Life Hack: How to Save Money on your Grocery Shopping

For many people, groceries are the biggest monthly expense after rent or mortgage repayments. Now that you Think Like A Coder: Use Debugging Techniques To Speed Up Your Spring Cleaning, you’ll realise that big expenses are prime targets for optimisation. You’re probably aware of discount coupons and sale items, but there are many more ways you could be saving money at the checkout.

Step 1. Look in your fridge before you go shopping. The aim here is to build a list (mental or physical) of items that you already possess. You will then use this list to only purchase items that you do not already possess. Depending on what’s already in your fridge, you may be able to cut your grocery bill to as little as $0. Smart, huh?

Step 2. Look in your pantry before you go shopping. Did you know that many groceries are not stored in the fridge? To really save money, you’ll want to check the pantry as well.

Step 3. Don’t buy items you don’t want. It may sound obvious, but we’re all guilty of buying items we’ll never use. Instead of blindly adding items to your shopping trolley as if in some sort of consumerist trance, take a moment to identify the goods that you want, and only add those goods to your trolley. The savings can be enormous!

Step 4. Keep your change. The checkout is a stressful place, and no doubt you want to impress. It can be tempting to casually say “Keep the change” every time you buy groceries, but that could be costing you! If you buy a kilo of bananas for $4 and hand over a $100 note, that’s $96 in change! By giving your change to the cashier, you’re effectively paying 25 times the normal price. Why would you do that?

Step 5. Invest in a cold storage facility. Constructing your own cold storage facility will allow you to purchase bulk quantities of fruit and veg when they’re in season (i.e., when they’re cheap), and store them up to twelve months, giving you discounted produce whenever you want it! A typical vapour absorption facility with a 10,000 pallet capacity will set you back around $1 million upfront, with running costs of close to $100,000 per annum. That’s fairly pricey, we know, but it will pay for itself in roughly 25 years if your vegetable intake is high enough (remember: Eating Vegetables Helps You Poop).

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