Thrifty supermarket shopping tips
When I go shopping at the moment there are tons of things I want to scoop up into my trolley. On a sunny day, I want to pop in a paddling pool and giant skittles, and sunglasses. On a colder day, I am looking at the latest book and indoor games for the kids. Supermarket shopping can cost a fortune and we can come out with no food. Action is required! This is not thrifty supermarket shopping.
Mission: Thrifty supermarket shopping!
In my book of baby budgeting tips How to Afford Time Off with Your Baby (Vermilion, 2009) very early on I address thrifty food shopping. Here’s an extract with my top tips…
THRIFTY FOOD SHOPPING
There’s one outlay that you can’t live without and that’s food. But you can reduce this expense by careful planning, smart shopping and getting into good shopping habits before your baby comes along.
Write a shopping list
Bare cupboards and last-minute takeaways probably need to be a thing of the past when you re a parent on a budget. By planning a weekly menu and writing a shopping list you’ll have all you need to make quick, easy and scrumptious meals. You can even factor in low-cost treats: a deluxe pizza is far cheaper bought from a supermarket than ordered in but it still requires minimal effort and hardly any washing up. Result.
When to shop, when not to shop and when to ‘virtual shop’
Before your baby is born you can shop as and when you like, so choose your trolley times wisely and you can pick up some real bargains. Reductions usually begin at 50 per cent around 5 pm and go as high as 75 per cent off by 9 pm. Ask the staff at your local supermarket what time they do their reductions. It’s obvious but I’ll say it anyway – try to avoid shopping when you are hungry. Shopping while your tummy is rumbling is bad for you and bad for your budget; you may well splurge on lots of food (comforting and instantly reviving foods – you know the sort) you don’t really need. Even if you’ve got your list but are feeling a bit low or fed up, ask your partner to go or delay it for tomorrow, otherwise you’ll discover that several chocolate cakes and bottles of wine have mysteriously appeared in your trolley. That will not result in thrifty supermarket shopping.
Shopping online with your regular supermarket or any others can be great for sticking to a list and to a budget. Once you’ve booked your delivery slot and got the hang of the way the website works, you’ll find you can do a weekly shop in about 20 minutes – saving time and, no doubt, saving money and energy, having to fina a baby sitter or having to deal with pestering kids. . You’ll still see special offers and some supermarkets even tailor offers to products that you buy often.
You may have to pay a fiver delivery but this may save you money in the long run.
I wish you luck with your thrifty supermarket shopping!