43 tips for saving money on your weekly grocery shop

WE'VE asked the people who know - shoppers - for their best tips on how to save on your weekly shop.

1. Make a list, budget

Plan your meals and only go to town two times a week. Get everything on the list and then add in extras if money left.

I always calculate when I do grocery shopping. Never been wrong and if it comes to more at the checkout I know something has been double scanned or wrong price.

- Kelly Essex


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2. Junk mail

I go through the weekly junk mail. What's on special... that's what I buy.

-Rae-Ann Finlay

3. Empty the fridge first

Always use everything up in the fridge before you shop again. I always cook to what I have in the fridge first. 

Cooking from scratch like our grandparents used to do I find much cheaper and much healthier than buying pre-made and processed food.

It is much healthier and no additives.

I was diagnosed with leukaemia 2yrs ago and question all the additives companies use to make cooking faster and easier these days.

Cook for 2 meals and freeze the other. We buy bulk off eBay a lot. Eat healthy and wisely. It's easy once you start and you will save so much money.

- Phil Trish Contencin

TRICKS OF THE TRADE: Save money on grocery shopping with handy, simple tricks.
TRICKS OF THE TRADE: Save money on grocery shopping with handy, simple tricks. Lisa Williams

4. Follow two rules

Never ever buy or eat junk food, and grow your own vegetables.

- Graham Collins

5. Watch the clock

Go shopping after a certain time when there are more specials on.

- David-John Francis

6. Start from scratch

Make all meals from scratch, meal prep and buy staples in bulk! Freeze meats when you purchase them and keep them to meal sizes to save wastage.

- Caitlin Lawson

7. Don't buy processed

Buy fresh (or frozen) vegies and cook your own soups and stews.

Buy packs of dry soup mix (barley/lentils) as these are very filling.

Wait for specials and buy pantry fillers then - such as tins of baked beans and spaghetti when they are half price.

Milk, sauce, cheese taste the same in generic brand and are much cheaper.

- Donna Bdw

8. Chop it up

On shopping day I chop up veggies and divide into 7 zip seal bags and freeze. Means there is no wastage....and I found the veg is lasting 3x as long.

- Esther Gail

9. Mark down bays

Check out the mark down bays in your supermarket. Lots of great stuff at 20-50% off

- Karin Lerch

10. What's that per 100g?

I always check the price per 100g or 100ml whatever it may be and compare each brand.

You'd be surprised that something that's on "special" ends up being a lot more expensive than another brand or size.

- Justine Plate

11. Freeze a cow

Chest freezer a cow and purchase a thermomix.

- Selena Starr-Nolan

Allan Reinikka

12. Make your own, check lower shelves

Blend together 500g butter & 250ml light olive oil to make your own softened butter for a fraction of the price of the store bought variety.

Always check the top & bottom shelves in the supermarket. Preferred selling items are always placed at eye level.

- Terri Smith

13. Trial and error

A lot of home brand/no name products are good. This can save money however sometimes it's trial and error too

- Michael Pinyon

14. Buy in bulk

Even though I'm in a single household I must say buying bulk is always best option.

Ie a large tin of Nescafé gold blend is $16 versus $9 for bottle (just fill up the bottle/jar.

Or, 2kg washing powder will last forever! And remember use by date doesn't mean use by/best by but what the company will say is safe.

I've used products older and while sometimes get dumped, many survive the wait.

- Leo Scott

15. Share with a friend

Markets for vegies - buy in bulk - but share with a friend or neighbours.

- Karina Rohdmann

16. Specials

I just buy what's on special.. That way you save and get variety in what you're eating

- Nikki Farrow

17. Write it down

Try and have a written list and stick to it, that way you not buying things you really don't need!

- Lana Johnson

18. Hungry?

Don't shop when you're hungry!!!

- Gina Burke

19. Markets

Buy fruit and veges from markets. They're usually cheaper than the stores and a lot fresher.

- Trish Arnold

20. Check the catalogues, stock up

Always check catalogues & when something you use often is on special stock up a bit so you never have to pay full price.

- Lauren Jensen

21. Look in the fridge

Check what is in the fridge and pantry and note what you can use for meals ahead.

Write a list based on what you can add to your stock on hand to extend and vary your meals.

Shop once a fortnight or month and stick to the list, allowing only for minimum incidentals such as milk and bread in between so there is less exposure to temptation.

It can help to create a standard list to put up on the fridge and mark off items you need for the next shop. Track specials and bulk up.

