Finally.. some content about how to save money on your Grocery Shop. Can you tell I am excited? Well.. I am! I am a savvy shopper and if you ever meet me or anyone who is, you will know we will try to persuade you in all ways possible to join us and be one too. 😀
So without further residue, ridoo, (whatever that word is)… lets get down and dirty with saving you some decent cash!
My first tip is to WRITE A LIST.
Now, I know what your thinking.. I don’t have time to write a list. BUT you have no idea how important it is to write a list. So please do make one if you want to save yourself from unnecessary spending. It doesn’t have to be a sit down session where you wrack your brains to remember all the things you will need in the week. You could just go round your kitchen cupboards and jot down on some scrap paper all the things you know you have ran out of, or you could do what I do, which is to write on a small whiteboard each item that I run out of right after I have chucked the packaging away.. so I don’t forget about it. I find this really helpful, as the last thing I want to be doing is spending BARE time in supermarkets trying to figure out whether I need something or not. I tend to just take a picture of my list on my whiteboard on my iPhone and just refer to that whilst at the supermarket and mentally tick them off as I go. No need to look weird or like a Granny if that’s what you think having a paper list means.. I don’t know people.. what are you like. Just as a side point, make sure you are writing a decent list that has got all of your essential items that you will need. Thinking of all the food groups can help you to remember what you need. As a reminder: fruit and veg, carbs, fats, proteins and dairy (or equivalents). So.. I think we have established you NEED to be making a List my Friends, because if you do, your shop will be more focused, you wont be wondering around in the supermarket trying to remember what you need and you will actually save time (as well as money) because you know exactly what you need. If you have a problem with discipline, practicing this and sticking to your list will help you with self-control in other aspects of your life as well. Another Free tip there for you. 🙂
Okay the second tip is to HAVE A BUDGET.
So this is basically the money you set aside for your grocery shop. It will be different for each person, depending on their lifestyle, their income, social status as well as many other factors; but for many of you it will be about how much you can ACTUALLY afford each week for food. So this bit can get a little bit mathsy, but don’t worry. If I can do it, so can you! You have to realise that aside from paying your mortgage or rent to have a roof over your head, food is pretty high up on your list of priorities. In case you hadn’t realised you NEED food to survive. So you need to factor that in whilst making your budget. You may also need to cut down on those nights outs and take away’s in order to stick to your budget. So with that in mind… how do I make a budget you ask. Well the best way is to think about how much you currently spend on food. A good way of knowing that is to collect all of your receipts for a few weeks or to look at your bank statement and write down how much you are spending on average per week. If you are living well and don’t find yourself going into your overdraft or owing people money, that calculated average could be your budget for your weekly shop. If you know you are consistently going into your overdraft and owing people money to keep afloat, you will need to make your budget less than that average. So in terms of grocery shopping, you need to have a budget that is less than your current spending. It may well be a case of trial and error to work out what budget for shopping works for you, but soon you will come to a realistic budget that works. When you combine having a budget and writing a list, it is more easy for you to stick to your budget. Please do try to only spend your budget amount. Don’t go over, else what’s the point in practicing tips to save money if you will just spend more anyway. You will need to have or develop a certain level of discipline to be able to tell yourself ‘NO!’ to buying certain items. As a general rule, ask yourself if you need it. Need it meaning it is a BARE essential, such as bread and milk. Chocolate (much to my disappointment) is not an essential and therefore not a need. If the answer is no.. then you need to put it back on the shelf. To help you stick to your budget, let yourself have a couple of things not on the list, but only a couple.. don’t go overboard. As another little side tip, if you take your budget with you in cash, instead of paying by card, you literally have no option BUT to stick to your budget and work out if you will be able to afford all of the items in your trolley or basket. It can be a good starting point for those of you who need to develop your self-discipline when it comes to spending (because after all.. who want to be at till being informed they have spent more than they can afford, and gradually taking items off the bill until it reaches an amount they can afford.. and whilst in front of waiting customers).
Right.. onto the third tip of trying out CHEAPER BRAND ALTERNATIVES.
