We all go through times in life where money is tight. Luckily for us, there are particular expenses that we can easily do away with, like 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 fees are just a few of the necessary expenses that are set and there’s not much we can do about it. Having said this, there is one mandatory expense where we can all save a great deal of money; and that expense is food.

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

Plan your meals and create a shopping list

Have you ever had to toss out food because it’s past its expiration date? I know I have! By planning each meal of the week, you can ensure that you only spend money on food that is needed. Look in your pantry to find what ingredients you already have, which ingredients you have to buy, and write a list of all the ingredients you’ll need for the upcoming week.

The majority of us are regretful of impulse buying at the grocery store, so planning your meals and sticking to the ingredients on your list will considerably reduce any impulse buying. Don’t forget to always keep a paper and pen in the kitchen, so when you run out of a particular ingredient, you can jot it down straight away and perhaps avoid a second trip to the grocery store. And always shop for food on a full stomach!

Don’t bring your kids to the supermarket

In some cases 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 a great deal of money. Not only can you shop a lot quicker, but you don’t have to exhaust your energy by saying ‘NO’ to your children every aisle. Generally this can become overpowering, so many people will give up occasionally, and these unnecessary items will accumulate over the year much more than you’d envision.

Go shopping in the evening

Speaking of shopping at night, you’re likely to stumble on the best prices at this time of day. Large supermarkets will frequently discount goods when they’re overstocked, and perishable goods like bread, fruit and vegetables will also likely to be discounted. Though it may appear to be 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, especially on discounted items. Be careful though, you don’t want to purchase excessively and waste food, but always keep in mind that you can cook meals and freeze them for later in the week (or month). Butter, bread, and cheese will last about three months in the freezer, and meat products will generally last up to six months. Just ensure you have enough room in your freezer first!

Have a go at discounted grocery stores

Discounted grocery stores like Aldi will always have items that are much cheaper than the supermarket giants like Coles and Woolworths. On the contrary, some products will be more costly, so try finding bargains at discounted grocery stores prior to heading to your usual supermarket. Although you may not recognise some of the brands, the quality of the food is practically the same. The design 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 a fantastic idea.

If you’re encountering financial troubles, always remember that there are easy ways to save a substantial amount of money on one of your biggest expenses. By making some minor changes together with a dash of discipline, you can 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. Talk to the professionals at Bankruptcy Experts Whitsundays on 1300 795 575, or visit our website for additional financial advice: Bankruptcy Whitsundays