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Your best tips for saving money on groceries?


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#1 EssentialBludger

Posted 26 November 2012 - 02:51 PM

I'm looking to cut down my grocery bill. I spend about $220pw which for one adult, 2 kids and a cat is a bit ridiculous. Although that does include all cleaning products and nappies and wipes etc.

I've tried stopping all prepacaged food and doing more baking, homebrand everything, bicarb and vinegar for cleaning and more fresh fruits and veg instead of junk but I still can't get it under $200pw.

Meat is a big killer so I'm trying lots of new vego dishes too.


What's your best money saving tips at the supermarket?

#2 2CuteCookies

Posted 26 November 2012 - 02:57 PM

"ALDI" is my money saving tip.  

Not sure where you are located or if this is an option, but I save sooooooo much if I can get the majority of my groceries at Aldi, then I just stock up on bulk meats from the butcher each month.

#3 EssentialBludger

Posted 26 November 2012 - 02:59 PM

No aldi in WA unfortunately!

#4 packysmum

Posted 26 November 2012 - 02:59 PM

I spend $220 per week with 2 adults and 3 kids. That includes everything. I'm a big fan of ordering groceries online and getting it delivered. You can see exactly what you are spending and cull down at the end if you have gone over budget. I also meal plan for the fortnight and do an online shop once a fortnight so I save on delivery fees. I also have a few cheap eat nights throughout the fortnight. Also I buy cheaper cuts of meat or buy in bulk. The cheap cuts are good for slow cooking.

#5 mnsr621

Posted 26 November 2012 - 03:03 PM

Meal Plan with whats on special, I also go to at least 2 supermarkets to get their best specials. We also use a lot of cheaper meats, sausages, mince, chicken, and lots of BBQ stuff now the weather is warming up.

#6 emlis22

Posted 26 November 2012 - 03:04 PM

rats, I was going to suggest Aldi too.

I would suggest looking at what you're buying food wise. As in what meals are you cooking. Like PP, I do 'cheap' nights, where it's sausages and vegetables, pasta with vegetables (seriously, pasta is like $1, veggies, tin toms, maybe some bacon), a risotto with chicken breast, peas, and onion. The trick to this is to PLAN, and write a LIST>

#7 robot sm

Posted 26 November 2012 - 03:08 PM

Definitely a list, and I try to never cook a dinner that only goes for one night - I always make something that we can have as leftovers the next day.

#8 Lagom

Posted 26 November 2012 - 03:12 PM

I buy in bulk if it saves money.  You need money for the initial outlay but it saves in the end.  I love Costco and Aldi but that isn't much help to you.
Check out your local butcher/grocer and ask your friends and family where they shop for discounts.  Buy at a market if that is an option.  Shop at times when they are marking down.  I know what days our Coles and Safeway mark down their meat and I go and get stuff up to 70% off.  Cook and freeze, eat that night or freeze straight away.
Meal plan.  Keep some cheap options on the plan like spag bog with lots of vegies in it, pasta dishes, rissoles and steam veg, slow cook with cheap cuts to make them tender, learn how to cook some vegetarian meals or things like impossible pie.  There are quite a few threads on here about how to save money on your groceries so I won't repeat too much.  I recommend you search and read through them as there are some great suggestions.
Good luck!

#9 KBM

Posted 26 November 2012 - 03:14 PM

Do you have a Spud Shed nearby?  Or another growers market that have cheap fruit and veggies.  I try to run out/run low on all my f & v then do one massive shop at spud shed, I probably save $30 per shop.

Buy the cheaper breads and milk, generic brands for basics.

Get to know a good price for things so that your not bamboozled by advertising - for example 50c per roll is NOT a good special price for toilet paper, 33c per roll is.  When you see it at 33 c per roll, buy 20 of them.  Its not like your going to stop using toilet paper.

Sit down with all your supermarket junk mail and compare prices, Coles might be saying San Remo pasta, now $1.25, thats a $1.80 saving!  But then IGA might have them out for $1.