Much to your surprise, beautiful packaging has an effect on our taste buds. It seems to make food taste better.. but how is this possible? Well known brands such as Heinz, Kelloggs and Twinnings have got their packaging down to a tee. They have invested in making their packaging stand out and look more premium. But when it comes to food, what really matters? The nice shiny golden and premium looking packaging or the food inside the packaging? I too have been sucked into thinking that these well known brands are better than any other brand, but in truth they can be pretty much the same. One example I like to use is a can of beans. Beans are beans and are pretty much all the same. So if you want to save yourself some healthy cash, try out a brand alternative. It doesn’t have to be the cheapest of them all, but do try out a different brand. If you are funny about buying certain brands as they look better and are bothered about what your peers think, just keep the wrapper of your previous Heinz Beans and wrap it around your cheapo beans to make yourself feel better. Or if you don’t have time for that (like most people), just put it in the cupboard and be done with it. I would say that as long as you are eating the cheaper brand alternative with something else such as melted cheese on a Jacket, you will have no issues. They will all blend together nicely. Another example is water. Unless you are employed as a water taster, I’m sure you can agree that bottled water tastes pretty much the same. Even with changing your water brand from say Evian to Aldi essential water, for the same amount of water, huge savings can be made. I will be making videos on where to find the cheapest essential shopping items, so stay tuned to the YouTube Channel to not miss it. Seriously though.. if you are trying to save cash, swap your big name brands for a cheaper alternative of a similar quality and keep your wallet/purse happy.
Now this is one of my personal FAVOURITES.. tip number 4 is to SHOP AROUND.
That’s right, I want you to cheat on your favourite supermarket and shop somewhere else if it has something better to offer. This is the ONLY time I would encourage you to be LOYAL to NO ONE. Think about your needs. So with this one, most people think that by shopping around and saving money, you waste the money saved on travel to get there. Whilst this will be the case for a minority of people, purely due to where they live and proximity to supermarkets and mode of transport; the vast majority will save a lot more than any extra money spent on travel to get there. It is all in the planning. Sure, if you go to Asda for a specific item and realise something is cheaper at Tesco and drive to Tesco for the better price, then there will be some money lost. You have to know where the cheapest is before you go shopping. Going into each Supermarket to see which is cheaper is not the best idea. Not only does it waste your time, but yes it can cost you in travel. You need to be organised and know where is cheaper before you set out on your journey. A very easy and FREE way to do this is by either downloading the mySupermarket app on your phone or going onto the mySupermarket website that you can easily find with a quick Google search. I will be making a video on how to get the most out of the app/website as it is so useful and has saved me so much time and money… but for now, I will tell you the basics. mySupermarket allows you to search for an item and compare the prices of 15 (15!) supermarkets, from Tesco to Poundland. I cannot recommend the app/website enough; so if you haven’t already, I would suggest you download /go on it now and discover for yourself all of the things the app can do. A little side tip is when you know you need an item, look out for the deals on that item on the app at the start of your day. It then allows you to plan your day efficiently and plan your route, to use as least fuel as possible. Be organised and prepared. So yes, please do shop around when it is cheaper, and after a few weeks mentally establish where is cheaper for what items on your shopping list. And smile knowing you have saved some money and have not been ripped off by your local Supermarket! Happy days.
Finally my last tip, which I feel is the most obvious, yet still one of the most important in terms of saving money… DON’T SHOP WHEN YOU ARE HUNGRY! Please.
If there is anything I have done to help me spend more money it has been to shop on an empty stomach when even detergent would look appetising to me. So if you are to only take one GOLDEN rule with you to your weekly shop, let it be to not shop when you are hungry. We all know that shopping whilst hungry means you will buy more sugary foods (and many different varieties too) and they end up being buys we regret immediately after eating them on the way home or in the car before we leave the car park. I once did an experiment to see what I bought on an empty stomach. I went shopping midday without any breakfast and has a list of a few household items I needed. Here’s what happened… I first set out to find the most sugar filled items I could find. I went straight to the bakery section, where the food available was literally porn for my eyes. I fantasised about how it would be to eat that cinnamon whirl, that jam donut (and I don’t even like donuts) and ohh those chocolate chip cookies. My eyes didn’t know where to look, and when push came to shove, I bought 3 different sugary foods that I neither needed or wanted (after the hunger had worn off). The sugary items added an extra £3.50 to my shop, which might not sound like a lot, but if you do that every weekly shop for an entire year, that is a waste of £182 annually. Now THAT is no laughing matter. And the thing was, even though I knew that it was just a phase of being hungry and I didn’t need the sugary foods, it didn’t stop me from buying them. In the state of hunger instant gratification takes over and you are in a mental state of if I want, then I need. So please please please, take this information on board and make sure you eat something decent before you go shopping. And for that you require some planning, so that you don’t just make a quick decision to go shopping because your fridge is empty. A little side tip.. don’t wait until you have no food left to make a decent meal to go out shopping. Shop before that time comes and grab a bite to eat before you are on your way to the supermarket store or corner shop.
As always thank you for your time. I sincerely hope you have found this information helpful and will put at least some of the tips I have mentioned into practice. There will be more useful tips to come, so watch this space, and subscribe to I n x i t e, to never miss a video.