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    Default Budgeting - groceries and more!

    Ok I know this has been done to death but hoping for some fresh ideas!
    @gingermillie @SSecret Squirrel @JR03 @babyno1onboard

    I’m wondering if you’d care to share?

    My grocery budget is presently $500 per fortnight (for 2 adults, 5 year old and almost 18 month old in nappies). I want to bring it down to at least $400 - les did I could!

    Share you’re tips wonderful bib bib brain trust
    Last edited by binnielici; 16-01-2018 at 16:41.

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    Default Get discounts

    I use my RACQ membership (which you receive if you have RACQ roadside assistance or insurance, or can get for $26 per year) to get 5% off gift cards for Coles and Woolworths. This helps me stick to a budget and also saves money. So you could get your $500 worth of groceries for $475. You can either print the gift cards or have them on your phone, which is easier to keep track of the balance on there.
    It can be a bit of extra work as you can't reload the gift cards so eventually you will have an amount there which is not enough for a whole shop. I either just ask the cashier to put that amount through and pay the remainder on the next gift card, or go through self serve so I don't feel like a complete pain in the butt.

    The Woolworths gift cards can also work for Big W and BWS.
    The Coles gift cards don't work for any other stores, but you can purchase Kmart and Target gift cards at 7.5% off via RACQ aswell.

    I also make my grocery list and check each items cost at both supermarkets and get the cheapest from each. If you have the time to do this (I do it on my work lunch break) it can save you a surprising amount.

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    I find Costco is really great for buying meat and also have taken friends there to buy nappies and formula for their children and they have all commented on how much cheaper it is

    For example, at costco, lean beef mince (less than 10%fat )is $7 a kg, giving you about 3kg for under $25, we buy one a fortnight and portion it into 500g bags for the freezer, then we plan our meals at the beginning of the week so that we eat mince 3 or 4 times and then they feel like 'free' meals because when you go to the supermarket you lately have to budget them in
    We eat lots of;
    Bolognese
    Lasagne
    Taco Mince and Rice (Hubby's Fave)
    Meatballs and pasta
    Burgers (another big hit)

    Really worth the $60 membership if you have one within an hour of you, also, you get two cards when you join so you could go halves in a membership with a friend!

    Another good budget meal is simply pasta and bolognese sauce, and then just bulked up with veges and bacon, or slow cooked drumsticks, you don't have to slow cook them either, I just like having the meat not on the bone (you'd probably find this easier with young ones)

    Best thing you can do is plan out your meals and write a list and don't stray from it, it can be hard but eventually it'll just be second nature

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    @manushka the entertainment book also has same deal, for woolies only I think not sure about Coles. So @binnielici if you’re a Coles/woolies shopper at $500 a fortnight you could save $650 a year ($25 a fortnight!) just using vouchers purchased in advance.
    These are just some of the changes I’ve made for the new year:
    - DH has yoghurt with his lunch each day, i now buy a big tub and he portions it out instead of buying individual packs.
    - Not buying the premium salad dressings which are $4-5 a bottle and instead buy the ones that go on sale for $2.
    - Not buying a $4 bunch of asparagus or $5 bag of pre-cut celery. Buy half a celery for $1.50 on the day instead and buy more expensive foods when in season (eg when asparagus is $2 a bunch instead)
    - If loose potatoes are $4kg look at the prepacked bags which are much cheaper.
    - No more premium bacon which works out to $25kg, deli bacon at $10-15 will do.
    - Expensive dinners (like the 3 of us eating $20 of flathead) cut down to once every 2 months.
    - Better meal planning and fewer trips to the shops. If I’m there I spend more.
    - Buying cheaper brands on other things where I can if it’s not something I’m fussy about eg dishwashing liquid, oil, flour, foil etc
    - We get eggs free from our 3 chickens and haven’t bought cucumbers for 2 months or tomatoes/capsicums for at least 3 weeks as we have an abundance growing out of 2 small containers through an amazing wicking bed system. Most efficient and successful way to grow veg in small spaces. We had omelettes tonight and all we had to buy was $2 of bacon as the rest was from the garden.
    - I’ve also recently sold about $1000 worth of baby stuff - clothes, toys, sleeping bags, carrier, shoes, playpen etc. used the money for Xmas and going to put what’s left into an account I’ve set up for paying for DDs clothes/activities throughout the year
    My savings drive is still a work in progress! I need to look at our electricity/insurances to see if we can save a few hundred dollars there too.

