With the economy still in a relatively fragile state, it’s always worth thinking of ways to slash your outgoings. Finding a good credit card deal is one way some people might reduce this, but one expense that can feel trickier to cut is the grocery shop. But that’s not to say you won’t be able to make some changes to it that will leave you better off at the end of each week.
Plan what you’re going to eat
As with most things related to finance, a little planning can go a long way. So if you want to avoid wastage and having to make multiple trips to the shops for items you’re missing, try to plan out what you’re going to eat for the week ahead. Put all the ingredients you need in to a list and be sure to take it with you – as going without is a recipe for disaster! Once you know what you need, you’ll be able to work out a rough budget which you can work towards as you fill your trolley.
Don’t go when you’re hungry
It’s a well repeated tip, but studies have shown that going food shopping while hungry can lead to more junk creeping in than you’d bargained for. Instead avoid walking the aisles with a rumbling stomach by eating something before you go. It might even be worth taking a little snack to have while you shop if you think it will stop you from putting more than you need in the trolley!
Only buy what you need
While ‘three for two’ deals and other offers can seem tempting, they’re a clever way to encourage you to spend more. So always weigh up whether you’re likely to use the products before the expiry date. It’s also worth avoiding falling for tactics such as picking up sweets or chocolate near the checkout or choosing a particular brand because of fancy packaging – in many cases the store’s own is likely to be just as good!
Stock up when appropriate
If a sale or special offer means an item you regularly use is available at a good price then don’t be afraid to stock up on it! This is often a good idea for meats close to their sell by date – providing you have the freezer space – or items you can place in the store cupboard such as toilet rolls, deodorants or batteries.