Online shopping is also good, as pp has mentioned as your not impulse buying, you buy what you need and thats it.

#10 casime

Posted 26 November 2012 - 03:14 PM

Stay away from the supermarkets as much as possible is my big tip.  I buy directly from local suppliers or farmers markets for most of my produce and meat supplies.   Buy in bulk where possible.   Only buy what is in season as it's cheaper.  

Also, if you have friends who would like to save some money, you could work together.  Some people I know have a mini co-op going where one person goes to the fruit market and buys boxes of fruits and veges.   Things like boxes of tomatoes for $3, etc.  They then divide it up and pay their share.  They do save heaps of money that way.

#11 MrsLexiK

Posted 26 November 2012 - 03:17 PM

Wow that is a lot, we don't even do half that most weeks for 2 adults and a dog.  We tend to be $100 one week and then $50 the next or $75 and $75

First I do not use anywhere near the amount they say to use for dishwasher/washing machine detergent/liquid/tablets etc.  I use the cold power squirt thing I think it says 18 washes or something.  We do at least 2 loads a week and I reckon I have had the thing for 6 months. I started doing the above before I realised I was saving anything because I was finding the dishwashing wasn't processing the tablets or powder properally and my washing was coming out with big white marks from the washing machine.

How much meat do you eat in a serve.  If I make a stir fry I will use 1 chic breast, or 1 rump steak or the like and stock it with heaps of veg.  When I make something mince I will use 500g but add greated carrot and zucini (regardless of what it is) and there is always freezable portions and left overs for lunch. Depending on whether it is spag bog or not there is also a stack of mushrooms added.  I did add lentils the other time and my DH couldn't even tell.  

I don't stock up on carbs either we eat the slim noddles most of the time or brown rice so not 59 cents a serve.  I do buy my fruit and veg though from either a local farm or the fruit and veg shop (who have their own farms) The fruit and veg shop has mark down tables all day on produce - when I go on maternity leave I will be visting daily/or every second day to get the best deals.  It means you basically have to use them that night or the next day thouh, I know IGA does this as well but not sure about Woolies or Coles (mine don't)

I also buy my meat from either my step sister (so geta good deal) or from the butcher that sells in bulk wholsale to the public.  I have figured out their red meat is cheaper from one place and thier chic cheaper from another, I also buy a bit from Aldi.  Things like Turkey are really cheap from Woolies I find as well and I much prefer a turkey sausage or turkey breast to chicken breast (so do my hips!)


#12 citylife

Posted 26 November 2012 - 03:19 PM

I buy meat in bulk every 3 4 mths and I buy the cheaper meats which are so versatile and you can really bulk up eg mince can make tacos, pie bolognese sauce and bulk up with fresh/frozen vegies or lentils and pulses

Veges: buy frozen just as good
Buy fruit and veg in season
Buy home brand as much as possible for basic staples like milk, flour, sugar, serviettes, oil, etc

Do a pantry stocktake and use up what you have
If fruit is going off soon or needs to be eaten and you don't want to then freeze it for later use eg: bananas freeze to make muffins/cakes

Make treats for lunchboxes like biscuits, cakes muffins which you can freeze

Cut out juice/soft drink if you need something buy homebrand cordial

homemade icypoles cordial frozen or frozen fruit puree


#13 bikingbubs

Posted 26 November 2012 - 03:19 PM

Eat less meat - will save you HEAPS!

We rarely eat meat these days (maybe 1 x fortnight) but used to have it daily, and I swear it saved us $50-60/wk easily!

#14 IamzFeralz

Posted 26 November 2012 - 03:24 PM

I spend that much too for a family of 4.  I buy a lot of fruit, nuts and veggies and basic stuff such as eggs, flour and butter as I don't really like pre-packaged food.  I don't think you save as much by making it yourself from basics as much as you used to - I've noticed fruit, veg and meats are getting more expensive now.  

