Here are five changes you can make to lower your high groceries bill. As the numbers will show you, they work!
1. Eat everything you buy challenge
Sometimes, you don’t get around to cooking and eating the ingredients or food you buy, and that’s like throwing money away, so your first priority is tackling that problem.
If you grew up in a household that’s completely okay and guilt-free with throwing out excess food, that’s a habit you will have to unlearn.
To be fair, many other Malaysians waste food. A lot of food too, till it has been officially announced that we waste 1kg of food per person per day.
That’s a lot of money being thrown away.
For the most part the challenge is easy, but you will also have to learn to…
2. Be okay with eating the same things in a row
This tip goes really well with another well-known grocery-bill-slashing-tip, cooking in bulk.
While it is a great tip, you can’t escape the fact that
(i) You will get bored of the same taste pretty soon, and
(ii) You might also eat more and over-eat, which is something many of us do alarmingly regularly.
But you will enjoy the time saving on daily cooking and training yourself to get used to food-as-fuel. It’s also interesting to note that eating out becomes a treat that you will really enjoy.
Instead of being used to it, getting to taste different flavours becomes a special occasion. So that’s a nice side effect you won’t expect.
3. Prioritising grocery items that keep longer
Kind of tied to #1. Part of reducing food wastage is reducing grocery items that spoil easily and fast.
That means you buy more of:
- Cabbage instead of bok choy
- Carrots instead of broccoli
- Apples instead of grapes
- Frozen spinach instead of fresh
- Canned tomatoes instead of fresh
4. Using websites and apps to help you
You can use a combination of HappyFresh for grocery delivery and Hargapedia to check prices of grocery items.
You can regularly save 10-20% off your monthly grocery bill with their help. Plus you can buy stuff that’s already on sale.
In fact you can consider sales and savings as one of life’s little pleasures…
5. Substituting your protein sources
Usually, the most expensive item on your grocery bill is the proteins – the meat, seafood and dairy products.
It doesn’t help if you’re on a low-carb diet and you have to maintain a high protein intake.
But being on a budget is being on a budget, no excuses. You switch it up and get experimenting with alternative, cheaper proteins.
That basically means you’re eating more eggs, tofu, beans and lentils.
The experimenting process will be quite fun actually.
This article first appeared in www.ringgitohringgit.com
Suraya is a corporate writer-for-hire and the blogger behind personal finance website Ringgit Oh Ringgit. She is more of a minimalist, less of a consumerist, a konon DIY enthusiast, a let’s-support-small-businesses-over-big-corporations kinda girl. Prior to her current role, she worked in various capacities within the non-profit industry.