All of us suffer through stages in life where money is tight. Luckily for us, there are certain expenses that we can quite easily do away with, for instance cable television, gym memberships, and dining out at restaurants. Despite this, there are other expenses that we simply can’t avoid. Rent, debt repayments and school tuition are just some of the mandatory expenses that are set and there’s very little 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 done some research, I’ve discovered there are a range of ways in which we can all save on food expenses. Clearly, dining out at restaurants is far more costly than eating at home, but I’m talking about saving money on your weekly food bills. You’ll be astounded16 at just how much money you can save by following some general guidelines, so here are some simple tips that can save you thousands of dollars annually on your food bills.

Plan your meals and write a shopping list

Have you ever needed to throw out food simply because it’s past its expiry date? I know I have! By planning every meal of the week, you can make sure that you only spend money on food that is really needed. Have a look in your pantry to find what ingredients you currently have, which ingredients you have to buy, and write a list of all the ingredients you’ll need for the following week.

Many of us are guilty of impulse buying at the supermarket, so planning your meals and sticking to the ingredients on your list will greatly reduce any impulse buying. Don’t forget to always keep a paper and pen in the kitchen, so when you run out of a certain ingredient, you can write it down immediately and most likely 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

Often times it can be hard to organise, but if you go grocery shopping when your children are at school or in the evening when there’s somebody to watch them, you’ll save loads of money. Not only can you shop a lot quicker, but you don’t have to waste your energy by saying ‘NO’ to your children every aisle. Usually this can become overwhelming, so many people will give in occasionally, and these needless items will accumulate over the year a lot more than you’d envision.

Go shopping at night

Speaking of shopping in the evening, you’re likely to come across the best prices at this time of day. Big grocery stores will usually discount goods when they’re overstocked, and perishable goods such as bread, fruit and veggies will also likely to be discounted. While it may sound a little 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, particularly on discounted items. Be careful though, you don’t want to purchase excessively and throw away food, but always remember that you can cook meals and freeze them for a later time. Cheese, butter, and bread will last up to three months in the freezer, and meat products will normally last up to six months. Just ensure that you have enough room in your freezer first!

Have a go at discounted grocery stores

Discounted supermarkets like Aldi will always have goods that are less costly than the supermarket giants like Woolworths and Coles. Nevertheless, some products will be more expensive, so try finding bargains at discounted supermarkets prior to visiting your regular grocery store. Though you may not recognise some of the brands, the quality of the food is almost 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 a terrific idea.

If you’re going through financial challenges, always bear in mind that there are straightforward ways to save a considerable amount of money on one of your largest expenditures. By making some modest adjustments coupled with a dash of discipline, you could potentially save thousands of dollars annually on your grocery bills.

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