21 November 2014

Cheapskates Grocery Shopping Secrets

I never wanted to be a working mum. I admit I really do enjoy working but I like being a mum too. Finding ways to maintain the lifestyle we like without me having to work outside our home and leave the kids was the only way we could do this.

I have made eating well cheaply my job - it's the way I can stay home with my kids. The Cheapskates way is not for everyone. There are those who know me who look absolutely horrified when I say I've spent the day cooking buckets of free apples or whipped the butter with powdered milk, oil and water to double it to make it go further.

Saving money - on anything - has to be something that a person really wants to do.

If a woman working part-time can cut just $100 a week from the grocery bill, that's $5,200 dollars a year. That money is probably all she needs to be able to stay home if that's what she wants. Add to this the savings on childcare, petrol, convenience meals etc and she has most likely replaced her part-time wage.

If a family with a huge mortgage can pay that $100 a week off their mortgage, they will not only get the mortgage paid off faster, the potential savings in interest are in the thousands.

When it comes to grocery shopping being aware is the thing that will save you the most money:

• Being aware that specials are not always specials
• Being aware that "bulk" buys are not always cheaper
• Being aware that supermarkets only want to part you from your money

I believe that the best way to save money on your groceries is to pay for the things that are most important to you and for everything else get the best quality at the lowest possible price.

For example you can save up to 50% on staples by being aware. Flour is flour, sugar is sugar. (Generic flour and sugar are both products of Australia, saving you money and helping to keep Australian jobs.) Don't be tricked into paying extra for a brightly coloured pack or for the cardboard box – you just throw them away.

The real saving on grocery items starts with you, not the price.

You can decide how much you are going to spend at the supermarket or on groceries each week; you don't have to fall for the advertising tricks.

Before you even begin shopping make up a menu plan. Do a quick fridge, freezer and pantry check and plan around the ingredients you already have on hand. Then make a shopping list, adding the missing ingredients and any other things you need to buy.

As you plan your menu you will save even more if you try to substitute inexpensive ingredients for the more expensive. For example if you are making salmon rissoles using pink salmon rather than red will save you at least 50% and it won't affect the end result at all. The flavour and texture will be the same. And you'll have a couple of dollars still in your grocery budget.

Most supermarkets offer a range of house or generic branded products. I love generic brands and will almost always pick up the generic over the brand name product. Try the generic options for your groceries. If you don't like them you can always go back to buying your brand names. If you don't try them you won't know if you like them and you won't know how much money you can save.

Shopping around for your groceries can also save you big bucks. You wouldn't hesitate to shop around for a new car or a new fridge or bed to be sure you get the best possible price so don't hesitate to shop around for your groceries either.

Most Australians have at least two major supermarkets within easy reach, often in the same shopping centre. It doesn't take any longer to check the prices at both of them to get the best deals on your groceries than it does to simply wander around one, paying the price that supermarket stipulates is what you should be paying.


  1. i love all your tips and hints, my Husband has no top teeth until the end of august

  2. Christine have you tried tuna morney and shepherds pie. I'm wondering if both would be soft enough to eat without blending into mush. I love these meals as I can usually feed our family of 6 for 2 nights each meal. Also maybe an easy dinner of scrambled eggs, or thick soups like pumpkin or potatoe and leek or thick vegetable with little pieces of meat.


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