Sit down and make a detailed shopping list of everything you buy on a monthly basis. Decide on a reasonable monthly grocery budget. You may find it helpful to dig out those old receipts for this! The more detailed your list and budget, the more accurate your results will be, so be as pedantic as possible at this stage! List everything and split it into two categories. Things you can buy in bulk on a monthly basis and fresh things you need to buy on a weekly basis. Assign an estimated budget for each category. Once you’ve finished your list, go over it again and note which brands you buy of each product and what quantity you require on a monthly basis. At this stage, do some research and find out the brands that offer you the best value for money for the quantity you require. Online shopping websites are extremely useful for this! You can easily look up various products at the click of a button and soon your list will be complete. The aim of this list is to ensure you get the best possible value for money; you get everything you need without exceeding your budget!
Once you have your masterpiece of a list ready, get quotes from different grocery stores. Most shops in South Africa are very happy to do this and usually respond within the same day. This tip saves so much time – you can instantly compare their different store prices from the comfort of your own keyboard and choose the store that offers the best value for money.
Try to undercut the quote you just chose with a little bargain hunting! Browse various supermarket websites and see if there are any specials that would be useful to you. See if there are any loyalty programs you can sign up for – these usually offer great deals and benefits! Have a quick look to see if you can save any money by buying the house brand of the supermarket. Newspapers have a grocery section in them; you can scan through it quickly and look out for specials and cut out those precious little coupons. Remember every little helps!
Now it’s time to buy! This is most efficiently done in 3 stages, specials, monthly and weekly.
Firstly, purchase the items you found on special when you were bargain hunting and use those coupons!
For monthly buying, order the items left on your monthly list directly from the supermarket that gave you the best quote. Ordering in bulk has proven itself over and over again as a reliable money saver, and ordering directly from the store saves so much time and effort – instead of spending an hour or two running all over the store all you need to do is collect and pay. Do quick comparison of the products against your list, pay and you’re done!
The weekly buying is a simple shopping trip once a week to pick up the things you need fresh (fruit, vegetables, etc). This is a super quick shopping trip that shouldn’t take you longer than half an hour – max!