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BoosterFebruary 2, 20234 min read

Top 10 tips to budget for grocery savings

You know it. We know it. Everyone is more than aware that times are tight at the moment. Living costs like bills, petrol and food are really putting a squeeze on household spending. But with a bit of forward planning and canny thinking, it can be a little easier on your wallet.

We’ve listed a Top 10 of tips when it comes to one of our biggest expenses: the weekly grocery shop.



Read up on these handy tips on how you can make your dollars – and your kai – go a bit further.

  1. Set a budget


    This is rule number one when it comes to budgeting for your kai: Create a reasonable weekly budget instead of wandering into a supermarket, carte blanche. Without a set limit per person and/or per meal, it is really easy for your finances to get away from you. This is where mybudgetpal can really help you out by giving a complete overview of your spending and help set financial boundaries in different areas of your life.


  2. Plan your meals

    At the beginning or end of each week, plan your meals to a set budget for your whanau. It’s a lot easier to stick to a set spending limit when you have a plan of what your kai is going to be for the week (and not spend above your limit). Look to purchase items that can potentially go the distance across multiple meals. Additionally, think about what’s already in your cupboard, fridge or freezer, and what can be used in upcoming meals.

  3. Make a shopping list


    When you have a shopping list, it’s easier to stick to your established budget and not go off the rails with those extras. You know the ones: chips, bikkies, that new limited edition novelty snack release that everyone’s been talking about on social media, etc.These spur-of-the-moment purchases can add up, and your wallet (and probably your waistline) will thank you for it later.


  4. Buy what’s in season

    In-season veggies and produce are often cheaper than what isn’t in season! ($15 cauliflower, anyone?) Keep an eye out and make a mental note of cheaper veggies at the supermarket or greengrocer – these will be more affordable because there is more of them. If you want to do a bit of research before you head off for your shop, do a quick Google of what’s currently in season – check out vegetables.co.nz, online, Facebook  or Instagram. They also have heaps of tips and info on YouTube!

  5. Don’t shop when you’re hungry

    This is a psychological battle. But you can win it. It’s scientifically proven that shopping on an empty stomach can spell disaster for your wallet – because you get tempted by your cravings. You know the deal: “Aw, yeah… I haven’t had those chocolate-covered salt and vinegar chips for a while. And they’re on special! I’ll just get 10.” That may be an extreme example, but you get the drift.

  6. Avoid brands

    Avoid brands. Yes, the packaging is a bit more schmancy, but in-house supermarket brands are often more affordable and very similar in quality to the schmancy brands. Most of the time, you may not even notice the difference! Except in your wallet. Boom.

  7. Eat cheaper proteins

    Meat can be an expensive cost and take up a big chunk of your food budget. Look for cheaper cuts that you can slow cook, and strategically keep an eye out for specials (a leg of lamb or pork on special can potentially be stretched out across multiple meals). You may also want to look at making more vegetarian-based meals, using proteins like lentils and beans, which can be bought in bulk and really go the distance.

  8. Get your bake on

    It might not be an option for everyone (time, ravenous children, exerting energy you may not have), but baking your own bread, cakes or biscuits can really help save pennies – plus, you know exactly what ingredients are going into them! These items often have a high mark-up at supermarkets, so it may be worth investing in some basic baking ingredients that go a little further over time.

  9. Don’t waste anything


    What you think of as waste, can actually turn out to be a couple of extra meals.  So do as your grandparents and forebears did, and use the bones and carcass of a roast chicken to make a tasty broth or soup; trim the stems and ends of veggies and use what is cookable or use them to create a stock. And don’t let those leftovers go to waste – have them for lunches or freeze them to be enjoyed for another meal in the future. It’s amazing how much just gets thrown out, so buck that wasteful trend!

    Added bonus: reducing food waste has an impact on the environment. You can even set up a worm farm by turning kitchen scraps into fertiliser for your garden.


  10. Mybudgetpal

    And don’t forget about mybudgetpal on the Booster app – it’s a great financial tool/buddy to help track your spending and better plan life’s expenses. Even better? It’s completely free.

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Booster

We're Booster. We’ve been looking after New Zealanders’ money since 1998. We’re proudly Kiwi owned and operated and here to help you make sense of money.

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