Everybody needs groceries. Even if you choose to eat out for most of your meals, you will still need to visit a grocery store on occasion.
We don’t eat out very often so visit the grocery store at least once a week. Occasionally we get questions about our grocery spending, so I thought it would be a good exercise to show a typical weekly shop for us and what we do to keep the cost low, but the nutrition and deliciousness factor up.
Believe it or not, this can have quite an impact on your grocery bill.
Poopsie is our grocery shopper. He usually does the grocery shopping on Friday afternoon, however recently, he has switched to Sunday morning a few times. Poopsie enjoys grocery shopping and I don’t, so this was a bit of a no-brainer for us. However, that’s not the only reason he does the shopping.
It probably takes Poopsie about 15 minutes to do our weekly Aldi shop. He goes in with his list and he buys what is on the list. He knows the store well enough that his list is ordered to match the order of things he will come across in the store, cutting down on time. If he needs to go upstairs to Woolworths/Coles, this might add another 10 minutes onto the shop but most of this is walking time.
When I shop, I meander. A lot. I like to look around, see what’s on special, see what items are for sale that I haven’t seen before. I will usually slip one or two things in that are not on the list, but these are usually small items that don’t have an enormous impact on the final bill. But the meandering certainly has an impact on the amount of time it takes to get the shopping done. Poopsie hates shopping with me because of my meandering.
So we solve this problem by him doing the grocery shopping on his own. It saves us time and money.
Before Poopsie heads to the shop, I do up a weekly meal plan. This just consists of our dinners, as we usually have leftovers for our work lunch. Occasionally we will make something specific for lunch but it’s usually something that we have the ingredients for in our cupboard (like fried rice).
I then write him out a list (on his phone) based on the meal plan and anything else we need (snack food, staples, toiletries). I don’t know the order of the store, so I just make the list and before he leaves, Poopsie reorders it how he likes it.
We buy almost everything from Aldi. On average, we spend about $80 a week at Aldi and then maybe another $15-20 at either Coles or Woolworths.
There are one or two items that we can’t get at Aldi, like Pad Thai noodles and Pepsi Max, so we have to purchase it from Coles or Woolworths.
However, anything else we buy at Coles or Woolworths is bought because it’s on special. Poopsie peruses Oz Bargains each week to see what has been reduced to half price. Pretty consistently, we are able to buy everything we need/want from either of these stores at 50% off. Most of the things we buy are non-perishable, such as Pepsi Max and toiletries, so we stock up! This definitely saves us money in the long run.
Our Weekly Shop
On the 3rd of March, Poopsie went and did our grocery shop. This particular week he shopped at Aldi and Woolworths. A few days later I went to Coles to buy some Pepsi Max. Usually we would do this all in the one day but I had failed to put it on the list.
Here’s what we bought at each store:
|12 x 1L Lactose Free UHT Milk||19.08|
|1.5L Natural Water||0.65|
|2 x 3ply Extra Long 4pk Toilet Paper||6.98|
|500g Tasty Cheese block||4.29|
|1kg Royal Gala Apples||2.99|
|Cage Free Eggs (dozen, 700g)||3.89|
|500g Unsalted butter||2.99|
|250g Salami Knob||3.99|
|2 x 500g Frozen Rasberries||7.38|
|375ml Seafood Sauce||2.29|
|4 x 125g Sardines||2.36|
|500g Tomato Paste||1.25|
|195g Green Curry Paste||1.99|
|4 x Zucchini||1.99|
|800g Bag Roma Tomatoes||4.49|
|120g Bag of Spinach||1.99|
|200g pack of Pad Thai Noodles||1.49|
|Natures Organic Conditioner||1.90|
|2 x 24pk of Pepsi Max||15.38|
All up, we spent $89.36. Not too bad.
Is this typical?
Yes and no. We usually spend around the same amount each week, however, we don’t always buy the same things.
This shop was quite low on vegetables, which is quite rare for us, given that we eat almost entirely a vegetarian diet. We usually have potatoes in the fridge, so don’t buy these weekly, and we must have had brocolli and spring onions leftover from the week before as well.
We don’t usually buy two boxes of Pepsi Max, but that deal was just too good to walk past. Given we take the cans out of the box and put in our fridge, the fact that the boxes were taped up meant very little to us.
We don’t usually buy bottled water, but did this week to take along to the Adele concert. We also don’t usually buy two boxes of frozen berries but I was doing some baking which needed them.
It doesn’t save us any money to buy my Lactose free milk in a box of 12. We merely do it for ease of picking up one large box and putting it into the trolley, rather than selecting individual bottles. Given they’re UHT, they are fine sitting in the cupboard. We probably go through this box every 3-4 weeks.
Shampoo and Conditioner can be bought at Aldi for the same price as the Natures Organics one I get from Woolworths. I have a preference for the Woolworths one, however. All three grocery stores are in the same complex, so this doesn’t add a burden. If in the future we move and we have to go to different locations for our groceries, I will try as much as possible to reduce the dependency on Woolworths and therefore will use the Aldi shampoo and conditioner.
There we have it! That’s a rundown of our weekly shop.
How does this compare with how you grocery shop? What’s your best tip for saving money?