We’ve already discussed some of the methods you can use to save money in Part 1, but fortunately there are more things you can do which will help you to make your money go a bit further.
For most of us, the biggest bills come in the shape of food bills at the grocery stores and supermarkets. We’re used to paying premium prices for the top brands and it often seems that there’s little we can do about food bills if we still want to maintain a healthy diet.
However, there are many ways to save money on foods shopping. One method is to clip coupons from magazines – there’s no real effort involved, just a quick few snips with a pair of scissors. Save the coupons even if they’re for items that you don’t normally buy – you could be pleasantly surprised to find that some of the supermarkets will let you use them whether you’ve bought the product or not. You could try organising a group of friends, neighbours or work colleagues to hold a monthly coupon swap.
If you’re organised enough in your shopping habits, you should be able to make sure that costly essentials (especially bathroom and cleaning products) can be bought at a discount. If you need washing powder – buy whichever one is on offer at the time – and try to do the same with similar products. If you see a great offer (such as Buy One Get One Free) when you still haven’t run out of your current supply, buy it anyway if you can – it’s great to stock up on these products while they’re so cheap – this can save you quite a bit of money over the long term.
If your supermarket has an Instore Bakery Department – try to do your shopping as near to closing time as possible. Many of the products from this department will be radically marked down during the last half hour or so of trading. This way you can make a huge saving – consider buying up a load of extras and freezing them for later in the week/month.
If you’re really feeling the pinch and have some sort of large irregular bill to pay one month, then make a decision to live on all the stuff that’s been in the cupboards or freezer for ages. This is a great way to have a clear out and make space for the next lot of special offers. It will also make you a bit more imaginative about what you’re eating – you could find that you come up with some interesting new recipes or combinations that turn out to be a family favourite!
If you usually buy the supermarket’s “best” brand or one of the famous name brands, then consider trying out the cheaper brands or supermarket own brand option. Many of the foodstuffs that are offered at cheaper rates are just as good as the more expensive equivalents – you’re very often paying extra for the name or the fancy packaging!
Consider clubbing together with a group of friends or neighbours to buy some of your foodstuffs wholesale from a catering supplies warehouse – this could prove to be a really great way of saving money.
Article by Debbie who loves to write about personal finances, foreign markets and currency exchange.