I have always struggled to get my groceries under $250.00 a week! I felt like I had tried everything. Aldi, Coles, Woolies, markets, online shops, lists and no matter what I was always topping up and always spending around $250.00 a week!
This began even before we had a child. When we lived in Darwin we assumed it was normal considering there is slight price hikes being in such a rural place but coming back to Brisbane there was no change and I began to think this surely can’t be normal.
After speaking to numerous other mums I began to realise there is an actual talent to saving money on grocery shops and it is a job on its own. If you expect to walk into a store and spend $150 or less (like me) then keep reading… because you can’t do that without this information.
Eliminate Short Term Purchases
First things first – saving money will be about purchasing things that eliminate the need to ever purchase other products again. In this case, I have eliminated ever needing to purchased glad wrap because I bought these BPA stretch bowl covers that can cover any bowl, plate, item that needs sealing to be stored in the fridge safely.
I purchased two different types but the one I recommend the most is available for $15.00 in a pack of six which is pretty good considering reputable brands sell the SAME packs for over $50.00! You can check out the ones I purchased here
Top tips from mums who spend consistently, week in, week out $150 or less on groceries.
- Make a list of what you have in the cupboard and plan meals around using that
- Thats right plan meals, so make it clear what you are eating on days that end in Y
- Buy bulk when items on special (1 for now, 1 for later)
- Schedule in a night for leftovers
- Access an app called ‘unocart’ to compare prices/specials on your favourite branded items
How to allocate $150
I asked a bunch of mums who have mastered the under $150 how they actually divide that $150 between everything. Am I spending too much on meat? or too much on fruit and veg? I know I tend to overbuy so if I use a bag for each – the fruit and vegetables, the essentials, the meat and poultry and put an allocated amount into each category then I must stick to that.
- $50.00 to fruit and vegetables
- $55.00 to meat and poultry
- $45 to pantry and baby essentials
Where to shop?
I have personally been testing this. I’ve done it before but I decided originally it was too difficult and my spendings weren’t changing. Now that I have an earth side child and plan for more in the future I decided I need to actually master this because it is proven where you shop can save you money!
A lot of the feedback I received was that mothers shop at local fruit and vegetable markets, Aldi and sometimes Costco. I can successfully say I have mastered the strategy now.
You need to:
– purchase all fruit and vegetable at a farmers market (Shop around not all markets are incredible but I find one that has lots of stalls for fruit and veg the best as they are all very competitive in pricing then)
– purchase meat/poultry from a competitor butcher or farmer market meat stall (shop around to find the best prices in your area first! They vary drastically so even ask on local Facebook group sites for recommendations of the best ones price wise!)
– plan what pantry goods you need from Aldi, Coles or Costco and stick to your list. Do not be attracted by other ‘special buys’.
But what do I cook?
It is funny I get asked this so often! I cook the same meals I would cook when I buy from Coles. I find I have more variety in my cooking with my market shopping because you shop more seasonal which gives you better prices and helps you avoid the ‘regular’ buys that might be out of seasons so therefore they put the price up on in large chain supermarkets.
My meals vary weekly depending on my buy but an average week may look like this:
Monday: Pumpkin & Chicken Risotto
Tuesday: Coconut Cream with Lime Salmon, Veg & Rice (stirred through a pan)
Wednesday: Whole Roast chicken slow cooked in pressure cooker, served with sweet potato mash
Thursday: Spaghetti Bolognese
Friday: Potato, Leek and Chicken Soup
Saturday: Sheppards pie with all left over vegetable mixed through.
I hope this helps you! Don’t be afraid, just shop around, be consistent and have a plan. You will save money!