Ah, the dreaded weekly grocery shopping trip. Some people love it (like myself, don't judge me, okay!) and then the majority hate it. Spending money on something you are just going to eat, is nowhere near as fun as spending money on clothes or computer games, but if we want to survive, it's just part of the deal.
I'm lucky I still live at home, so I'm not bombarded with bills, bills, bills. However my role is to purchase the weekly groceries. I take this job very seriously. I want to feed my family the yummiest food I can find. Like anything over the past few years, groceries have sky rocketed in price. To buy cheese, you need to work a second job and don't get me started on bread or toilet paper. They are just the essentials too!
After a few months of spending nearly half my wage on food, I decided something had to change. At this point I was only going to Woolworths, which is a great supermarket, but if things aren't on sale or don't have a reduced sticker, they can be rather expensive.
I started to pay attention to the weekly brochures that I received in the mail, comparing prices for Coles, Woolworths, IGA and Aldi. I than made a decision based on the specials that interested me the most and which two supermarkets I would go to. Already I was noticing a positive difference with how much I was spending.
This gave me the extra push to find other ways to save money. I brought a lot of per-prepared meals before, like frozen dinners or lasagnas. I thought heck, I watch MasterChef, I'm sure I can start cooking up some tasty dinners using recipes, rather than relying on the microwave so heavily. I didn't even need to dish (dish, because food. My pathetic puns always have to come out in every article) out on cook books, I just googled "healthy" or "cheap" recipes and printed them out and created my own cook book.
Again, I started saving money. How fun is this? As I found myself going to Aldi more and more, I soon begun to realise this place was a groceries-hunters dream! If you don't live near Aldi, then I suggest you sell your house and move near one. You can save so much money on essential items and more. Sure, they don't sell everything a normal supermarket does, but you can buy most of what you need and then duck into Woolies or Coles (whichever one has the best sales) and do the rest.
Also another key is when something is on sale for a really great price, stock up. Always remember to check the used by date though, you don't want 10 boxes of chocolate that all expire in 2 days time. It does sound exciting, but trust me, that is too much chocolate for anybody – besides for this guy.
Lastly, never go shopping hungry. I know you have most likely heard this saying before, but it holds so much truth. The amount of times I have done this and walked away with a whole chicken, 12 bread rolls and a cold drink from the fridge (which is so much more expensive than the ones on the shelf) is crazy.
I hope in some way this has helped you, especially with Christmas coming on. Happy shopping ya'll!
In Sydney - Sydney/Flemington Markets are great too. Visit on the weekend (free parking) and buy in bulk (they sell small amounts too if you prefer). The produce is much fresher and tastier, and FAR cheaper than the regular supermarkets. Try to find the farmers at the markets and buy direct from them to support their business. ;)
What about the Golden Circle outlet Capalaba ?
I went for the first time a few days ago.
Good prices and more savings if you buy in bulk (bulk in some cases is just 3 or 4 of the item)
Go with a friend and you can buy a 6 pack of this and a dozen of something else and share the goods.
I bought good quality pasta for 6 for $5 and Donna Hay macaroon packets for $3.99 instead of $7.99 in Woolies.
We do our weekly shop in Aldi every week and save a fortune on our food shopping. The big chain supermarkets are ridiculously expensive and the bonus of Aldi is they have things in the bins in the middle of the shop which change weekly so you don't get bored either!! It does great kids bits and bobs too if you have to buy birthday presents and the like...
If you want to save more money take yourself off for a weekly shop to Victoria Market - you'll never buy fruit, veg, meat or fish from a supermarket again! I only ever buy packaged food and sundries from the supermarket now and I save a small fortune. Yes, it's not that convenient for most people, but make it an outing as there is often entertainment or something going on. If you go early during the week and you're done by 10am, the car park is FREE, and although Saturdays are busy, there is even more discounting early afternoon when the produce has to be sold.
We love South Melbourne Market on Sunday afternoon at 2pm, when they clear the fruit and veges for 'dollar a bag' ! We have lived on mango lassis when mangoes were $5 a tray, made 10 jars of strawberry jam when they were $2 a tray and had whatever seasonal veges were avialble in soup for about 20 cents a cup. Muffins at $4 for 3 bags of five go well in the freezer, and bread is even cheaper.
Also check items on the shelves below eye level - these brands of products will often be cheaper than the ones you normally see and easily reach. Check it out. AND TAKE A LIST - STICK TO IT, TOO!!!! Have also heard that strangely enough, if you shop counter clockwise OR shop from the opposite end of where you walk into the supermarket (not where the fruit and veg are at the beginning!) you will only tend to buy exactly what you came into the shop for and stick to those items only. Rather than the specials that you didn't actually need or the impulse buys. I find that if you shop within a limited time period ie. you have to be somewhere after you've shopped, then you will buy also only what you need, as you don't have the time to buy or consider buying anything else.