Tackling your New Year resolutions, one aisle at a time

Starting a New Year is often a time to re-assess and re-focus on goals for the year ahead. We often think of plans to better ourselves. To get more sleep, lose weight, join a gym, quit smoking, manage our finances better. The list goes on. One that we are all too familiar with.  There are many ways to go about attacking our ambitious plans, but why not kick-start your objectives during your weekly visit to the supermarket? That’s right, when you are dodging trolleys down at the local store, the purchase decisions you are making can have an impact on your wealth for a starter, but also the flow-on effects can have a major bearing on your health and greater well-being.

Back to the shopping aisles & checkout queues

There are many ways you can save at the supermarket without losing out on quality. You’ve got your go-to methods such as the following;
  • Creating and sticking to your shopping list – try to avoid making impulse purchases which will no doubt over-extend your desired spend and budget.
  • Buying in-bulk – think pasta, rice, canned products, toilet paper, toiletries, baby wipes & nappies.
  • Buying in-season – particularly when it comes to fruit and vegetables.
  • Avoiding shopping on an empty stomach –  a no-brainer, as you will be tempted to overload your trolley.
  • Shopping with children – the temptation to add to your trolley is all too familiar, particularly when you are queuing up at the checkout.
  • Avoid being a brand snob. By this we mean give the generic/house-brands a chance. You may perceive them as lesser quality due to pricing associations but you will be making inroads regarding savings and you may notice little difference in terms of quality.
While the tactics highlighted so far could be thought of as familiar and standard practice we provide further steps that won’t necessarily save you at the supermarket but will have an impact on your well-being to kick-start your 2019;
  • Grow your own. Summer is the perfect time to start a vegetable garden. Whether it’s simple and straightforward like growing your own herbs or tomatoes, or branching out to lettuces and potatoes, a decision to start your own vegetable patch gives you a sense of satisfaction while saving you at the supermarket in the long-run.
  • Limit waste. Think of how much food & other products we unnecessarily dispose of? Utilise leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch or dinner. Think about maximising the value of each item you purchase.
  • Meal preparation. Tying in with our point above; whether it’s brown-bagging your meals for lunch or preparing pre-cooked meals for those nights when you’re working late/after the gym/running errands and have ‘no time’ to cook. Make an effort. Falling into the fast-food/takeaways mode here is lazy and avoidable. By all means, treat yourself every now and then – doing this too often will be cost-damaging and no good for your health either.  
  • Consider meat-free days. We all know meat is one of our most expensive costs at the supermarket. Consider going meat-free for a day per week. This will save you while giving you the opportunity to branch out and try alternative meals.
  • Limit spending on alcohol & cigarettes. Given the recent price rise in cigarettes perhaps aim to cut back or give up smoking. Not only will you experience a wealth of health benefits but you will also benefit with cost-savings. Same applies for alcohol. Maybe your resolution was to limit your consumption? Again you will benefit in the health department and in the back pocket.
  • Consider your frequency of shopping. Do you complete a weekly shop or do you find yourself at the supermarket seemingly every day of the week? Aim to avoid frequent visits as you may tend to overspend on items you weren’t initially planning on adding to your basket.  You will notice the difference.
  • Eat healthy. Obviously you will experience health benefits which helps out our New Year resolutions of seeking a healthier lifestyle. Now, before you assume that healthy eating is expensive check out how getting your 5+ a day servings of fruit and vegetables was cheaper in 2018. Contrary to popular belief eating healthy is in fact, cheaper to the alternative.
Food for thought. One last tip; don’t forget to bring your re-usable bags – otherwise be prepared to either constantly purchase new bags or carry your groceries.