Most of us go through times in life where money is tight. Luckily for us, there are specific expenses that we can quickly do away with, such as cable television, gym memberships, and eating out at restaurants. On the other hand, there are other costs that we simply can’t avoid. Debt repayments, rent and school tuition are just some of the mandatory expenses that are set and there’s little we can do about it. Having said this, there is one mandatory expense where we can all save a lot of money; and that expense is food.

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

Plan your meals and prepare a shopping list

Have you ever had to throw away food because it’s past its expiration date? I know I have! By planning each meal of the week, you can be sure that you just spend money on food that is really needed. Have a look in your pantry to see what ingredients you presently have, which ingredients you need to buy, and prepare a list of all the ingredients you’ll need for the next week.

Many of us are guilty of impulse buying at the supermarket, so planning your meals and buying only the ingredients on your list will significantly diminish any impulse buying. Remember to always keep a pen and paper in the kitchen, so when you run out of a particular ingredient, you can jot it down quickly and possibly avoid a second trip to the grocery store. And always shop for groceries on a full stomach!

Don’t bring your children to the grocery store

Occasionally it can be hard to organise, but if you go grocery shopping when your children are at school or at night when someone can watch them, you’ll save a great deal of money. Not only can you shop quicker, but you don’t have to drain your energy by saying ‘NO’ to your kids every aisle. Usually this can become overpowering, so lots of people will give in occasionally, and these unnecessary items will build up over the year a lot more than you’d imagine.

Go shopping at night

Speaking of shopping at night, you’re likely to stumble on the best prices at this time of day. Large supermarkets will commonly discount items when they’re overstocked, and perishable goods such as bread, fruit and veggies will also likely to be discounted. Even though it may seem a tad harsh after a long day, you can bag a lot of bargains by shopping at night.

Buy in bulk

It should come as no surprise that buying in bulk will save you money, particularly on discounted items. Be cautious though, you don’t want to buy too much and throw away food, but always bear in mind that you can cook meals and freeze them for later in the week (or month). Bread, cheese, and butter will keep up to three months in the freezer, and meat will typically last up to six months. Just be sure you have enough room in your freezer first!

Have a go at discounted grocery stores

Discounted grocery stores such as Aldi will always have items that are less expensive than the supermarket giants like Coles and Woolworths. Nevertheless, some goods will be more costly, so try finding bargains at discounted grocery stores prior to visiting your usual supermarket. While you may not recognise some of the brands, the quality of the food is roughly the same. The structure is also different, so it may take a bit of getting used to, but if you want to save money on food then this is an exceptional idea.

If you’re suffering from financial difficulties, always remember that there are straightforward ways to save a great deal of money on one of your biggest costs. By making some modest adjustments in conjunction with a dash of discipline, you can potentially save thousands of dollars each year on your grocery bills.

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