All of us pass through periods in life where money is tight. Thankfully for us, there are a number of expenses that we can simply do away with, for example cable television, gym memberships, and dining out at restaurants. On the other hand, there are other expenses that we simply can’t avoid. Debt repayments, rent and school tuition are just a couple of the mandatory expenses that are fixed and there’s not much we can do about it. Having said this, there is one necessary expense where we can all save a lot of money; and that expense is food.

Having completed some research, I’ve discovered there are a number of ways in which we can all save on food expenses. Naturally, eating out at restaurants is far more costly than eating at home, but I’m referring to saving money on your weekly grocery bills. You’ll be astounded at just how much money you can save by sticking to some general guidelines, so here are some helpful tips that can save you thousands of dollars each year on your food bills.

Plan your meals and write a shopping list

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

The majority of us are regretful of impulse buying at the supermarket, so planning your meals and purchasing only the ingredients on your list will considerably decrease any impulse buying. Remember to always keep a paper and pen in the kitchen, so when you run out of a particular ingredient, you can jot it down immediately and perhaps avoid a 2nd trip to the supermarket. And always go grocery shopping on a full stomach!

Don’t bring your children to the grocery store

In some cases it can be tough to organise, but if you go grocery shopping when your children are at school or in the evening when somebody can watch them, you’ll save heaps of money. Not only can you shop quicker, but you don’t need to drain your energy by saying ‘NO’ to your children every aisle. Generally this can be frustrating, so lots of people will give up occasionally, and these unwanted products will accumulate throughout the year much more than you’d envision.

Go shopping in the evening

Speaking of shopping in the evening, you’re more than likely to come across the best prices at this time of day. Big supermarkets will regularly discount products when they’re overstocked, and perishable goods like bread, fruit and vegetables will also likely to be discounted. While it may appear to be a little bit cruel 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, especially on discounted items. Be cautious though, you don’t want to purchase too much and waste food, but always keep in mind that you can prepare meals and freeze them for later in the week (or month). Cheese, bread, and butter will keep approximately three months in the freezer, and meat will typically last up to six months. Just make sure you have enough room in your freezer first!

Have a go at discounted supermarkets

Discounted grocery stores such as Aldi will always have products that are much cheaper than the supermarket giants like Coles and Woolworths. On the contrary, some items will be more costly, so try finding bargains at discounted grocery stores prior to heading to your normal grocery store. While you may not recognise some of the brands, the quality of the food is essentially the same. The structure 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 superb idea.

If you’re going through financial troubles, always remember that there are simple ways to save a significant amount of money on one of your largest expenses. By making some small changes together with a dash of discipline, you could potentially save thousands of dollars yearly on your grocery bills.

If you find that your financial condition is still worsening, it’s always better to seek financial advice sooner rather than later. Call the specialists at Bankruptcy Experts Tweed Coast on 1300 795 575, or visit our website for more financial advice: Bankruptcy Tweedcoast