Big Savings on Groceries

June 2, 2009

in Finances

Over the last few months our bank balance has been looking sadder than usual the week before payday. I don’t think it’s because we’ve been spending excessively, rather the cost of everything – especially groceries – has been increasing.

The Thinker has been picking up our fruit and veg at the market each week. This has cut that part of our grocery bill by almost half. I still find it hard to believe that the shopping cart full to the brim he brings home each week only costs $30, absolute maximum.

Nevertheless, the cost of my shopping trolley at the supermarket (Aldi) has increased by around $30 – $40 each week over last year’s prices.  So I’m back on the “cut the grocery bill” bandwagon, trying to rein things in a bit.

I’ve written before about what a big fan of Simple Savings I am.  If you’re unfamiliar with the website, it contains literally thousands of money savings ideas, submitted by real people.  Free membership gives you a monthly newsletter and access to some tools to help with saving.  Or for a yearly fee ($37 at the moment) you get full access to all the hints, a great forum and more savings tools.

The last few days I’ve been delving back into their Savings Vault to get some ideas where I can shave a few dollars from our grocery bill.  It’s the most amazing resource, I have to say.  Some of the hints are, in my opinion, a bit extreme.  I don’t know about you, but I’m not going to traipse out to the supermarket at 10pm just so I can get a discounted BBQ chicken.

But the majority of the ideas are either pretty darn clever or so simple you’ll slap yourself because you’re not doing them already.  I guess sometimes we just need a reminder of what works.

As I was poking around I discovered that in June they’re having a $21 challenge.  Yep, you get to try to spend only $21 per week on groceries.  Sounds near impossible I know, but I’m going to give it a go – if not for the whole month for a couple of weeks at least.

There’s a little bit of leeway.  For instance $21 is based on a family of four, some people include only main meals, some don’t include milk and bread, and so on.  The key is to use what you already have in the house and to think outside the square.  And stay away from the supermarket ;-)

The Simple Savings paid membership area will also come in very handy, as in addition to all the usual hints there’s a dedicated thread on the forum to help with ideas and motivation. I’ve also done posts on menu planning and ways to save money on groceries.

I’m not going to include milk, bread, fruit and veg.  Even so, if I can get the rest of our food items for $21 per week I’ll be saving around $150.  Can’t complain about that! (A few weeks saving that much and I might even have enough for a new camera lens :-) )

Who’s game to join me?  You can read more in the most recent Simple Savings Newsletter or go right ahead and join the Savings Vault.

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