Hi I AM THRIFTY THURSDAY!!!
Money saving tips in household and grocery shopping.
Have you ever wondered sometimes where your money goes? Before the month ends you've used either run out of money or overspent on unbudgeted items?
Today we're going to look at areas and expenses we can either eliminate or reduce unnecessary expenses.
One of such areas is Grocery and Household shopping.
Is it just me or do you not notice how you tend to go to the grocery shops for one item and you come out with 20? And of course the problem is not only have you spent what you've not budgeted for but most of those items go to waste.
So here are some tips:
1. Make a list and group your household shopping into Necessities and Nice-to-haves. Necessities you have things like toilet roll, kitchen towels, cleaners and other items you know you need especially when you have kids. Now do the same for your grocery shopping - identify what you really need as a family as Necessities and Nice-to-haves(n2h) eg tubs of ice cream, jelly, different juices
2. Going forward, monitor how much of these items both grocery and household items you go through in a month so you're able to identify what you really need versus what goes to waste. Once you've done this, you'll also be able to move some items from nice to have list to necessities
3. Now that you have identified your needs vs n2h, make a budget (remember we've been talking about envelopes). Have an envelope for household shopping and a separate one for Groceries. And be honest about it and strict as well. Once you've done your budget, and there is some left over money, you can then allocate that to your nice to have list.
4. For household items multiply what you go through in a month by 2.5 on your list and go to the market (Lagos Island) or for those in UK and US (Costco) and bulk shop for all these items so you only go shopping once every quarter.
5. For Groceries - I'll include meat, pepper, onions, milk, eggs, etc in this list also shop for all there things once a month and freeze stuff. I even freeze plantain. So I buy in bulk once every 2 months and split everything into ready to use portions In freezer bags and voila. For example plantain I slice them up into portions and freeze them. Whenever I need plantain, I bring it out of the freezer in the morning and place in the fridge by the time I get back from work, it's thawed and ready to be fried. By doing this bulk shopping I don't have to go back to the grocery stores at all during the month except for salad stuff which I buy every other week (I'm single 😊). Another example is pepper for stew, I blend everything and portion them ready for stew. Similar thing with meats as well, boil and fry on the day I get back from the market and portion them (20 pieces per pot of stew) and that pot last me for two weeks. Remember this is just me so you'll do what works for you. I find that not only do I save money but I also cut down time spent in the kitchen because everything is portioned out and I don't have to blend and boil meat and do all these extra stuff when I want to cook. Also for vegetables I dice and freeze.
This usually take a couple of months to refine but once you get the hang of it, it works seamlessly and you avoid waste and excess spending on food and household items.
Another tip is taking food to work.
So I take lunch to work every day I don't buy food anymore. I found for breakfast and lunch each day I was spending $20-$25
Breakfast includes - Bagel, coffee, eggs and lunch costs nothing less than $10 every day. I mean can you imagine that money sink?????
So I decided to buy my own coffee maker, smoothie maker, I bulk shopped bagels, bread, croissants, yoghurt and froze them. This was almost 2 months and my freezer is still full. I also joined blue apron where they deliver me ingredients for 3 meals and recipes. I get this delivered every 2 weeks so I have my stock for breakfast, all my Naija stuff all bulk shopped and then this guys deliver just what I need for a meal. This way I'm able to take not just breakfast but also lunch to work every day and I eat healthier by the way.
Guess how much I'm able to save a month doing this???
Yes $500! You never know how much you can claw back once you've done those exercises of nice to haves and necessities and bulk shopping.
Hope this helps.
If you have other ideas and tips, please share.
On a daily basis, we feature words of financial wisdom from different Smart Stewards members and sometimes from Guest Contributors. You'd be glad reading them. Enjoy!
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