Have you ever wondered how much of your life you spend grocery shopping? It’s probably more than you think. A study found shoppers spend around 43 minutes on a typical grocery shop. If you’re shopping twice a week, which is slightly less than average, that works out to 75 hours a year. That’s like spending two weeks of your holidays grocery shopping every year!
It happens to all of us, Out of milk? “I’ll just pop over to the shops.” Need something for dinner? “I’ll pick it up on the way home.” You can do small things like basic meal planning to ensure you are only shopping twice a week rather than every day, you could free up valuable time for more important things, like spending time with family and friends.
Here’s how to manage to save time and money managed on your next grocery shop. Planning and preparation are key when it comes to saving money and time on your groceries. With a little bit of research and forward thinking, you can save big on your weekly shop. We’ve put some together some top tips you can put to use before you even step foot in the store.
Shop your pantry – You may have heard the term shop your closet before, well now it’s time to shop your pantry! Take stock of what you have and see what you can turn into a meal. You may be surprised how many dishes you can create or at least get a head start on based on what you already have.
Utilise your leftovers – Chances are you’ve thrown away more than a little this year. Try to make better use of them by turning dinner leftovers in to lunch the next day or dedicating a particular night to eating up any leftovers in your fridge. This could potentially save you money on a couple extra meals a week – how great is that?!
Make a list – Whether you jot things down throughout the week or you write your list before you step out the door, it’s a good idea to keep a list handy to ensure you’re buying only what you need.
Track your spending – Part of any good budget it’s helpful to track your grocery spending habits to see how you’re really spending your money.
Manage your children’s expectations – If you have children, you know that they can be pretty clever about sneaking extra items into your basket. The simplest solution is to leave them at home with a sitter, however that’s not always an option. If you’re taking the kids along, let them pick one item each from your list that they’re able to choose themselves. For example if you have cheese on the list, let them pick what type of cheese. That way they feel like they are included in the decision-making process and they each get something they want.
Don’t go hangry – You know that cross over when hungry meets angry? Don’t shop when you get into this zone. Studies have shown that you buy more when you shop hungry, so make sure to fill up before you go.
Plan for impulse buys – Some people would advise you to avoid impulse buys, we say plan for them! Similar to the way many people approach their diet, plan for some cheat room in your budget. That way you can feel guilt free about buying those Pringles by the checkout aisle. Even if you only build in $2 for impulse buys, you still feel like you’ve treated yourself. Sometimes it’s easier to stick to a budget when you know you’ve got a bit of room to budge.
As you can see, there are plenty of things you can do to save money on your next grocery shop before you even step out the door. With a little bit of planning and preparation, you’ll be well on your way to mastering those groceries.
Be sure to shop through March, you could WIN your bill total at the Till! Click here for more.