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Niche Topics (Money and Lifestyle) is about helping you manage your finances so that you live comfortably within your means. We share frugal living ideas such as save money around the house, cheap to make recipes, budget-friendly solutions for everyday living, recycling crafts, helpful hints to buy things without getting burned, and many more!


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How to Save Money on Grocery Bill



By Roger Banks


Food prices have rocketed globally. Do you remember how much you paid for a bag of potatoes, say 8 months back? The price has jumped by a whopping 30% and almost every item on the supermarket aisles has gone up quite a fair bit. So what can you do to wrestle with increasing food prices, and still shop wthin a tight grocery budget?


Ways to Cut Grocery Costs

The best strategy to fight rising food prices is to buy house brands. These generic brands are either manufactured by less prominent companies or manufactured on the same product line as “named” brand, competing on price. Broadly speaking, house brand products tend to be 10-20 percent cheaper than regular brands, and they are as good in quality except that they don’t come with fancy packaging. So forgo brand loyalty and opt for no frillsoff-brand products instead.


To be very honest, I was quite hesitant to switch brands at first but it’s really worth trying once. The trick is decide which are the brands compatible to your liking and buy again if you feel their quality meets your satisfaction. Choose house brand for basics such as flour, rice, salt, sugar, toilet paper, kitchen towels, tissues and disposable party wares. It seems ridiculous to me to pay more for anything you use only once, or buy premium branded products when house brands are very similar in terms of taste.


That being said, always read ingredients label to make sure what you can eat. Some cheaper alternatives may contain gelatin or animal fat so avoid if you’re a vegetarian. Also, be careful when buying house brand wholemeal bread, it is not uncommon to find “100% wholewheat” breads coloured with caramel.


If you don’t cook very often, say once or twice a week, then it’s more money-wise to buy your fresh produce loose and reduce food wastage. It may be actually cheaper to buy from deli counters at your local supermarkets rather than buying prepackaged.


Another great way to pinch pennies at the grocery store is look for bargains in “reduced to clear” in quick sale section. Most food items in this category are near expiration dates but worth the buy if consumed straight away.

Stay away from expensive exotic fruits like mangoes, dragon fruits and pineapples as much as possible. Buy seasonal produce instead. You still get your daily dose of Vitamins and minerals from your Valencias and Red Delicious.

Buy refill packs for fabric softener, dishwashing liquids, detergents. Not only are they a whole lot cheaper than original products, but also enviromentally friendly.

Avoid buying snacks such as candies, chocolates, and chips from petrol stations, convenience stores and anywhere near the cashier. These “grab-and-go” items are usually more expensive and often lead to impulse buy.

If you have a big family to feed or on good terms with your neighbors, consider buying in bulk at hypermarkets and share the savings. Depending on where you live, you might want to make use of the free delivery service offered, which is a huge plus for shoppers with young children.

In addition, store prices may fluctuate and vary (it could be due to factors like nearby competition, logistics, and rental rates) so avoid shopping in prime neighborhood. Selections at such locations tend to be more expensive and are usually finer in quality to cater for those with good spending power.

With these grocery-shopping-cost-cutting tips in mind, it’s possible to reduce your grocery expenses considerably, and have greater control over your household budget.

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