The average weekly grocery bill for a family of 4 people in Australia is a whopping $187. That’s nearly $10,000 a year simply on regular grocery shopping. It’s no wonder many Aussie families are looking to save money on their weekly grocery shops.
Here at Food Box Mate, I love a good bargain alongside careful planning ahead for meals. By leveraging the following 6 tips, I’m able to consistently keep my weekly shopping costs low and save my money for a few special treats instead.
#1 – Make a Budget
Most families have no idea how much they spend on groceries each week or month. By clicking on this article, you’re taking one of the first steps to take control of your grocery overspend. The first and most important action is to start tracking your family budget.
I like to manage my budgets at the end of every month, tracking all my expenditures by going through my card transactions and categorising them into different sections. This way, I can understand my exact monthly (and therefore weekly) spend on groceries.
Saving money starts with knowing how much you’re spending.
Don’t want to track this manually? Make it simple by using Pocketbook. Connect your bank accounts and Pocketbook automatically categorises your spending and presents it back to you in a handy-looking graph.
#2 – Use the Meal Kit Method!
Traipsing around a supermarket searching for a bargain can be an absolute chore. Even when you do have all your ingredients, there’s always spare/leftovers that you never quite get to using again.
You can skip all of that with meal kits. They have a reputation of being more expensive than shopping yourself, which we’ve proved as being quite untrue! Especially using our Meal Kit Method for discounting boxes.
Dinnerly and EveryPlate target the more budget-conscious end of the market, providing some serious value. What does that look like for your family of 4? Including delivery costs!
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That’s right, you can easily feed a family of 4 for 6 dinners from just $122.55. This comes with so many added benefits:
- Lots of variety and culinary exploration.
- Learn new recipes and cooking skills (especially for kids!).
- Delivered directly to your front door.
- Ingredients portioned perfectly with no waste.
You can even save more money if it’s your first time trying these services.
#3 – Find the best prices
I love a technology solution for things that don’t really need a technology solution. In this case, the brilliant Half Price helps you find all the 50%+ discounts available in Coles and Woolies. Use this to buy any bulk items you need at a serious discount, easily saving you hundreds of dollars a year.
Alternatively, if you have both Coles and Woolies nearby then check out Frugl that allows you to easily compare the price of items between the two. Save yourself money just by shopping in the right place.
#4 – Take advantage of rewards programmes
I am completely baffled by the sheer amount of people who don’t scan their supermarket rewards cards for every shop. For the smallest amount of effort, you’re earning completely free money. It’s not going to save you enough for a holiday, but every little helps.
When shopping at Woolies (or BWS), scan your Everyday Rewards card. You’ll get 1 point for every dollar you spend, saving $10 on a shop when you reach 2000 points.
When shopping at Coles (or Liquorland), scan your Flybuys card. Again, you’ll get 1 point for every dollar you spend, saving $10 on a shop when you reach 2000 points.
The trick is to supercharge your points-earning potential by downloading their Everyday Rewards & Flybuys apps and regularly checking for points boosters. I often earn 150 extra points for an item I was planning to buy anyway.
I no longer even carry a physical card with me, instead I have it linked to my Apple Wallet and just tap my phone on the card reader. Easy.
#5 – Plan your weekly meals
The most effective thing you can do once you have your budget is to plan your meals ahead of time and buy everything you need in one go. This will save you time and make sure you’re able to use every ingredient you buy. No more chances for ingredients to go out of date sitting at the back of the fridge.
My personal go-to is to write a list and pin it to my fridge on a Sunday before I do my weekly shop. At the same time, I check my freezer to see if there are any leftover meals I want to use during the week.
#6 – Buy in bulk, save on the unit price
Often, it’s not the big shops that cause high spending on groceries. It’s the little daily shops where you just pick up a few items to finish a meal or pick up snacks for lunch. That’s because you end up buying single-portion or pre-packaged ingredients that are relatively expensive.
The mental trick is that they don’t seem expensive at the time because they’re so convenient!
That’s why it’s important to plan ahead and buy food in bulk to make use of the massive discounts you get on the ‘per unit’ price. For example, buying a 375ml bottle of Olive Oil can set you back $2/100ml but if you go for the 2L bottle it’s as low as $0.70/100ml. It can feel more expensive at the time but this tactic will save your family a lot of money in the long run.
I have giant bags of rice, flour, lentils and pasta in the cupboard, with large bags of frozen veggies in the freezer that I can use at any time. Unfortunately, this does also take up quite a bit of space.
Enjoy your meals!
Having the best ingredients or the most complex recipes isn’t the best way to enjoy your dinner times. It’s all about the shared memories and experiences around food and time spent in the kitchen. Get the whole family involved in cooking and share meal times together.
That doesn’t cost a single cent.