The festive season is officially here. With all the delicious fruit cakes, beautiful poinsettias and exciting advent calendars filling the aisles, it can be difficult to stick to your normal grocery budget. We’ve lined up some tips to help you save when you go shopping, so you can enjoy all the season’s delights without breaking the bank.
Take advantage of loyalty programmes
Pretty much every grocery store has a loyalty programme, and they actually do save you money. Swipe every time you shop (obvs) but also visit the store’s website to see what else you can save using your card. Bank all your cash backs and points during the year and use them now, during the festive season. Or better yet, use them in January when most of us are a little strapped for cash. See if your grocery store has an app — you might find even more deals on there!
Check out our comparison of loyalty programmes here.
Plan your meals
We’re not suggesting you stay up until midnight on a Sunday cooking chicken breasts and broccoli for the week to come. No, we’re saying you should plan which recipes you’ll be making during the next week or month, and only buy the ingredients you’ll need. It works out much cheaper than buying a bunch of ingredients with some vague plans in mind — ingredients you often don’t use and which end up going off in the fridge. (We all have that bag of soggy spinach at the back that needs to go!)
Planning your meals also means you’ll visit the grocery store with a shopping list, which will help you stay on track. Even if you want to buy a bar of chocolate, put it on the list. Having a list means you’re spending with intent, and you’ve planned for all your expenses.
PS. Put your shopping list on your phone so you don’t forget it at home!
Don’t go shopping hungry
Eat a good meal before hitting the shops… You know why!
Go alone — or not
If you have a partner who loves to stroll the aisles, or kids who throw toys and snacks into the trolley, rather leave them at home so you can stick to your money-saving mission.
The opposite is also advisable: If your partner helps you spend less, definitely take them along!
Check your basket before you pay
Before you head to the check-out queue, have a good look at your grocery basket and try to put one or two items back that you might have added on a whim. You don’t need them!
Read the price label
Many household and food items come in individual and bulk packs. Not sure which is cheaper, or which is a better deal? Don’t look at the main price, look at the smaller price on the label, which usually shows the price by weight or per item.
For example, if you’re trying to decide between a box of six eggs or 18 eggs, the label will usually indicate how much you’re paying per egg. The same goes for meat: always compare the price per kilogram — you’ll be surprised at how much you can save!
Give yourself and the planet a gift this year by choosing a more eco-friendly way of shopping. Buy reusable rags rather than paper towels; use a reusable shopping bag rather than paying for plastic ones; and ditch the cling wrap for a sustainable alternative like beeswax food wraps. Eco-friendly products might cost more upfront, but you’ll save in the long run — and you’ll be doing the right thing.
We hope you’ll save some money with these tips so you can get through the next couple of months with a smile on your face.