Saturday, 5 July 2008

Money Matters #6 - Saving at the Supermarket

Another inspiration from the Money Magazine. This month I borrow some of the 'Reader's Tips' on Saving at the Supermarket. With a family of four, every dollar counts! I don't know what the copyright laws are (I am sure I break them regularly, unintentionally of course) but I should at least acknowledge Fiona, Colette, Judy, Amelia and Jennie for these tips (whoever they are).

  • Shop at Aldi - much cheaper for staples
  • Use a 'confectionary free' checkout if you shop with kids to avoid temptation. Better still, leave the kids at home. Supermarkets are filled with an endless array of attractions, distractions, toys and lollies that kids love to hassle Mum and Dad about. 
  • Avoid using 'convenience stores' regularly because they are more expensive
  • Don't forget your green bags (we all pay for those plastic bags, you know)
  • Use your shopping dockets for fuel discounts
  • Bake your own cakes and bikkies with the kids rather than buying them at the store - they will be fresher, tastier, not full of additives and a fun activity too
  • Buy home brand where possible
  • Don't shop on an empty stomach
  • Look for in-store reductions on foods that need to be used in the next couple of days. Freeze them or use them.
  • Shop in the last few trading hours of the day as this is when perishables are greatly marked down
  • Buy products on the high or low shelves because companies pay a premium to have their products at eye level
  • Look at the specials in catalogues and buy items that you usually use at discounted prices
  • If an brand you use is not on special, look for an alternative that is
  • Buy in bulk where possible (especially meat) - check unit pricing where available. Freeze meat in meal-size portions so you can reduce the time needed to thaw it.
  • Use the deli - Pre-packaged chicken is $2 dearer than the same product at the deli counter. Same is true for cold meats
  • Join a fruit and veg co-operative or shop for fruit and veg at local grower's markets. It might not be as pretty as the supermarket produce, but it'll be fresher and kinder on the hip pocket.
  • Don't buy a new "trigger pack". Buy a refill instead and re-use the trigger mechanism from the previous packaging. The same goes for laundry detergent.
  • Check out discount stores like Crazy Clarks. They often have a limited supply of grocery items substantially discounted. It may mean shopping in two stores to complete your shop but the savings may be worth it.

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