The supermarket is the one store where you will find a large chunk of your pay cheque going every week. For many of us the supermarket is a relatively thoughtless, even dreaded process. Practising techniques such as tracking, planning and budgeting your supermarket trips, can lower your supermarket bill substantially.
The price of food items can rise rapidly, and it becomes hard to know what items are worth at times. You may find yourself spending money on sale items, but how do you know if it’s really a good deal? In fact, in many circumstances the regular price is now the sale price. This is an advertising tactic used by many supermarkets, making you believe you need to buy an item because it is on sale.
The best way to keep track of prices is to review your receipts over the past couple of months and note the prices of the items you usually buy. Keep notes in a supermarket price book or simply on your phone. By practising this, you will know the average price of items, and the best deals on everyday items. When you see a great sale that is worth purchasing, you can stock up on that item!
Do not wander the supermarket aimlessly; you will be more susceptible to impulse buying! Have a plan. This is when that junk mail you receive in your letterbox can be useful. Check the advertisements and deals on supermarket catalogues (sometimes available online) and plan your meals based on those deals. Also plan meals, specifically lunches, based on what leftovers you will have. If you are going to have leftover chicken one night, plan a salad for the next day, saving you from buying your lunch. Don’t over eat. Make sure you eat smaller portions so you will have food left over for the next day, great for the bank account and the waistline!
Plan to Shop at Multiple Stores
Again, based on catalogue deals plan which supermarket you are going to shop at, one which will save you the most money. You don’t need to go to different supermarkets every week, this is simply a waste of your time and petrol! Be strategic and switch it up every month or so, as different supermarkets will have different deals at different times!
Set a Budget
Set a supermarket budget, and stick to it! To set a budget, first examine your last few receipts to see how much you spend on average. Then subtract it by 10%. See if you can keep lowering your budget every month by practising, price tracking and taking advantage of good deals.
A great way to ensure you stick to your budget is to use cash. Bring the budgeted amount of cash you have allowed yourself to every supermarket trip. This way you will not be tempted, or even capable to spend more than you have planned, using an eftpos of credit card. If your total amounts to more than your budget, put some items back if you can!
You will find that strategic supermarket shopping is often more fun and purposeful. You will be amazed at how much you are capable of saving on food!
Disclaimer: The above information is general in nature and not intended to be financial advice. You should consider seeking professional advice before following any suggestions in this blog/website.