All of us suffer through stages in life where money is tight. Fortunately for us, there are certain expenses that we can readily do away with, for example cable TV, gym memberships, and eating out at restaurants. On the contrary, there are other expenses that we simply can’t avoid. Debt repayments, rent and school fees are just a number of the mandatory expenses that are set and there’s little we can do about it. Having said that, there is one mandatory expense where we can all save a good deal of money; and that expense is food.

Having completed some research, I’ve found there are a range of ways in which we can all save on food expenses. Obviously, eating out at restaurants is far more expensive than eating at home, but I’m referring to saving money on your weekly grocery bills. You’ll be delighted at just how much money you can save by sticking to some practical guidelines, so here are some useful tips that can save you thousands of dollars annually on your food bills.

Plan your meals and create a shopping list

Have you ever had to throw away food simply because it’s past its expiration date? I know I have! By planning every meal of the week, you can make sure that you just spend money on food that is needed. Look in your pantry to find what ingredients you presently have, which ingredients you have to buy, and write a list of all the ingredients you’ll need for the upcoming week.

A lot of us are regretful of impulse buying at the grocery store, so planning your meals and purchasing only the ingredients on your list will greatly lessen any impulse buying. Remember to always keep stationary in the kitchen, so when you run out of a particular ingredient, you can write it down quickly and most likely avoid a 2nd trip to the supermarket. And always shop for groceries on a full stomach!

Don’t bring your children to the grocery store

Often times it can be tricky to organise, but if you go grocery shopping when your children are at school or in the evening when somebody can keep an eye on them, you’ll save a significant amount of money. Not only can you shop faster, but you don’t need to exhaust your energy by saying ‘NO’ to your kids every aisle. Commonly this can be overwhelming, so lots of people will give in occasionally, and these unwanted products will build up throughout the year much more than you’d imagine.

Shop at night

Speaking of shopping at night, you’re likely to uncover the best prices at this time of day. Big grocery stores will commonly discount goods when they’re overstocked, and perishable goods such as bread, fruit and veggies will also likely to be marked down. Although 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 buy excessively and throw away food, but always keep in mind that you can cook meals and freeze them for a later time. Cheese, bread, and butter will keep approximately three months in the freezer, and meat will usually last up to six months. Just see to it that you have enough room in your freezer first!

Have a go at discounted grocery stores

Discounted supermarkets like Aldi will always have goods that are much cheaper than the supermarket giants like Woolworths and Coles. On the contrary, some products will be more costly, so try finding bargains at discounted supermarkets prior to visiting your regular grocery store. While you may not recognise some of the brands, the quality of the food is pretty much 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 superb idea.

If you’re encountering financial problems, always bear in mind that there are easy ways to save a significant amount of money on one of your biggest expenditures. By making some small changes as well as a dash of discipline, you could potentially save thousands of dollars each year on your grocery bills.

If you find that your financial circumstance is still worsening, it’s always better to seek financial advice sooner rather than later. Speak to the specialists at Bankruptcy Experts Brisbane on 1300 795 575, or visit our website for additional financial advice: www.bankruptcyexpertsbrisbane.com.au