Yes yes to meal planning
Freeze leftovers for lunches etc
For cleaning products use bi-carbonate soda and vinegar. You can use that on your hair as well!  
Market for fruit and veg if you live close to one?
Don't buy juices, soft drinks - water with a dash of lemon juice is just fine
Make your own yoghurt - not sure if that saves money anymore?
Cut out dessert or perhaps have it just once a week as a special treat


#15 Lyra

Posted 26 November 2012 - 03:37 PM

I agree with what PP have said. I will also add in: buy what is on special and in season. For example if I see Tacos on special I will buy them even if they are not on my list. Each week before I write my list I will look in the cupboard and see what I have. Often, with the meat I have bought in bulk, and with what is in the cupboard and freezer I will only need to buy the fresh ingredients

#16 MrsLexiK

Posted 26 November 2012 - 03:53 PM

Also, I make my sauces from scratch, so taco seasoning from the herbs (which cost about $2 a pop and last ages) sauces from tinned (organic) toms and herbs, stir fry from soy, honey, garlic mix. or a lemon grass, chilli garlic mix. etc Satay sauce - homemade again.  chicken wings I marinade in lemon and herbs or again soy,honey and garlic, or chilli sauce. Honey mustard sauce, honey, seeded mustard and some sour cream.  If I do use a bottle it is only 1/4 used, you don't need that much sauce in there.  Add a bit of stock to a stirfry to give it more sauce if you need.  I started doing it to get rid of the persevitaves and the sugar but found that I was saving heaps by not buying the pre made sauces.

If you meal plan on top of that (which working full time with stupid finishes is actually hard in this household to meal plan, I will plan some meals and wing the others) but if I plan honey mustard chicken I will normally then plan for something else I will use sour cream in as I wouldn't normally use the whole tub. Same with veggies.  We eat alot of carrots, brocolli, mushrooms and zucinni - these are great for almost all meals, and you can normally throw something together with them and a piece of meat or bag of mince rather easily.  I can't wait til I am not working full time stupid long 12 hour days and can get back to meal planning!

Also for wipes and nappies Big W or if your daughter can use the cheaper wipes (I know some kids have sensative skin) also use the cheaper nappies durning the day and the huggies at night. (something my SIL taught me)

#17 nakedrhubarb

Posted 26 November 2012 - 04:17 PM

If you have markets near you then go there on the Sunday afternoon. The markets near us are shut Monday and Tuesday, so meat and vegies are all marked down on Sunday.

I buy in season, I cook in bulk and freeze, I bulk meals out with vegetables and I grow vegetables and herbs in my garden. I also make everything from scratch.

I use my steamer or vinegar/bi-carb for cleaning so don't have to buy chemicals. I also meal plan and snack plan. I found if I have carrot sticks and a nice dip in the fridge then I'll grab that to eat rather than the packet of chips on the top shelf (I need a stool to reach the chips and I am lazy!)

I also buy oil in 4l tins. I usually pick them up when they are half price.

And keep in mind that supermarket specials recycle themselves around every 6 weeks, so if you know the things you use a lot of, buy them when they are on sale!

#18 *little-rach*

Posted 26 November 2012 - 04:26 PM

My tips are..

Don't shop on an empty stomach!
Cloth nappies and wipes
I'm vegetarian and DH and our DDs will eat veggo most of the time too. I only cook meat 1-2 times a month.
Generic brands - I always use to buy "brand name" stuff but now I find the woolies brands etc to be jst as good and it saves me heaps.
My girls love to snack during the day and if I bought chips, lollies, ice cream etc they would literally eat it all in a day! So the food I buy them is lots of fresh fruit and veggies (cut up into sticks), nuts and seeds, dry biscuits with cheese, dried apricots and sultanas and their "treat" is popcorn.
Don't buy things like soft drinks and rubbish foods
Look for things on special.

I normally spend around $180 per week for 2 adults and 3 children.

