How to Save Money on Your Grocery Bills
With the uncertain economic climate, you may be looking for ways to cut your expenses, which includes your grocery bills.
The typical family in Singapore spends about $400 per month on groceries alone. Imagine how much you could save if you cut that down further!
Luckily for you, we’re here to show you just how to do that.
Here are 5 grocery budget hacks you can use the next time you go on a grocery shopping run while still ensuring that your family is happy and well-fed.
Plan your meals
Before going to the grocery store, take some time to sit down and plan your (and your family’s) meals for the coming week.
Consider each person’s preferences and dietary requirements, of course. Then, check who’ll be eating meals at home for the week.
After all, if a member of your family has dinner meetings all week, it wouldn’t make sense to stock up on as many groceries or plan too many large meals.
Don’t forget to include any snacks or drinks you may want to get. Those are meals too.
Besides, planning even those beforehand can help you reduce impulse-buying at the grocery. You know, like grabbing that last-minute chocolate bar at the checkout counter - more on this later, though!
This is a good way to ensure that your meals are kept well-balanced and healthy too! You can inspect them and even check their nutritional values before setting your week’s menu in stone, so to speak.
You can even try looking for flexible recipes, or ones that will allow you to replace expensive ingredients with cheaper alternatives without destroying the dish.
For example, try replacing codfish with local fish or those that are on special sales for the week. Or swap more expensive (usually imported) vegetables with cheaper vegetables instead.
You can also plan with a view to working with what’s in season. Seasonal produce is often cheaper than out-of-season options, especially as the logistical cost for getting it to consumers is lower.
Make a shopping list
You’ve probably already predicted this tip: make a grocery list with the items and ingredients you’ll need for the week ahead, based on your meal planning.
It’s a good idea to also check your cabinets and fridge to see which of the items you may already have. This helps you avoid buying things unnecessarily.
And yes, grocery list writing may seem time-consuming, but it helps to ensure that you don’t forget any essential items you may need.
It also helps to prevent you from overbuying or buying things you don’t need once you’re actually at the supermarket!
Don’t shop on impulse
We already mentioned this earlier, but impulse buying is a budgeter’s enemy. To avoid doing this, stick to the grocery list that you’ve written.
While picking up that extra item on sale or discount may be tempting, you may find that you’ll be wasting valuable dollars instead of saving them with most sales.
That’s because if you go beyond your grocery list, the chances of you picking up something you don’t actually need go up.
It becomes more of a purchase you get because you’re afraid to miss out on a good sale or what looks like a chance to save money.
But really, wouldn’t you save even more money by not buying into the sale at all?
Yes, we know what we just said about sales.
But the point there was to avoid buying into sales for the sake of the sale.
That’s why it’s still useful to take note of sales, bargains, and other deals: so you can assess them to see if any offer goods you actually need or can use to bring down expenses.
So, whether you’re shopping at a physical supermarket or online, make sure to take note of offers and discounts or even coupons that the shops may be offering.
Look into membership options or even credit cards that offer cashbacks or points on your grocery purchases.
This way you’ll be able to get your usual groceries, but at a lower price.
Some websites you may consider looking at are Redmart, Fairprice On, Giant, and even Shopee Supermarket.
Change your shopping habits
Your habits in shopping can actually play a part in your buying decisions.
For example, going shopping without eating first can be bad for your wallet.
Interestingly enough, you’ll find that shopping on an empty stomach usually racks up a higher grocery bill. That’s due to the impulse purchases your hunger may cause you to make (all food may seem more attractive and cravings may seem sharper).
Shopping with others may not be ideal either. In some cases, you’ll find the influence of others to be detrimental to your budgeting.
Some surveys have already indicated this, like one from 2015 in the US. In it, 64% of respondents admitted to buying more when they were friends.
Of the items respondents overspent on, food was actually the top item (58%).
That being said, circumstances may vary from one shopper or household to another, so take this particular tip with a grain of salt.
Try to see whether or not your usual grocery shopping companion tends to drive you to spend more or less first.
As you can see, there are a lot of ways to save money on groceries.
Most of it boils down to planning ahead and practising discipline as well as discernment when buying.
Remember that this is only one of the many things you can do too if you’re looking for ways to bring down expenses and optimise the way you use your resources.
If you need further financial planning advice that goes beyond this, for instance, connect with us. We can help you figure out what else to do to ensure your finances are in top condition.