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HOW TO RETIRE EARLY
MONEY DECISIONS IN YOUR 20's FOR EARLY RETIREMENT IN YOUR 40's.
11 Ways to Save Money on Groceries
Posted on: 23 / 11 / 2017
By: Courtney Vernon
Cutting down the amount of money you spend on groceries is one of the easiest ways to save money because there are so many ways to do it. 

While some of the strategies will only save you a couple dollars if you consider how often you go shopping over the course of a year the savings will quickly add up.
1) Don’t Shop When You're Hungry
You have probably heard this one before but it’s an important one. If you go shopping hungry you will likely buy more than you need. 

The average Australian household throws out over $1000 of groceries every year.

Not only are you likely to buy stuff you don’t need, but what you do buy will likely be food that requires little preparation due to the fact that you are hungry. These types of food are typically unhealthy and cost more due to their added convenience.
2) Plan Your Meals and Create a Shopping List
By planning your meals for the week and creating a shopping list, much like the last point, you avoid buying more food than you need. 

This also means you will have meals ready to go so will save money as you won’t be as tempted to buy take away or go out for lunch.

With the internet and Facebook there are plenty of free ways to find cheap recipes with some sites even telling you the cost per serve.
3) Buy Generic or Storebrand
These products are generally cheaper than the better-known brands and are almost identical.
Take milk for example. Woolworths and Coles don't have their own dairy but they have their own brand of milk. They do this by approaching existing dairies and asking them to provide milk in a Coles or Woolworths branded bottle.

This also applies to medications as well. The active ingredient in generic medications will remain the same.

The generic store brand version of Panadol still contains the active ingredient paracetamol. The same is true with Nurofen and the active ingredient, ibuprofen. 
Of course, some of the other ingredients can vary so if you have any allergies or concerns with medications then consult a pharmacist or GP.

When you buy branded products, typically you are paying more for a fancier packet.  
4) Store Food Correctly
Make sure you store food in the correct compartment of the fridge. Yes there is actually a proper way to use a fridge

In a nutshell, the coldest part of the fridge is the bottom and the warmest part is up the top and in the door. Anything prone to going off quicker (meat, vegetables) should be stored in the cooler spots.

It sounds simple but ensure anything you do store is sealed properly. The packet of chips you put back in the pantry will be good for a while but no one wants to eat stale chips

Using your freezer can be the difference between throwing away a half-mouldy loaf of bread or using all of it over time. It should go without saying though, if food is mouldy, has an ‘off’ smell then don’t hold on to it just to save a few bucks.  
5) Use Natural Cleaning Products
You can pretty much clean your whole house using bicarb soda, vinegar and lemon. 

There are plenty of websites, books, facebook groups and grandmothers out there that will be able to provide you with ways to clean your home with more natural and cheaper products.
6) Buy Re-usable Items Instead of Disposable Items
Buying disposable items is literally throwing money away. While the initial cost may be more it will save you money in the long run. 

Some examples include:
• Buying a decent razor and only buying refills vs buying a full packet of disposable razors

• Purchasing a ‘push to pump’ liquid soap dispenser and then buying refill bottles instead of buying a new container and pump

• Keeping and using plastic containers instead of relying on cling wrap or zip lock bags
7) Buy Non-Perishable Items in Bulk
Things like rice, pasta, toothpaste, toilet paper, shampoo, conditioner, soap, pasta sauce, tinned food either have no or very long expiry dates. 

This mean you can buy large quantities when on special or buy the biggest container they come in as buying a larger amount is often cheaper. Because they won’t expire for a while you will have enough time to get through it.

Remember to check the cost per 100g/kg and not the total cost. A lot of stores now have this on their price tickets.
8) Stop Paying for "Convenience"
Everyone intuitively knows that its more expensive to buy a bottle of coke from the fuel station than it is to buy from the supermarket. You are essentially paying for the convenience of it being available there and then.
Convenience isn’t just about where you buy stuff. The Chaser team at The Checkout humorously explain the concept pretty well in this this video.

Single person microwavable meals are convenient, but if you purchased enough ingredients and took the time to make the same meal yourself you could probably make three times the amount for the same price.

Dishwasher tablets are another example. Check out the pricing on dissolvable packets vs ones you have to tear manually next time you’re in the supermarket. You are paying more to avoid having to tear open a packet. Convenience!

Sometimes these things can be handy and well worth the extra cost. But remember, sometimes you can save just by being a little less lazy.
9) Have Backup Food for When You're Feeling Lazy
There will be those times however, where you will be feeling lazy and would be happy to pay for convenience. Things like Uber Eats, Dominos pizza, or takeaway may sound appealing. 

By keeping some long lasting and easy to prepare meals available like tinned soup, noodles, rice, tuna, and cheap frozen meals (Aldi has single serve meals for under $3), you can prepare a meal with minimal effort and save yourself the cost of takeaway. 
10) Shop Around 
Rather than sticking to larger supermarkets compare the prices of fruit and veg and meat at independent grocers, fruit and veg shops, butchers and markets.
11) Use the Deli Counter
Cheese and meats can be cheaper if bought from the deli counter at the supermarket over the pre-packaged and pre-sliced options. They will usually slice if for you as well. 

Anytime cheese and meat and pre-packaged and pre-sliced it will generally cost more than if you just learn to adult and slice it yourself.
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