Cut your grocery bill with these six hacks

4-5 minute read

Groceries are a must have, but if you’ve found yourself grimacing when you see the total, then check out these six hacks on reining in the spend.

Whether your tastes are elaborate, or everyday, there’s always a cost attached.

For some of us, grocery shopping means an extravagant array of ingredients for delicious feasts. For others, the weekly shop is all about the staples. But whether your tastes are elaborate, or everyday, there’s always a cost attached.

So, how do you keep your grocery costs down, without giving up the things you love? With these clever hacks, that’s how!

Here are our six top supermarket hacks that could help you save money on groceries.


Running with a shopping cart

1. Buy in bulk

It may be cheaper than buying small quantities every week and great for cooking large batches that you can freeze - especially if they’re things you buy frequently anyway.

But don’t forget to check the unit price (for example the price per 100 grams - usually shown on the shelf label in supermarkets) to make sure you’re getting the best deal. If you do the math, you might find that buying singular packs of certain products is cheaper. For example, you can sometimes buy two packs of dishwashing tablets for the same price of a bigger one if they’re on sale, giving you more in the long run. And you don’t want to be bulk-buying anything that doesn’t have a long shelf-life. It’s not really a saving if it all goes in the bin.

2. How to get savvy with specials

If you shop at supermarkets, keep an eye on their website or in-store catalogues for special offers. Each little discount really does add up. And if you’re shopping in your local grocer, take advantage of local or ‘managers’ specials. You can also use specials to help with your meal planning. For example, if pumpkins are on special why not make pumpkin soup! Or, if pasta sauces are half price, then you know what’s for dinner tonight!

3. How to stick with your list

Making a meal plan for the week or fortnight could save you from expensive impulse purchases and also reduce the amount of food you end up throwing out. Keeping in mind what you already have in your pantry, fridge and freezer, write your shopping list and get only what you need for your week. Including a few meat-free meals could also help keep costs low and give a little back to the environment too.

4. Buy home brand

Big brand names and beautiful packaging can be tempting, but they often come at a price. The home brand or local version of a product is usually pretty similar ingredient-wise, and often cheaper too. Your tastebuds may not even be able to tell the difference. So, unless you’re choosing specific brands for ethical or loyalty reasons, consider going with the generic version.

5. Stay in season

Just because you crave mangoes all year round doesn’t mean your bank balance does too. Produce is usually cheaper and more plentiful when it’s in season, so choosing your fruit and vegetables based on whether they’re in season or not could help save on your weekly groceries - and it’s better for the environment. Plus, shopping seasonally gives you a diverse dinner menu across the year, and won’t see you serving up the same meal every week.

6. Don’t shop on an empty stomach

Sure, sometimes it’s unavoidable on a busy day. But if you walk into the supermarket with your stomach rumbling, your waning blood sugar levels will probably start making irrational decisions on your behalf. Entering the supermarket for bread and leaving with chocolate biscuits is just your body saying “I could go for a snack right now…”

The truth is, budgets are better

Sounds simple, but having an approximate figure to work off, and sorting your items into wants and needs, can really help you prioritise the edible section of your expenses. Head on over to the ANZ Financial Wellbeing program to Sort, Track and Plan Your Spend today.

Important information

This material is for information purposes only. We recommend seeking financial advice about your situation and goals before getting a financial product. To talk to one of our team at ANZ, please call 0800 269 296, or for more information about ANZ’s financial advice service or to view our financial advice provider disclosure statement see anz.co.nz/fapdisclosure