Anyone else noticed their grocery bill is sky high right now?! High demand and supply chain cutbacks seem to be having a knock-on effect on supermarket prices, and less special deals means less savings, higher bills and wider eyes at the checkout.

If your heart is skipping a beat when you see your grocery total, here are 5 top tips to save money on groceries and get that bill back in line with your spending goals:

1. Up the volume

Anyone else guilty of buying the item with the lowest ticket price, regardless of the value per unit? Look at the price per litre or 100g or 100 sheets when buying things, and get the one that gives the most bang-for-buck, rather than the cheapest ticket price. Yes, your total might be higher that week, but it’ll last longer and average out next week. Bucket of hummus, anyone?

2. Change your routine

You might love that top line pasta sauce or think the basic pesto just doesn’t taste as good, but if you’re trying to reduce your grocery bill, going easy on some of your boujee staples can shave tons off of your total without changing much at all. Chances are, if you buy brands, you’re often relying on the cycle of special deals to bring the price down. But, with less specials around, you could be paying a premium when there’s a cheaper alternative available.

3. See what you can make from scratch yourself

If you rely on the 2 for $5 special to get your favourite pasta sauce, you might be finding yourself paying up big when the specials aren’t on. Instead, look for things you can make yourself with cheaper ingredients. For the pasta sauce example, you can make your own sauces in no time, with a base of tinned tomatoes and tomato paste. Or, if you usually get your favourite granola on a half price deal, try making your own with basic staples instead. 

4. Avoid the convenience items

Skip things that have convenience tax added on. Things like fresh or frozen pizzas that you just shove in the oven can be expensive without special deals. Try making your own flatbreads from flour and oil, or buying a pack of wraps and a bottle of pizza sauce and making your own. It’s cheaper, and often healthier too. The same goes for items like microwave rice, bean mixes and fancy dips. Buy rice dry and you’ll get way more portions for your money. Buy beans individually and mix them yourself. Buy basic hummus and add your own pesto/paprika/chilli flakes. Using more basic ingredients that have more stable prices and don’t tend to go on special deals can save you money on your grocery bill week after week.

5. Try shopping less often

Even the most restrained shoppers add a little something extra to their trolley when they’re browsing the shelves – and isolation is prime time for throwing in an extra bag of doritos or a tub of ice cream for midweek Netflix binges. Try shopping every 2 weeks instead, to force you to plan harder, get more out of your meals and cut back your chances on impulse spending. By planning two weeks ahead, you can also maximise some of the other tips, like buying more volume to take advantage of economies of scale, and bulk making things yourself. 

Looking for cheap recipes? These are my six favourite easy pasta dishes right now!


How to save money on groceries