Grocery Shopping on a Budget


10 ways to shop smarter

  • Planning is key. Before you go to the store, think about what you will need to create at least your next three meals, and make a list.
  • Avoid impulse buying by sticking to your shopping list. At the same time, adjust your ingredients if something you can substitute is on special.
  • Shop the perimeter. Supermarkets tend to stock fresh items and whole foods around the edges, more highly processed foods are positioned in the inner aisles, and profitable junk food usually sits at eye level.
  • Buy seasonal produce. Avoid buying out-of-season produce that has to be flown in from distant countries or interstate, and which attracts premium prices. Local farmers markets can offer really fresh fruits and vegetables at good prices.
  • Compare unit cost. Packaging can be deceiving. Compare the value of products by checking prices per 100 grams. Many grocery stores provide this information on the price label above or below their products.
  • Buy store brands. Supermarket and other private label brands of packaged foods often provide similar quality but cost 15 to 20 per cent less.
  • Bulk buy to save. If a store near you has a bulk section, you will save considerable money by making your purchases there.
  • Check weekly specials. Go cherry picking between stores to take advantage of what’s on special. For example, you can stock up on loaves of bread when they’re on special and then freeze them. A toaster will thaw the slices nicely.
  • Prevent food waste. Buy only what you need. A huge portion of food purchased frequently ends up in the bin. Always check use-by-dates and place chilled and frozen products in your shopping trolley last.
  • Scan food labels. Compare ingredients and nutritional content to ensure that you get the best health value for your dollar.
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