Other than specials and promo codes, the best way to save money when shopping is to buy in bulk. As I mentioned in my post about cutting out takeaway costs by making batches of freezable dinners for lazy dinner nights, bulk is usually only cost effective if you don’t switch on an extra fridge/freezer to accommodate it.
As far as food goes, I now shop based on the cost per kilo/litre method. What this means is that I buy the best value products available regardless of their size, so long as the excess of the product won’t go to waste as a result.
I buy a kilo block of cheese from Aldi rather than the 500 gram portion and then grate about half the block and freeze it. I then eat the rest of the block as per usual over a fortnight.This means that I buy $6 of cheese a month, rather than $10.
Additionally, I buy a 3 pack of cheese pizza’s from Aldi for $6 twice a month, rather than spending about $6 per pizza just for the base, sauce and cheese on a homemade pizza. I then just chop a few fresh vegies quickly, throw them on the pizza and pop it in the oven. This saves us from ever buying takeaway pizzas at $10-25 a pop.
I think toiletries are an expense that can be saved on easily by buying in bulk, especially if you’re seeking brand name products. I usually shop from Catch or sister site Grocery Run for products such as razor blades, tooth paste, tooth brushes/brush heads, body wash and soap.
The last time I bought tooth paste, I paid $12 inc delivery for 12 Macleans 95 gram sized tubes. That’s $1 a tube delivered, which has saved us about $24 on toothpaste over the last 6 months. Additionally, during this shop Dove soap bars cost $1 each delivered. This has saved us $0.90 per bar on the standard price I’d pay at the supermarket.
For shampoo and conditioner, I only buy paraben free options such as Matrix Biolage. These salon quality products don’t come cheaply. The 400ml sized bottles of shampoo or conditioner cost $24-$30 each. However, I source the 1 litre bulk bottles from from RY.com.au for about $57 delivered for both the 1 litre shampoo and conditioner bottles.
When I first started working full-time, I wasn’t very good at organising myself ahead of time. So, I used to buy lunch most days of the week. However, I’ve now discovered the art of organisation and how it can save me $$$!
I now stock up on cheap vegies and protein on the weekends and make dinner for two meals per person Sunday-Thursday to ensure that lunches are covered for the working week. As an alternative, I could just make sandwiches each morning, however I’m not the biggest fan of eating too much bread. So, I’d rather spend a few minutes extra at dinner time each night cooking up extra lean protein and steamed vegetables, or making an extra large pot of something so that we’ve got healthy lunches most days.
I’ve now become so good at making enough dinner each night for lunch time left overs that work colleagues have commented on how good I am at bringing nutritious lunches to work each day!
I’ve calculated that I used to spend about $50 per fortnight buying lunches. This now costs about $10 a fortnight for the few extra veg and protein components I use to prepare these leftovers for lunch. This saves about $40 a fortnight, which equates to $1040 a year.
Overall, the few small things I’ve outlined above are now saving us around $1200 a year for only a bit more organisation and preparation.
We are now eating delicious home made lunches at work each day, which has only required me to be a bit more organised on shopping day and dinner time Sunday-Thursday. Additionally, buying our toiletries online is not only cheaper but also less effort. I am able to do my shopping for these items on the train on the way home from work and then they show up at my house a few days later.
These few small changes have reduced our grocery costs, weekday lunch costs and trips to the shops substantially over the last few months. Needless to say, I’m pretty happy with these results and I’m sure you would be too!
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