How to save big on your shopping bill during the second COVID-19 wave

The grocery bill is by far the largest household bill that any family has to pay on a weekly basis. However with a little planning, you can make significant changes to the amount you spend per week, leaving you with that little bit extra in your pocket.

The best way to save money is to only buy what you need as you need it. 

This may sound obvious, but how many times have you gone to the supermarket for bread and milk but have come home with a trolley full of chips, desserts and items that were on special. Buying things purely because they are on special is considered impulse buying. Impulse buying is one of the quickest ways to increase the cost of your grocery bill. If you add up the cost of all the items you have purchased simply because they were on sale, you will be shocked at how much it amounts to.

Impulse buying is something that retailers understand very well and rely on heavily. 

Have you noticed that the bread and milk aisles are further away from the checkout than the confectionary aisle? Putting the necessities on the periphery of the store is an old method used by supermarkets which ensures you need to walk past many other items (all of which you did not intend to buy on that trip). Walk through an aisle and seeing all the enticing things you didn’t know you needed, may lead you to subconsciously grab an item and placed it in your basket.

Even the smallest of treats can add up very quickly. That little Kinder Surprise that you think your daughter will love you for, only costs $2.20, but buy one a fortnight and by the end of the year you have spent $57.20. That’s a decent amount of money that could have been put away for something necessary.

One proven way to reduce your chance of impulse buying is to shop with a checklist in hand. Make sure it only has the necessities listed and stick to it. If you enter the supermarket with an unclear idea of what you need, you are guaranteed to be lured into impulse buying.

Another great way to buy only the necessities is to plan your family meals. If you are able to plan a week or two in advance, it will help you understand exactly what you need to purchase on your next shop.

While you are at it, do a big cook up. If you cook one meal and make sure there is a lot left over from that meal, you can freeze the extras in portions. This not only saves you money in the long run, but it also saves you from cooking another meal on those nights that you don’t feel like cooking.

Once you have your meal plans in place, write down a comprehensive list of what is needed for those recipes. Then check your pantry to see what you have in there so you don’t double up on any items. 

Whatever you do, don’t shop on an empty stomach. 

Going to the supermarket when you are hungry is definitely going to cost a lot more than you originally planned for. You will see all sorts of things that look very appealing at the time your stomach is rumbling, and when you get home you will realise you bought three different dinner options for the one evening. 

These days with late night shopping, it’s easy to go later. Go after dinner. If you are full then you won’t feel the need to buy anything extra. And going later means you can leave the kids at home. The less distractions the better. 

One last, easy way to save a little more money is to check online and compare supermarkets. Sometimes it’s worth switching to another supermarket if they have a number of the products that you need on special at the time. 

This update is not financial advice. This article is general news and information.

Home Loans: The comparison rates are based on a secured loan amount of $150,000 and a term of 25 years.

Personal Loans: The comparison rates in this table are based on a loan of $30,000 and a term of 5 years unless otherwise indicated in the product name with^, in which case, the comparison rate is based on a loan of $10,000 and a term of 3 years. The comparison rates are for unsecured personal loans only for the relevant amounts and terms. The comparison rates for car loans and secured personal loans are for secured loans unless indicated otherwise.

WARNING: This comparison rate applies only to the example or examples given. Different amounts and terms will result in different comparison rates. Costs such as redraw fees or early repayment fees, and cost savings such as fee waivers, are not included in the comparison rate but may influence the cost of the loan. Comparison rates are not calculated for revolving credit products.

The products compared in this article are chosen from a range of offers available to us and are not representative of all the products available in the market and influenced by a range of factors including interest rates, product costs and commercial and sponsorship arrangements

InfoChoice compares financial products from 145 banks, credit unions and other financial institutions in Australia. InfoChoice does not compare every product in the market. Some institutions may have a commercial partnership with InfoChoice. Rates are provided by partners and taken from financial institutions websites. We believe all information to be accurate on the date published. InfoChoice strives to update and keep information as accurate as possible.

The information contained on this web site is general in nature and does not take into account your personal situation. Do not interpret the listing order as an endorsement or recommendation from us. You should consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs, and where appropriate, seek professional advice from a financial adviser. If you or someone you know is in financial stress, contact the National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007.

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