9 Ways To Maximize Your Budget When Buying Groceries
With the current economic situation, most of us have been cooking a lot more at home and spending more on kitchen goods and groceries. These items are definitely a necessity of every home regardless too!
However, there are many approachable ways you can control the cost of your groceries so that you do not spend more than you actually need to. With these money-saving tips on groceries, we hope that you’ll be able to shop more smartly!
So, how can you maximise your budget when shopping for groceries?
1. Record your grocery expenditures each month.
Many have heard about the importance of setting a budget every month but are too lazy to practice this habit diligently. As a small first step, you can challenge yourself to observe how much you are currently spending on kitchen items each month.
Try your best to diligently record the total expenses per day and each month in one account book. With this, you will be able to identify not only the amount withdrawn for the grocery items but also the type of goods purchased with the money.
You can find out the amount used to buy items that you do need to buy (such as oil, vegetables, rice, etc.), as well as the amount spent on non-essential items (such as snacks, ice cream, syrups, etc.)
2. Spend on a regular budget every month.
Once you’ve identified the amount you would usually spend each month, take the next step by challenging yourself – plan a monthly budget on a regular basis at the beginning of the month and shop along with your plan (not just follow your passions). If you have to spend more for the month (e.g. if you have guests and need to cook more), look where you can cut unnecessary kitchen expenditure so that the amount you spend is still within your budget.
On the other hand, if you find you have some extra budget, you can put the remaining money into your next grocery expenses fund. This can be used to spend on groceries or other kitchen items for the next month. Try your best to make it a habit and stick to a monthly budget for at least 4-6 months, and pay attention to how much you can save.
3. Create a “shopping list” with a budget stated next to it.
Before you start shopping, it’s worth making a shopping list for kitchen items. But a handy trick is to state the estimated budget you are willing to spend on each item. As the English proverb “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail”. Consider the items you are planning to buy, and make sure the budget allows for them or if they can be replaced with other alternative items or ingredients.
Follow your list closely when shopping as this will help to control your appetite to buy miscellaneous items that don’t fit in your budget or in your list. Even if you do decide to, you are aware of how much extra you’ll be spending.
4. Avoid shopping when hungry or thirsty.
When we are in a state of hunger or thirst, we tend to buy based on what we find would be good to have in the spur of the moment. Therefore, it will be easy to get caught up with the variety of seemingly delicious options, even not really necessary for the month, especially when it comes to snacks.
This is also a good way for you to make wiser food choices when shopping and choose healthier choices. So, before you shop, make sure you aren’t hungry or even hangry! 😉
5. Compare items by price.
If you go to the mall, the items arranged on the shelves are done with intention based on the brand of the product and the particular grocer. If you’re shopping in a supermarket, check out the lower shelves. There may be cheaper options that are still able to suit your needs. Even if it’s only a few ringgits or cents cheap, it’s still saving, and every penny saved is your reward!
So, it’s always a good thing to look around and explore all the brands to indicate and compare the prices to best suit your needs.
6. Shop in bulk.
This particular grocery saving tip can indeed save you much more. Buying in bulk especially on items you know you will continue to repurchase can help reduce the cost per unit of an item you buy – especially with dry ingredients such as rice, salt, sugar, and so on.
Wet or frozen ingredients such as meat and seafood which can be frozen for use in the coming months is also very convenient at the same time and definitely help to save you money in the long run. Shop at places like NSK, for example.
7. Find sellers who sell for a good price.
There are also items that may not be suitable to be purchased in bulk like fresh food items; vegetables, fruits and so on. Hence, it’s important to purchase in reasonable quantities and to follow the season or supply from the seller. In the right season or with high supply, the price of the ingredients could potentially be lower and better quality too.
8. Plant a garden at home.
If you have enough space in your home, you can consider securing pots of edible plants at home. Simple and easy to grow plants such as pandan leaves, soup leaves, leeks, lemongrass, cili padi and so on are mostly fuss-free and can be planted in pots.
This allows you to save as well as guarantee the quality, freshness, and cleanliness of the ingredients eaten, fresh from your potted garden!
9. Join your nearby supermarket membership programme.
If you shop frequently at supermarkets such as Tesco, AEON, Hero Market and so on, we’d highly suggest joining their customer loyalty programmes. You will be able to collect redeemable points for discount coupons or free gifts. In addition, you can enjoy various types of promotions such as special discounts for members, Member Day Sale and so on too!
Among these money-saving tips, which have you already practised? If you follow these tips consistently, you will be able to save more each month. All the best!