10 tips to help you save money on grocery bills

Man with shopping cart

2022 hit us Aussies hard. With the worst of COVID-19 behind us (we hope), devastating flooding and the cost of living on the rise, it’s fair to say we’ve been through a lot this past year. But with the price of everything going up, one thing we can’t sacrifice are groceries, and boy have they spiked in price!

So just how does one spend less money on groceries? Well, there’s no sure-fire way to bring down the cost of groceries, but there are several tactics you can use to reduce what you pay at the checkout when shopping for the food and staples your family needs.

If you’re looking for a way to make your money go further and find the cheapest groceries around, then check out our 10 tips for spending less at the supermarket.

  1. Sign up for a loyalty or rewards programs
    Whether it’s Coles, Woolies or IGA, most stores these days offer some kind of rewards program which entitles you to points or exclusive discounts, depending on the amount that you spend. These loyalty programs tend to be free to sign up, and while they might take some time to redeem something of value, they are something for nothing that could help keep money in your back pocket.
  2. Meal plan
    This might take a little bit of time to prepare, but you’d be surprised at just how much some organisation could save you. By planning exactly what you are cooking or preparing for all your meals, you’ll reduce wastage, shop less and avoid spending big on things like UberEats or drive-through when you’re unprepared.
  3. Buy seasonal produce
    Living in the first-world, us Aussies have the luxury of enjoying most produce all-year round, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t paying for it. Think seasonally when shopping for your fruit and veg, as food that is seasonal and in abundance tends to be cheaper at the checkout. Plus, food that is in season usually tastes a lot better as it is grown in its peak condition.
  4. Buy in bulk
    While it might sound counter-productive to start with, groceries bought in bulk tend to cost less per unit. So if you have a big family to share more supplies with and split the cost, you could save a small fortune on your grocery bill. If this is not an option, purchasing bulk goods that you can store in the freezer for the coming weeks can also give you more bang for your buck on your bill.
  5. Go in with a list and sticking to it
    Impulse buying can be a real issue for some of us, so being prepared and going shopping with a list (and sticking to it, of course) can be a smart move for many shoppers. See what you have at home first by checking your pantry and fridge to avoid excess buying, and create a list that fits your family’s needs for the coming week.
  6. Buy items on sale and compare catalogues
    It might sound old school, but catalogue shopping is probably one of the most cost-effective ways to save on your groceries. The big grocers regularly have half price specials each week, which means if you plan ahead, you could save money on the staples when they are reduced. Sign up to store emails and stay up-to-date on the specials and buy at the right time to save big.
  7. Compare prices between stores
    This again is something that pays off to be prepared for. Compare prices in store or online to see which shops offer more competitive pricing in general before you buy. A simple way to do this is by using the ‘shopping’ tab on your Google search bar, to get a clear comparison of the price of products available.
  8. Avoid pre-packaged or processed groceries
    If you’re lured in by fancy packaging or have kids that buy into catchy advertising, this could get a little getting used to. But generally you’ll find that generic brand goods cost substantially less than their branded counterparts. Processed and pre-packaged food again hits the back-pocket harder than making your own meals, so making the switch to home brands and cooking a little more could be a great way to cut your grocery costs.
  9. Reduce your meat intake
    Some of the most expensive perishable goods in our supermarkets tend to be meat and poultry. Making the switch to vegetarian meals once or twice per week can be a great way of cutting costs by buying more alternatives. You’ll still be able to get your protein hit by eating things like legumes, eggs and fish and keep more money in your wallet when budgeting for the week.
  10. Grow your own
    With more awareness on how to be green in this day and age, growing your own produce can be a rewarding and great way to save money. Things like herbs can be pricey and don’t take up too much space to grow, and you might even use less when cooking as you only take what you need when you get it directly from your own garden.

Now that you know a few things that could help you keep more money in your back pocket when grocery shopping, why not consider finding a great savings account to complement your new savings habits?

Top Savings Accounts

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Last updated 22 July 2024 Important disclosures
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    5.00% p.a. (for $0 to $250,000)

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    Savings Maximiser

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    High Interest Savings Account

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^See information about the Mozo Experts Choice Savings Account Awards

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