Aside from your mortgage, your biggest monthly expense is probably groceries. Unlike your mortgage, your car payment and the rest of your bills you actually have some control over how much you spend at the grocery store.
Make A Grocery Budget
Start by tracking how much you’re spending on groceries for a few weeks. From there, come up with a weekly or monthly budget. Put that money aside each week/month and don’t go over.
Next, try cutting back your grocery budget by €20 ($£) per month. Keep going and see whats sustainable for your household. The next few tips will help you do that without feeling like you’re depriving yourself.
Keep A List of Prices
Who doesn’t love a bargain or a good deal? They are all over the store, but do you know if what’s being advertised as a good deal IS actually saving you money?
The middle shelf usually contains premium products that are more popular and usually more expensive too. Next is the top shelf, with the best value on the bottom shelf (most people don’t want to bend down). Take a look next time you go shopping ; )
Look for ‘Yellow sticker’ products which are about to hit their Best Before dates. Often if it’s fresh produce (like meat) it can be frozen on the day and be fine.
Come Up With A Few Frugal Dishes
You don’t have to make drastic changes and eat nothing but 2 minute noodles all week. Instead think of a few inexpensive dishes your family enjoys. Often meatless dishes will be your best frugal bet, or use meat in small portions on frugal dish days.
Cheap cuts of meat from your butcher when cooked in a crockpot/slowcooker can be delicious.
Enjoying frugal meals even just a handful of days during the month combined with using up any and all leftovers will make a big difference in your grocery budget.
Cut Out The Extras
Make a list before you head to the store and stick to it. All those little extras like the fancy bread from the bakery or the candy you grabbed at checkout start to add up. Get in the habit of skipping those extras unless there’s a good reason to buy them. Stick to your list and you’ll cut your grocery bill by quite a bit each week. It’s amazing how all those little extras add up.
If you shop in Aldi/Lidl, stay away from the centre aisle. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve come home with a tin of paint (for a diy project I’ll never get around to) or a new pet bed (lets be honest, they sleep on MY bed anyway). These are impulse buys and sound like a good thing at the time, but aren’t necessary to run your home.
Give these tips a try and you should start to see savings on a weekly basis. What you do with the extra money each month is up to you. Save up for a summer holiday, pay off those credit cards or start building your financial safety net.