Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Saving Money On Food

16 years ago, when my twins came along and they were very unwell, I kind of knew I wouldn't be able to work for a while. 16 years later, I am still a non paid worker, and I am still not sure I will ever be able to work out of home due to needing to be there for my kids. It never stops me thinking of a way for me to earn money from home, but that's for a different blog post.

Having one wage means I became very good with money. Paying bills, gifts, living, and food.
I firmly believe the biggest savings can be made when buying food.
There was a period in my life where I was spending $600 a week on food.
It wasn't that we ate $60 worth of meat every was the fact that every second day I would go down the shops for bread and milk, and then come home with three or four shopping bags of groceries and spent between $60 and $140. And that was a top up shop, having already done a "weekly" shop.

Crazy right!?

It soon added up.

A couple of years ago I made a decision. Well, actually, a few decisions, and I am constantly refining the way I shop still, to make it healthier, and leaving me with more money in my pocket for other things.

You don't need to spend less and be careful with your money just because you don't earn a whole lot. Noone knows what's ahead. A little savings in the bank is a a good thing. Maybe save for a holiday or a new car.
As I said, I think the biggest savings can be made on our food purchases. After all, we still need a roof over our head and rent or mortgage is fixed. Bills are fairly fixed as well, although we can be very mindful of these and save a little. Thoughtful spending is the way to go.

My goal was to spend less than $500 on food. Now, that might seem a lot of money, but remember, we have 8 in our family. I don't exactly count how much I spend every week, although that may be a good thing, but I definitely know we spend less than that these days, and we eat very healthily (most days 😜) I have a bigger goal at the moment, which I will talk about next week.

So, here is my list for cutting down on grocery spending.

1. Look at the brochures.
 Often there are sales for half price items, or items on sale. Don't be afraid t go t two or three places to make the most of those sales. Shop in the one go.


Really, this one is so important. I shop weekly. I don't have enough room in my fridge or freezer too do any more than that. I write down what 7 meals I will cook for the family, then I do sublists titled, meat, fruit and veg, cold, other, cleaning, and bread. This covers it all. You can work your meals around what is on special.

3. Grow our own.

Even if it is just some herbs in a pot. Where I live, to buy a bunch of herbs is 3 to 4 dollars per bunch. Now, that could be $20 for a weekly shop just on herbs. Crazy right, especially when they are so incredibly easy to grow.
The most used ones are rosemary, basil, thyme, oregano, mint, parsley, and some chilli. Grow from seeds, which will keep you in herbs for years, or buy little seedlings from your nursery or markets. Leafy greens are also very easy to grow.
We als have man citrus which are very easy to grow too.

4. Start a produce swap group.

I started one last year. I have a Facebook group, currently with very active swapping happening. It is a great idea.

5. Stop buying processed foods.
Seriously, this has been an amazing thing for our family. Make from scratch is the way to g for everything. Better still, just have fruit and the garden lme that for snacks. He kids will eventually get used to it. Don't get me wrong, we still have that sort of food, but it is not a weekly that Ng we buy.

6. Buy in bulk.

Here in Australia, we have a place called Honest to Goodness.
It have a lovely  friend who organises  this group buy for us. It's a group coop I guess. Nothing stopping you from getting together with friends to do this. It is how we get our organic product for cheaper than the regular stuff you get at the supermarket.
I also buy washing powder in big boxes too. Big savings there.

7. Have a certain amount of cash for those little extras you need through the week. We always need more more milk and bread. It f you only take he money you need you won't have it to spend on anything extra.

8. Less meat and more veg.
We have a vegetarian meals n our family, as well as one who only eats a small amount of chicken breast. So we often have vegetarian meals, and I have learnt to cook our meat meals with much less meat and a whole heap of vegies, and luckily we love vegies can get protien from chick peas, lentils and beans. You can als top up meat dishes with these too.

9. Make a meal "whatever" night. That's when the kids cook themselves whatever is in the cupboard or fridge. Eggs on toast, baked beans on toast, grilled cheese, frittata. Teaches the kids how to cook and also means one less meal you have to buy for.

10. Buy eggs from a chook farm or a Markets.

We go through a lot of eggs each week. They are a cheap meal, and always handy to have.
We get a tray of free range eggs from the markets for anything between $8.50 for 30 for small ones, to $14 for extra large ones. We get a few trays as the market I get them from s only there monthly.

These are great ways of saving, and seriously, this saved me a couple of hundred dollars a week.
Am doing please, take your own bags to shop with and save on putting plastic bags into landfill.

Do you have any ways of saving money on groceries? I would love to hear them.

Until next time
Lots of it

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