Tips to help you save money on groceries: One year on

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So a year ago I wrote a post about how to save money on groceries. I thought it would be a good idea to report back on our progress.

In 2014 about 20% of our income was spent on food, both on the weekly groceries plus takeaway meals, coffee’s out, trips to the bakery in the weekend etc. In 2015 we managed to reduce that to 16%. While our aim was to reduce our spending by more than this it’s still resulted in a significant saving. We have managed to save money enough for a modest family holiday or several pieces of furniture or chunk off the mortgage for a couple of examples. Enough to make a difference. At times it was definitely touch and there were budget blow out months. December for instance was atrocious. We hosted Christmas dinner plus had a house guest for a couple of week and all that contributed to a big budget overspend.

2015 has been a big year for us. We have moved from our first home that we’d been in for 15 years to a much larger home with a bigger mortgage. This budget experiment has shown us that if we buckle down there is money to be saved which can give you some added confidence when making big purchases.

So what have we learnt.

  • Our biggest savings came from avoiding take away meals. I learnt to plan ahead if I knew I had a busy week with a lot of after school activities that would make cooking a meal difficult I had to have some quick meals up my sleeve.
  • While most weeks we found we could pretty much keep to our grocery budget occasionally you have to replace a big ticket item like olive oil and this just throws everything out. While I kept our weekly goal low I knew the actual realistic budget after awhile needed to be a little higher than my initial figure. But keeping aiming for the lower figure helped balance the overspend weeks. Just little mind tricks like that can help.
  • My husband has become a bit of a star and huge advocate of the healthy and home made direction the budget has sent us in. His home made muesli has become legendary. My eldest daughter has also stepped up a and her baking is awesome.
  • My daughter also had a healthy lunch box compliment paid to here by her teacher at school.