HTH

#19 Feral_Pooks

Posted 26 November 2012 - 04:37 PM

Buy as much as you can from other places. Like Sams warehouse or the Reject Shop for toiletries and cleaning products and some staples, Fruit and veg from a local green grocer, etc.

Write out a meal plan, write a shopping list and stick to it.

Go for homebrand.

Often, stuff on the lower shelves is more cost effective.

Buy bulk. Even things like a block of chocolate instead of a few bars wink.gif

Use less. This is such a broad thing to say, but if you look around with a critical eye you'll probably find ways.

Go shopping on a full stomach.

#20 9ferals

Posted 26 November 2012 - 04:45 PM

In WA you can buy in bulk at Cash'n'Carry - just use your RAC card instead of a membership.
We go there for bulk stuff like pasta, rice, tinned tomatoes, tuna, toilet paper etc.

And I second the suggestion to plan your meals, then just buy what you need. I save heaps this way.

#21 akkiandmalli

Posted 26 November 2012 - 04:59 PM

i second alot of the tips outlined above...
I shop at a local market/aldi once a fortnight and spend $270-300 a fortnight. I shop with a friend and often buy large quantities and split the cost (on Friday we got 4kg of chicken drumsticks for $15) 10kg watermelon for $6.00. we only eat chicken/fish and only 2-3 times a week. most of the time it is vegetarian. ( tonight is asparagus, mushroom and lemon risotto.)
when things run low learn to be experimental. i also have a veggie garden where i have lots of herbs and own produce so around Christmas/new year i wont need to buy certain vegies as they will be plentiful.
my kids eat lots of fruits and veggies although sometimes not  the cheaper option for snacks i believe their behaviour is directly related than eating junky foods.
i suggest you write a meal planner and really scrutinise where you spend money and can you substitute something for something else? maybe a cheaper cut of meat of a vego meal instead of a meal one.. Feel free to PM i know plenty of veggie meals to help you out original.gif

#22 Cranky Kitten

Posted 26 November 2012 - 05:10 PM

QUOTE (Rubybelle @ 26/11/2012, 02:45 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
In WA you can buy in bulk at Cash'n'Carry - just use your RAC card instead of a membership.
We go there for bulk stuff like pasta, rice, tinned tomatoes, tuna, toilet paper etc.

And I second the suggestion to plan your meals, then just buy what you need. I save heaps this way.


Oh wow. Wow. Wow. You just made my day! We already do most of our shopping at the Spud Shed for fresh foods, but I used to loooooooove going to Cash and Carry when I used to work at a service station that had a card original.gif

#23 ♥~Bodhichitta~♥

Posted 26 November 2012 - 05:25 PM

For DS7 and I, we usually spend $100 a week on groceries.  It's a bit higher than I would like, but DS is both gluten and dairy free, so rules out a lot of options.

To cut down out grocery expenses I:

Cook in bulk (freezing leftovers)
Use minimal amounts of meat, and substitute veg or lentils instead
Eat lots of rice
Bake my own biscuits and cakes
Buy my fruit and veg from a market where possible



#24 Babetty

Posted 26 November 2012 - 06:36 PM

I second looking at how much meat you buy. We have meat or fish pretty much every night, but 500g lasts us two nights (eg 500g mince in a bolognaise sauce will do two meals, 500g beef strips in a stir fry will last two nights). This is for 2 adults and a 3 year old.

Sometimes the meat is just a few rashers of bacon in a pasta bake or rissotto, but it's enough to keep my carnivorous DH happy.


#25 weepingangel

Posted 27 November 2012 - 11:54 AM

I buy bulk- research the best prices.

I buy meat from a wholesale place monthly and belong to a fruit & vege co-op.

I shop monthly for grocery items/meat and the fruit & vege is fortnightly.

I can do a family of 6 for around $1000 per month.

I'm also in WA original.gif

Will also check out the cash n carry




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