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    Just to hijack this thread, can I ask how you stick to your budget when you’re in the supermarket doing your weekly / fortnightly shop? Like how do you know how much you’ve spent on f&v when you’re buying loose items rather than pre-packed with a price tag? I’m pretty good at spending close to my budget ($250 per week) but I also want to reduce mine (to $200 per week so same budget and same goal as you @binnielici) but not sure how I know how I’m going as I go around the shop.

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    hakuna matata is offline The artist formerly know as babyhopeful
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    We are 2 adults, an almost 8 year old and almost 2 year old.
    I budget $150 per week. Sometimes I go over, others I spend less.
    I spend 30-40 at our local fruit shop which is super cheap so we get a fair bit.
    Meat I tend to buy once a month at a big chain butcher. I buy what's on special or reduced and freeze it all.
    My main shop is at Aldi, then what I can't get there I get at Coles.
    Toiletries etc I wait til they are half price at Coles or woollies and stock up.
    I've started to use my flybuys more too, looking at the deals and bonus points.
    We eat a fair amount of salad and our main source of meat is chicken.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JR03 View Post
    Just to hijack this thread, can I ask how you stick to your budget when you’re in the supermarket doing your weekly / fortnightly shop? Like how do you know how much you’ve spent on f&v when you’re buying loose items rather than pre-packed with a price tag? I’m pretty good at spending close to my budget ($250 per week) but I also want to reduce mine (to $200 per week so same budget and same goal as you @binnielici) but not sure how I know how I’m going as I go around the shop.
    I add it up in my head as I go, it’s a special power I have I’m always within $5-10 at the end lol. I buy a lot of the same stuff every week that I know the prices of then I know that 5 apples/large tomatoes is about 1kg, a quarter watermelon 1.5-2kg etc so I just estimate those things that way. I always did this when I was on a very tight budget and if it was too much I’d swap out things or put back any discretionary items. I went to the supermarket Sunday and added up my groceries as I went for the first time in ages!

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    hakuna matata's Avatar
    hakuna matata is offline The artist formerly know as babyhopeful
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    Oh I also meal plan each week with what's in the freezer if I can and write a list before I go.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hakuna matata View Post
    We are 2 adults, an almost 8 year old and almost 2 year old.
    I budget $150 per week. Sometimes I go over, others I spend less.
    I spend 30-40 at our local fruit shop which is super cheap so we get a fair bit.
    Meat I tend to buy once a month at a big chain butcher. I buy what's on special or reduced and freeze it all.
    My main shop is at Aldi, then what I can't get there I get at Coles.
    Toiletries etc I wait til they are half price at Coles or woollies and stock up.
    I've started to use my flybuys more too, looking at the deals and bonus points.
    We eat a fair amount of salad and our main source of meat is chicken.
    omg how!? does the $150 include nappies?

    $150 is a moderate shop for us. it’s usually closer to $200 for a week. more lately as dh has been on a crazy strict diet and had to have premium porterhouse every night for dinner

    we shop almost exclusively at coles though. i’ll go to aldi for something different or for odds and sods i can’t find elsewhere (jaffa cakes ).

    we use fly buys too, they often have deal whereby you reach a minimum spend each week for 4 weeks then you get a $ value off your next shop. sometimes you’re required to spend more than you need but i usually stock up on stuff we’ll use that stores ok, nappies or TP or kitchen towel etc.

    meal planning is definitely a way to cut corners as it mitigates the need to be at the shops more (which in turn reduces temptation to spend more). plus you can buy ahead and take advantage of things on sale. i’ve also noticed stuff is reduced on certain days. can’t recall what our day is but go on that day and i find heaps is on sale.

    growing your own is great but even if you don’t have much room or time or have no green fingers, even a herb garden can cut $$ off your grocery bill. we found we were spending $3 per fresh herb sleeve when we lived at our old place (no garden beds). when we moved in here we inherited a rather sad herb garden which we’d nurtured and now reap the benefits of.

    fly buys points may also be converted to $ off a shop so you could utilize that if you need to spend a bit more or just want to save a bit more cash.

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    I found since shipping online that my grocery bills are way smaller. I would easily spend $300-$350 in one shop but now when I do it online it is $150 at the most

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