Everyone and their mother at some point during the week or month will do a grocery shop for household foods and necessities. This is what makes the subject quite popular on Buckscoop, because if you can find ways to save every time you hit the supermarket then that’s a saving you can make continuously week in, week out, year after year.
A weekly shop equates to a total of 52 individual savings per year, allowing you to instead spend a greater portion of your hard earned money on things that you actually get more out of in life from, such as holidays. The key to this process is knowing where to start and always ensuring that you get the best price available on items. This is why I want to show you four easy steps to run you through to get the most competitive prices in your area and save money with every shop.
Step One: The Pre-prepared List
No one region or even store has the same pricing as another, so creating the best saving process for your area is a tailored task. The best place to start is by preparing a list containing all the usual things that you and your family require on a regular basis. Printing this list out on paper is a great way to see everything in one place. My recommendation would be to create the list in Excel (or similar) and group the items into categories such as household, personal, meats, frozen etc… Once you have your list its time to move onto step 2.
Step 2: Tailor to your Needs
When creating the list make sure you include all items, from special dietary products to one off purchases, because everything goes on sale at some point during the year. Once you have your complete list it’s now time to pay attention to store prices around you and note them down. An easy method to find out which supermarkets have the cheapest prices on groceries is to use MyGroceries.com.au. This site lets you search for any product to see whether it's on special and which supermarket is currently discounting it. You can then quickly work out if it makes sense to shop at more than one supermarket in order to save money on all your regular / essential items.
Another useful feature is that you have the option of setting alerts for specific products to receive an email notification the next time it goes on special. Anyone in your family can access the list and edit it if necessary too.
Step 3: Smart Shopping
Now with your price list in hand you have the most powerful saving weapon for grocery shopping. This list / mini database for supermarket prices can help you and your family save money every week. Plus it will also help you know when to stock up on items that are on offer or sale, but of course its effectiveness will depend on how conscientiously you follow the list.
A key tip to increase your saving potential is to drop brand loyalty, because these pricier products will have a dramatic effect on your bottom line. A quick word of advice on generic brands would be that cosmetics, over the counter medication and sundries must all have the same active ingredients within them as branded products. Cleaning products also fall under this same rule, but even homemade remedies can be more effective, better for the environment and cost only a fraction of the price.
Step 4: Stockpile
Regularly refining your list will allow you to keep on top of when relevant products drop in price, and which discount levels are good enough value to justify purchasing larger quantities than normal. If, for instance, you spot a price drop on an item you regularly use that only goes down to this level maybe once or twice a year, then assuming it's either non-perishable or can be frozen, you should definitely consider stockpiling enough to last at least a few months.
Keeping a keen eye on pricing trends for those items which you buy most often or which cost the most, is a very effective way to maximise your savings on groceries. Once you become familiar with these trends, it'll be easy to spot when the biggest savings can be made.
Incorporating this above list method into my own shopping routine has helped me better understand the prices available to me in my local area. I’ve also benefitted by avoiding price fluctuations / increases at one store in knowing where to head for the next best price on something at another store. Remember, even a seemingly insignificant saving of $10 per shop every week ultimately earns gives $520 back in your pocket at the end of the year.