We all experience stages in life where money is tight. Thankfully for us, there are specific expenses that we can quite easily eliminate, such as cable television, gym memberships, and eating out at restaurants. On the contrary, there are other expenditures that we simply can’t avoid. Rent, debt repayments and school fees are just a few of the mandatory expenses that are fixed and there’s not much we can do about it. Having said this, there is one mandatory expense where we can all save a good deal of money; and that expense is food.

Having undertaken some research, I’ve discovered there are a range of ways in which we can all save on food expenses. Of course, eating out at restaurants is much more costly than eating at home, but I’m talking about saving money on your weekly food bills. You’ll be delighted at just how much money you can save by following some basic guidelines, so here are some useful tips that can save you thousands of dollars every year on your grocery bills.

Plan your meals and prepare a shopping list
Have you ever needed to toss out food because it’s past its expiry date? I know I have! By planning every meal of the week, you can ensure that you only spend money on food that is needed. Look in your kitchen to see what ingredients you presently have, which ingredients you have to buy, and prepare a list of all the ingredients you’ll need for the upcoming week.

A lot of us are regretful of impulse buying at the grocery store, so planning your meals and sticking to the ingredients on your list will significantly minimise any impulse buying. Remember to always keep stationary in the kitchen, so when you run out of a particular ingredient, you can write it down instantly and perhaps avoid a second trip to the grocery store. And always shop for groceries on a full stomach!

Don’t bring your kids to the supermarket
Occasionally it can be difficult to organise, but if you go grocery shopping when your kids go to school or at night when someone can babysit them, you’ll save heaps of money. Not only can you shop more quickly, but you don’t need to waste your energy by saying ‘NO’ to your kids every aisle. Commonly this can become frustrating, so lots of people will give up here and there, and these unneeded items will accumulate over the year far more than you’d imagine.

Go shopping in the evening
Speaking of shopping at night, you’re likely to spot the best prices at this time of day. Large supermarkets will normally discount items when they’re overstocked, and perishable goods like bread, fruit and veggies will also likely to be discounted. Though it may seem a bit harsh after a long day, you can bag a lot of bargains by shopping in the evening.

Buy in bulk
It should come as no surprise that buying in bulk will save you money, especially on discounted items. Be careful though, you don’t want to buy too much and waste food, but always bear in mind that you can cook meals and freeze them for a later time. Bread, butter, and cheese will last about three months in the freezer, and meat will generally last up to six months. Just ensure you have enough room in your freezer first!

Try discounted grocery stores
Discounted supermarkets such as Aldi will always have products that are cheaper than the supermarket giants like Woolworths and Coles. However, some products will be more expensive, so try finding bargains at discounted supermarkets prior to visiting your normal supermarket. Even though you may not recognise some of the brands, the quality of the food is essentially the same. The structure is also different, so it may take a bit of getting used to, but if you intend to save money on food then this is an excellent idea.

If you’re dealing with financial difficulties, always remember that there are simple ways to save a considerable amount of money on one of your biggest expenses. By making some modest adjustments together with a dash of self-discipline, you can potentially save thousands of dollars annually on your grocery bills.

If you discover that your financial condition is still worsening, it’s always better to seek financial advice sooner rather than later. Get in contact with the professionals at Bankruptcy Experts Gympie on 1300 795 575, or visit our website for additional financial advice: www.bankruptcyexpertsgympie.com.au