I remember growing up and my parents weekly shop never being more than $150, and that was with some treats and luxe items. These days that same shop would cost well over $300. Sure, you can call it inflation but whether we want to admit it or not we all want to reduce our weekly grocery spend.
With that in mind I started noticing there are some mums online that have managed to not only reduce their shopping costs but have turned it into somewhat of a trend to stick to a budget most would find incredibly difficult.
Ornella of the Sale Addict Mum Instagram page @sale_addict_mum keeps to a budget of $200 and under for her family of five, including three children.
She started to change her way of spending and became living frugally as she found living in Sydney on a single income to be quite difficult. “Being frugal I would be doing my part in assisting my husband,” she says.
Some of Ornella’s biggest tips for saving and shopping smart are quite simple. It really comes down to planning. Most mums and dads that live frugally will tell you they save a fortune by simply planning, whether it be meal planning or simply researching when big sales will be coming up and then shopping to stock their pantries.
“I always check online catalogues for weekly specials before shopping. For example, Coles and Woolworths have new specials every Wednesday that will go to the following Tuesday,” she says.
“Aldi has new range every Wednesday and Saturday. You can always save big on their wooden toys, big glad wraps and aluminum foil packs that would go on special twice a year.”
Her top tips for saving on your weekly shop are:
- Don’t buy packaged food. You will always notice unpacked fruits and veggies to be cheaper.
- Buy home brand basics like flour and sugar.
- Sometimes a trip to the fruit market is worth it. Specially if you go there a bit late, they tend to mark everything cheaper close to packing time.
- Shop in season, it’s cheaper and fresher.
- Leave overspenders at home. Most kids tend to make you spend more, they won’t leave without that Kinder Surprise or a pack of ice cream.
Another super saving mum is Pinky of @pinkyandthrifty on Instagram who has managed to get her weekly shop budget down to just $140! That’s for her family of four, plus two dogs and two chickens!
“It actually wasn’t something I planned, but I’m glad it did,” she explains about how she started off on her living frugal journey. “We were eating out far too often and my kids were never without the latest gadget, yet we weren’t any happier. Honestly, I wanted to slow my life down and being frugal ended up coming with the package.”
Shop your pantry
Pinky recommends shopping your pantry and freezer before heading out to the store, which is so important because we’ve all bought and re-bought the same item we had at home meaning we’ve spent more than we had to.
So how exactly does she manage to get her grocery shop down to just $140? “I walk to the shops daily and I often only take $20 with me which stops me from over spending. I also don’t waste food. Every day I plan my meals according to what’s leftover.”
Again that word, planning. Some choose to meal plan for the week while others meal plan and pre-cook for a month ahead, all in the name of savings. But how much do you actually save?
According to Pinky, she believes she’s saved thousands by changing her way of spending.
“My first plan was to cook at least five nights a week as we were throwing money away on take away and we weren’t benefiting nutritionally. Now we hardly eat out and family meal times are our favourite time of the day.”
Some of Pinky’s top tips for cutting down your weekly grocery spend.
1. Shop your pantry, fridge and freezer first
2. Search the half price specials on your supermarket app
3. Shop around, it’s quite alright to not be loyal to one supermarket.
4. Try and stick to the nothing over $3.50 per kilo rule when it comes to fruit and vegetables. Plus eat what’s in season.
5. Bulk cook meals whenever possible. Cook once, eat twice is bliss
6. Only buy what you need. Believe it or not, the shops will still be around tomorrow or next week if you happen to run out of something.
My grocery shop savings tips?
Whether you shop at Coles or Woolies, aim to go later in the day as you’re able to get hot BBQ chickens or roasts for less than $5. This also goes for bread from the bakery section, prices are reduced as they will begin baking for the next day and that bread will become ‘old’.
Elise keeps her weekly spend to $50, by buying only what she needs and meal planning.
Whether you’re wanting to start reducing your spending or are a super saver, there’s always tips to share that we can all benefit from. Share your favourite grocery bill savings tips with us!