Fans of Stay at Home Mum have shared all the ways they use to save money on groceries!
Money is really tight at the moment – so every little bit we can do around the house to save those extra dollars is going to go a long way. Here are suggestions made by our fans!
How to Save Money on Groceries
- We cut down on the amount of meat we eat during the week because it is expensive – and our bodies don’t really need all that meat.
- I look for recipes that my Grandmother would of cooked, nice basic recipes that only have a couple of ingredients. It’s a good way to make bland food taste great.
- Don’t waste food. Even chicken bones get thrown in the freezer for soup later on. The crusts of bread go into making homemade croutons or stuffing.
- We do Once a Month Cooking – it has saved us so much money and time by having all the meals cooked and ready to go of an evening!
- Clean out your fridge, freezer and pantry to make a list of all the ‘meals’ you have on hand. A lot of time meat goes to die at the back of the freezer – so make sure you use it up!
- Plan and budget for meals ahead – including snacks and lunches. Create ‘doggy bags’ of leftovers for the kids for school lunches.
- Store items such as sour cream and cottage cheese upside down in the fridge. It creates a ‘vacuum’ and prevents it from going bad too quickly.
- I join any loyalty programs that supermarkets offer – and just by shopping there regularly, the points add up. I’ve got enough money to buy a beautiful Christmas dinner this year the way I’m going!
- Our local food bank does $40 food trays every Friday – and there is so much food in them, especially produce that I just can’t afford at the moment. The trays look different every week and I just adjust my meal plans to suit what’s in the tray.
- I serve rice and pasta with nearly every meal. Sure not exactly ‘healthy’ – but it makes the meal go further and fills empty hungry tummies.
- I purchase the 1kg blocks of cheese and grate them at home with my food processor and freezer the grated cheese in small bags.
- For Friday night ‘takeaway’ meals I make pizza bases from scratch (they are cheap but do take time) and they are just delicious – much better than the shop versions.
- I always check the ‘Unit Pricing’ when purchasing from the supermarket – sometimes it doesn’t pay to buy the larger sizes!
- I only buy the Odd Bunch produce from Woolworths – it is highly discounted and still just as good as the usual produce – just not as pretty to look at.
- I only take cash grocery shopping – with my budgeted amount. That way I simply cannot overspend on groceries. And if it comes in under my budget – I get myself a chocolate bar!
- I’ve been only doing the grocery shopping online with Woolworths – that way I know exactly how much my shop is going to be and I don’t add extra because something looks really pretty. Because I have a large family and my weekly grocery bill is always just over $300 – I get free delivery!
- I make and freeze all the sandwiches for school. I ensure the bread is really fresh and wrap it really well. I pop it into the kid’s lunch boxes in the morning and it is perfectly fresh and defrosted by lunchtime. There are so many yummy sandwich fillings that freeze really well.
- Make sure you always leave the kids at home – or they peer-pressure you into buying crap you don’t need!
- Only shop the outside aisles of the supermarket – that’s where your basics are – bread, milk, veggies etc. Everything else is pretty much non-essential.
- When grocery shopping, don’t discount places such as discount stores (Silly Solly’s, The Reject Shop) etc for things like cheap dishwasher tablets or curry mixes. Also, places like multi-cultural stores have great bulk items cheap.
- Invest in a good upright freezer – sure it is an initial expense but you can buy things like meat in bulk and freezer it for later.
- Buy roasts and corned beef or whole chickens when they are on sale. They are easy to cook, go a long way and you can use any leftovers on school lunches.
- There are lots of really good websites to get discounted school snacks. My boy will only eat Tiny Teddies and I buy them in bulk when they are on sale.
More Reading: 50 Freezer Friendly School Lunch Ideas
Best Free Money Saving Apps to Save Money on Groceries
- I’ve started checking all the grocery money-saving apps to find where I can get the specials for the week.