- Margaret Wood

22. Be diligent, scan your rewards card

I start my shopping list the day I get home with my groceries and add to it through the week.

Make sure I take it with me and cross off as I get. I do my main basics at Aldi and get my name brand stuff at either Coles, IGA or Woolies depending who has the specials.

I always scan my reward cards and when the points get to $20 I cash them in and this helps to keep costs down.

I just wish Aldi had reward points too

- Anne Maree Peachey

Basket of groceries from IGA.
Basket of groceries from IGA. Allan Reinikka

23. Send the kids dumpster diving

Dumpster diving, send the kids in but it can stink

- Brendan Charles

24. Shop online

Allows me to meal plan and see how much I'm paying. Fruit and vegetables from the fruit shop and not the supermarket. Buy meat in bulk.

- Jodie Bryant

25. Never shop on a set day

I shop when the fridge is empty .. never shop on a set day as you buy stuff you double up on and then you get wastage.

Plan the week and only buy what you need and if it goes 8 days then shop on the 8th day not at the end of the week.

I save heaps doing this and it empties the freezer regularly.

- Lesa Grant

26. Eat at mum's

I just eat at me mum's house.

- Mark Park Lane

27. Go alone

Don't take the kids with you!

- Emma Rose

28. Don't waste it

Say you're having a meal which uses sour cream or cream and your only using half a tub, make another meal with similar ingredients a day or two after so there's no waste.

Plan ahead so you don't get stuck.

I have a family with five kids. I buy my fresh fruit and bread and milk daily or at least every second day so there's no waste and I buy everything else in bulk and shop around.

- Zoe Crain

29. What brand is that?

You can by no name brands for most things.

- Lynelle Moore

30. Shop around

Buy generic where possible. I also plan my meals and I even shop around where possible.

I'm lucky to be near several shopping centres and fruit and veg stores.

It can take a bit more time, but I can stock a fridge with fruit and veggies for $40-$50 and run out of room.

- Tamara Schafer

31. Go green

Stop eating meat every day.

- Rochelle Walker

32. Have a menu

I have a weekly dinner menu and I buy only what we need for dinners and lunches. Breakfast we always have the same thing - cereal.

- Katrina Woods

33. Buy local

I concentrate more on buying local, Aussie grown/owned/produced as much as I can now.

Free range eggs, 4Real milk (yep me too) that sort of thing. Fortunately for me I can now better afford to be more ethically driven than dollar driven in my choices.

Unfortunately it's taken almost half a century to get to this point.

- Sheryn Williams

34. Reduced to clear

Reduced to clear meat at the butcher and bulk buy savings. Freezing a lot of foods including bread reduces wastage by it not spoiling before being consumed.

One thing I don't scab on is fresh milk. Farmers milk like 4real milk is a must!

- Cam Jay

35. Stop buying stuff you don't need

People seem to stock their trolleys with chocolate and soft drink, things we can all do without!

That will save you plenty of money.

- Sonya Gillespie

36. Don't shop the middle

Only go around the edge. Don't go in the middle, and home cook everything.

- Joann Bucknell

37. Grow your own

We have a vegie patch, also agree with cooking from scratch kids love to help so it is also good interaction and you can find simple low budget recipes online

- Renee Smith

38. Don't go too often

We only shop once a month. Easier to deal with fuel as well as we live out of town

- Hanna Pursey

39. Make your own

I make as many cleaners as I can (find out how here).

- Donna Archie

40. Bake it

Bake as much as possible from scratch. Some of our best meals have been made experimenting and using what's on hand.

Buy less than perfect fruit and veg (once in a casserole etc would never know they were blemishes etc)

- Kaylah Smith-crossley

41. If it's not canned....

Live on tinned food.

- Don Gibson

42. Back to basics

We now only can afford home brand. Only way we can eat for a week

- Jason Loch

43. Do more yourself

You can absolutely live well for less. The key is doing more things from scratch. 1kg of chicken breast when crumbed makes 1.5kg of crumbed chicken.

Home made yogurt, buttermilk and ricotta costs a little over $1 per kg.

Using a whole roast and cutting it down to a dice or strip can save you $20 a kg! That is huge.

Shopping around, bulk buying and making the most of the left over ingredients can save you a fortune.

Think of your fridge as an invention test. Create, enjoy and save.

- Mother Knows Best

Topics:  costbusters cost of living groceries shopping supermarkets

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