Shop smarter at the supermarket

Shop smarter at the supermarket

By Kerri Jackson. Posted 28 March 2019. Categories: Personal Finance.

Never shop when you’re hungry
You’ve probably heard this a million times, but that doesn’t make it any less true. If you shop when you’re hungry, you’re an easy target for all the supermarket’s little tricks to get you to spend more.

It’s much easier to avoid buying that heavily promoted family pack of Tim Tams when your stomach isn’t rumbling.

Even better, shop online
Shopping online is great because you don’t have to navigate the cleverly designed supermarket layout, with tantalising offers displayed at every turn. This makes it much easier to stick to your shopping list.

If you shop online regularly, it’s well worth paying for a delivery pass, which grants you unlimited deliveries for a set period, like six months. This can save you a lot in delivery fees.

Buy in bulk when it makes financial sense
You can usually save a lot by buying your non-perishable goods (like rice or dishwasher tablets) in bulk. But this rule is not universal - so make sure you check the cost per 100g first.

It’s also worth visiting the bulk bins for dried goods - when you eliminate the packaging and branding, the goods are generally substantially cheaper.

Grow your own herbs and salad greens
Salad greens and herbs are some of the most overpriced products in the supermarket. They are also super easy to grow, even if you don’t have a lot of outdoor space. You can grow salad leaves and herbs successfully in pots.

The other great thing about growing your own salad leaves and herbs is that you only pick what you need, so there is no waste. And you know what you’ve picked is fresh.

Eat less meat and bulk up your meals with vegetables
Meat is probably the most expensive item on your shopping list. Could you make a bolognese sauce with half the usual amount of mince and add extra vegetables to make up the volume?

Eating this way is not only economical but also better for you. Win win.

Plan your meals for the week
If you’re not planning your meals, you’re really just putting random items in your trolley and hoping for the best. Planning your meals is a great way to buy only what you need and cut down on food waste.

Shop in season
Did you know a single capsicum can cost as much as $6 when it’s not in season? Review your recipes and substitute seasonal vegetables for out-of-season ones. And if you can’t find a satisfactory substitute, try a different recipe.

Write a list and stick to it
If you do a thorough audit of your cupboards and write a list of everything you need before you leave home, you won’t fall prey to those strategically-placed impulse buys on your way around the supermarket.

You also won’t be accidentally buying things that you already have, because you didn’t check the cupboards before you set out.

Pay with cash 
Buy paying with cash you force yourself to purchase only the items you need and exclude those 'nice to have' items. As grocery shopping is a big part of the weekly budget for most people, paying in cash is also a fantastic way to help keep the budget in check from one pay day to the next.

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