4 ways you’re wasting money at the supermarket
You’ve got to be living under a rock or a 100% self sufficient homesteading ninja to NOT feel the effect of the grocery price increases over the past year. Thanks inflation, fires, floods and the rest. But there are 4 ways I see many people wasting money at the supermarket and blow their budgets and it’s totally unnecessary. Read on for 4 ways you’re wasting money at the supermarket and what to do about it.
So you think buying the cheapest option within the ingredient category is the only way to save money on your grocery bill? Think again. Here are 4 ways you’re wasting your money at the supermarket when buying your groceries.
All the goodness is in the video above. The notes below are a dot point version of the video.
1. You’re not paying attention to the seasons
You have the same shopping list every week and buy the same groceries without much thought about why that cauliflower is $7 or why 2 punnets of strawberries and 1 mango cost you $20. You just do it and while you know your grocery bill is higher, you’re not sure where to start or what to do about it.
You need to pay attention while you’re shopping. You need to be taking note about how much everything is costing you. Maybe you keep your receipts or start writing notes in your phone to keep track. Whatever you choose to do, this builds your knowledge bank over time so you can start making smarter purchasing decisions.
2. You don’t compare prices per kilo or litre
You have 2 packets of crackers in your hand and you’re judging by the face value cost instead of comparing the:
- per kilo (or per litre price for liquid)
- the ingredients and their quality
This is the way they’ll get ya. And the weight may look deceivingly similar and like there’s no reason to compare the per kilo price. Stop falling for their big shiny red and yellow signs!
3. You’re swapping like for like (AKA buying a cheaper version of the same product) and expecting to save a dime
So you’ve swapped your fancy milk for the cheaper option. You’re buying the cheapest bread, pasta and tasty cheese too. That must be it right? That’s the only card you have left to play. There’s nothing more you can do to save money on your grocery bill? Wrong.
These swaps will save you a few bucks and of course they’re handy but it’s nothing Earth shattering. Like my simple trick for breaking down a whole chicken which can save you around $700 per year.
Wait, what Lou? You want me to get my hands dirty and handle a whole chicken? Yes I do, but we’re not there quite yet (there’s a few steps in between) but overall – your kitchen skills and confidence directly relate to how much you can spend or save on your supermarket shop.
4. You blanket assume the grocery store is the cheapest place to shop
I talk about this one extensively in the video above. Your assumptions cost you money.
And you’ll never know the full extent of how much money you’re wasting at the supermarket unless you pair this with point 1.
5. Convenience costs money and your grocery bill will cop it
Bonus way you’re wasting money at the supermarket. You buy convenience food.
Everyone is busy. You will always make time for the things you find important or exciting. Like my morning coffee that I never forget about, but I was terrible at taking my pregnancy multivitamin back in 2019 when I was pregnant. Or how I’m never too busy to go to the beach, but I’m too busy to go to the dentist. What you prioritise, you’ll always fit in.
There could be more going on too. If your kitchen confidence sucks, you’re always going to be opting for convenient food because you’re lacking what it takes to cook. PS: it takes more than following a recipe to make a good meal and a cooking habit that you’ll be happy to stick to. Convenience costs money and we’ve been conditioned to believe that prepackaged food is the answer to cooking. It’s not.
It’s worth noting – I’m a huge supporter of local farmers and I believe in local business.
Price gouging is a huge part of the issue we’re facing right now with major companies all reporting record profits while the people are feeling the burn. We buy our fruit and veg from Ooooby, we buy our meat from Full Circle Farm and I support these 2 businesses in particular as much as I can with the budget we have. I supplement with supermarket stuff (and I buy other home products mainly from Woolworths with their Everyday Rewards 10% off system).
But I honestly believe we could all buy better quality food if we increased our cooking skills and kitchen confidence. Because once you know what to do with the food, you’re so much savvier with how and what to buy, how to store it, how to cook it and what to do with the leftovers. And until you’re confident, the only cards you have to play are to buy a cheaper version of the same product which will only ever get you so far.