Some of the money-saving apps out there include:
- Half Price (free)
- Out of Milk (free)
- Shopfully (free)
- Grocery Getter
- Buy Me a Pie
- Smart Cart
- Our Groceries (free)
- Mealine (free)
- Super Cook (free)
- Frugl (free)
- Everyday Rewards (free)
- Fly Buys (free)
Take Advantage of All Government Payments You Are Entitled To:
- I get paid to drive my own kids to school! There is a scheme called The Australian School Transport Scheme that pays parents up to $400 per school year. Each Australian state has different requirements but it’s worth looking into!
How to Save Money in the Laundry and Bathroom:
- I’ve been making my own laundry liquid for years now. It’s easy to do and saves me hundreds of dollars per year.
- I put rubber bands on all my liquid soap pumps so it only releases half a pump of foam each time.
- I bought a shampoo, conditioner and bodywash dispenser – and fill it with cheap stuff for the kids – they just waste a lot of it anyway and it keeps their bathroom much neater with fewer bottles.
- I use soapnuts at home instead of purchasing laundry detergent and dishwasher tablets. Sure they don’t exactly smell wonderful – but they don’t leave their vinegary stench on clothing or dishes.
- Only ever use cold water for your washing machine. Hot water costs way too much!
- Did you know you only need to use half the recommended amount of laundry liquid or laundry powder than the manufacturers recommend? I use just a tablespoon and my clothes come out beautiful and clean.
- Buy laundry powder in bulk! Did you know you can buy 20kg lots and it works out so much cheaper!
- Our family only uses shampoo bars instead of shampoo now. No bottles and no wastage. Works great too! You can buy them from places such as Nourished Life.
- Instead of using laundry liquid or washing powder – use laundry strips! I love that they are eco-friendly.
Save Money on Electricity:
- Hide the remote to the airconditioner – so the kids can’t turn it on 18 or 30 degrees during the hot and cold months.
- When my appliances die, I try and replace them with energy-efficient options to hopefully reduce my electricity bill. Yes, they are more expensive, but with electricity going up – I’m hoping this will reduce my bill.
How to Save Money on Rent and Mortage Payments
- I share my house with another single Mum with kids. It’s great – we babysit each other’s kids when we work (and go out) and we have halved our rent.
- My husband built us a tiny house and we live on my parent’s property rent-free. We are doing this to save up for a house. It’s actually a really nice lifestyle and makes me realise we don’t need a lot to be happy.
- Don’t be scared to approach your real estate agent to renegotiate the rent. If you do additional work to the property or yard which is pretty easy to do, you can negotiate cheaper rent on a longer-term basis.
- Instead of a house, look at renting a studio or a granny flat. Much cheaper and simpler way to live, especially if you have no kids or just one kid.
- If your rent has been increased – you still have rights. Check out Tenants.org.au they have information on the rules and regulations regarding them.
- If you are renting and you are interested in purchasing your first home, look at some rent-to-own property schemes. Of course, go to a really good finance broker to get the best information – but it’s a good way to get your foot in the door.
- Look for rentals in nearby smaller towns. Sure it is a bigger commute – but you often get a bigger house for a better price.
More Reading: 10 Alternative Housing Options to Beat the Rental Crisis in Australia
How to Save Money in the Backyard
- I try and borrow what I need rather than buy. I needed a dress for a night out – and put it out to all my friends – I had a great selection of dresses to choose from. I washed it the day after and returned it. I also borrow any garden tools from my parents up the road.
- I planted just lettuce and tomato plants in pots on my window sill. They are really expensive at the moment so it’s great to have a little bit of homegrown without the work that a vegetable garden entails.
- Many local Councils offer a free tree scheme when you pay your rates – they don’t often advertise the fact!
How to Save Money on Kid’s Activities
- Our local library offers lots of free school holiday craft activities that the kids just love.
- Go to garage sales for discounted board games and kids’ outdoor toys – I picked up a trampoline for just $50!
- Look for discounted kids’ activities on apps like Scoopon. They have deals all the time and most are up to 50% off!
We will keep adding new tips and hints as they come in!