How To Save Money On Food Shopping

If you don’t want to eat your future, then something has to be done right. The first way to save money on food shopping is by revisiting the exact amount you spend on it daily and monthly. That step must be taken now before it’s too late.

Now pick up your calculator or notebook and a pen and run a swift breakdown. It will shock you what you spend on food alone, excluding side snacks. For some people and in some homes, it runs into hundreds of thousands. 

Early this year, some friends recounted how they sat down to quantify where “all” their money was actually going. They soon realised that a huge chunk of it went to food. Not surprised because who doesn’t love food?

Unarguably, everyone enjoys eating good food and no one wants to compromise the habit. But really shouldn’t you weigh to know if you are spending too much on it?

That is why it is ideal to change the not-pocket friendly narrative if you can painstakingly read this article. It reveals various basic ways you never might have thought of how you can save money on shopping for groceries. These tips have also helped quite a number of people spend less so far.

  1. Freeze Everything That Is Freezable

One thing we have learnt in recent times after bulk shopping is meal prepping. This way, we preserve some of what we bought to make sure there’s always cooked food in the freezer. 

Blend the sauce base made up of onions, red bell pepper, and pepper; boil them till the mixture is dry. One could also go a step further to make sauce without adding seasoning and place them in portions in the freezer. It always comes in handy. Try to meal prep during weekends and it will make your week less-stressful as you won’t be constantly thinking of what to cook for dinner.

2. Buy In Bulk

Back in the day and till now, many women tour some of the big markets like Mile 12 in Lagos Nigeria, Ile-Epo Food Market and others. Not minding the hot-baking sun, they dread those trips. 

Understandably, it is cost effective. If you have to feed lots of mouths, buying in bulk is your best bet; it will earn you discounts. And you don’t have to do it more than once a month or longer.

3. Shop On Full Stomach

Before going on those long market trips, it has been discovered that women and even men would settle down to eat heavilh very early in the morning. Not because can’t live without bread, but because they need energy and a full tummy will help them avoid buying things they do not need.

4. Write A Comprehensive List

Never, ever, go to the market without a list. You may end up buying more than you budget. Then when you get home, you will only realise you do not need anything you have bought. 

Buying on impulse is one of the fastest ways to spend money that could have been put to better use. Writing a list when going to shop for food will help with the next step, budgeting.

5. Have A Budget

Go to the market with a budge; if possible, with only cash! That way, you don’t get to impulse buy and you know that every kobo is accounted for. I find that with cashless payments, money goes faster and is rarely controlled.

6. There Is Rice At Home

Pack your own lunch to work. Spending between N800 – N1500 daily on lunch might not seem like much until you calculate your total lunch expenses for the week or month. 

A senior colleague in the office once panicked after the total amout he realised he on spent visiting “fast foods” – a fast way to spend money for sure. It will help you save money on food shopping. 

7. Go Local

Buying your foodstuff in local markets does not translate to buying substandard items. Most of the items are the same in quality. So long hygiene is not compromised; patronise your local markets even though it is easier to pop into a supermarket to pick up “some items”. 

Calculate how many times a month you shop in a supermarket, and how much you spend on each visit. You will be unpleasantly surprised. Going to the local market gives you options for bargaining and getting better deals, ultimately spending less on food shopping.

8. Check Your Brand Loyalty

Who says particular expensive toothpaste is healthier for your teeth? How many times have you picked up a pack of sugar at the supermarket that was higher in cost than another branded sugar? Have you been guilty of this? I’m talking about generic products like sugar, salt and a handful of others. 

These products taste similar. There’s really no point buying a more expensive brand because you like the brand. Or because you are used to the brand or the packaging is alluring. That’s what brand managers/marketers are paid to do: make you feel the extra price is totally worth it!

9. Keep It Simple

As a foodie, you might struggle with this the most: the Egusi soup must have pomo, shaki, roundabout, smoked turkey, chicken, periwinkle, cow leg, large prawns. All these in only one pot of soup! If you keep your meals simple, you can save more money on food shopping.

10. Buy In Season

Right now, the cost of tomatoes has gone through the roof. It is almost like buying gold. You can reduce the quantity of tomatoes in your meals or skip it altogether. 

There are females in my office who gist about this. They substitute tatashe for tomatoes. Tatashe alone will make a delicious pot of stew or jollof, with tomato paste. 

Don’t worry. Tatashe is not particularly peppery. Sometimes, plantain is not in season. Buy sweet potatoes instead or yams. When shopping for food, buying in season is another way to experience a variety of food you otherwise wouldn’t eat.

11. Grab Discounted Items

Whenevee you are on food shopping, take advantage of new customer discounts with online grocery delivery services. But don’t fall for the tricks supermarkets pull to try and make you spend more money.

12. Learn To Prepare DifferentKinds Of Foods

Learn to cook. Learning some decent budget recipes will save you shed loads if you can ditch overpriced supermarket meals for one. 

Try your hands on cooking tips from Youtube and get you started. 

13. Read Your Receipts, Change

Even machines make mistakes. Be sure to read your receipt when you are issued one.  Mistakes often happen. 

Cashiers at supermarkets may add items that aren’t yours to your receipt. Sellers may erroneously give you lesser change. A second check could save you some extra cash. 

Trying all or some of the above listed tips would certainly enable you to save more on grocery shopping.

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