Ah, the grocery store. Both a haven and a money sink. One of life’s necessities, yet designed to make you spend money. Ever noticed how the store brands are on the lower shelf, away from eye line and ease of access? It’s not because the staff enjoy bending down to stack the shelves, but to ensure that the first thing you see is the more expensive version.
So, how can you deal with the rising prices of every day necessities? With a bit of foresight, research and patience, you can be saving money at the supermarket in no time. Here are some tips, inspired by Financial Tips 101.
Compare and contrast
No, it’s not an English essay, but a method to save money. You know those annoying brochures that get left in your letterbox? Annoying, sure, but also a good way to keep tabs on what supermarket has specials this week, and where the cheapest items are. In my home town, an ALDI has recently opened up, causing a dive in the prices at the local Coles.
With an impending Woolies store, it’s likely to cause even cheaper prices. So, keep an eye on who has blueberries cheap and a special on toilet paper, and you’re likely to save.
Check the back of your receipts
You never know if a good special might be lurking on the back of your receipt.
Purchase clearance items
I have always loved getting clearance items, late at night. Baked goods that get slashed to a $1 and still taste so good, like doughnuts. Sometimes, clearance is just another word for close to out-of-date. If you’ve still got a couple of days up your sleeve, then even clearance meat is no problem.
Shop in bulk
Buying in bulk will always save you money. I don’t mean buying two pairs of jeans for the price of one, when all you need is one. What I’m talking about is buying larger amounts of absolute necessities, and saving some for later. Going in with friends and buying in bulk will also probably save you money.
Don’t shop and starve
If you’re hungry, don’t even think about going to the store. Everything, even that horrible plastic cheese that comes out in strings, looks good when you’re feeling hunger pains. Go after a meal, and you’re likely to buy only necessities.
There’s no better way of saving money on a shopping trip than to write out a list, and stick to it. Impulse shopping will lose you money, and leave you loaded with lots of things you never use and end up throwing away. If you’re no cook, don’t buy tones of complex ingredients to make laksa, and then leave them to rot. If you’re a sweet tooth, don’t let yourself wander down that ailse. List it, and stick to it.
Do your maths
It’s a big challenge for me to compare prices in a store. I can’t divide the amount by the weight, and then compare- my year 4 maths level really struggles with the whole idea. That said, I can approximate. If you can get a general idea of what each item costs per gram, then you’re likely to save money and avoid being confused by pretty packaging.