How to slash your grocery bill by more than $100 a week

Simple tricks that will help you reduce your supermarket bill and shop smarter! 

Ever finish your weekly grocery shop and feel your heart sink when you see the total rung up at the cash register? If you do, you’re probably not alone.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the average Aussie household spend on goods and services increased by 15% between 2009-2010 and 2015-16.

So it’s clear that many of us could benefit from some tips on how to cut costs in our weekly shop. To help you combat unnecessary overspending in the supermarket, TODAY chatted to Jo Munro from Savvy Shopaholic for some tips and tricks that can save you big bucks.

TODAY: Let’s start with prepackaged foods. They might save us time, but you say they’re definitely NOT saving us money?

JO: Pre-packaged multi-day meals will always be more expensive than buying the ingredients for a few days worth of meals and cooking it yourself.

TODAY: We’ve all noticed products shrinking in size, but just how much does that affect our back pocket?

JO: Here’s what I’d watch out for in the supermarket:

Products that shrink: Manufacturers who sneakily reduce the size of the pack by 10-30 grams and keep the price the same. It doesn’t seem like much, and it’s hardly noticeable, but you are not getting the same value for your money.

Economy sized products: The point of buying in bulk is ostensibly to save from buying more at a time. But we’ve found instances where the larger size wasn’t actually any cheaper. The only way to tell is to look at the unit price labels (per 100 grams)beneath the price on each product.

Individually packaged foods: It’s important to think hard about buying snack size, or kid size products. Those little bags of baby tomatoes or crackers and cheese — for lunch boxes — might look cute, but you’d probably get more for your money if you bought a full-size bag and divvied it up yourself.

TODAY: What about when it comes to branding — is forking out for a well-known brand really worth it these days?

JO: Firstly, if you’re thinking about anything with a celebrity’s face on it — an alternate product has to be cheaper because there is no royalty to the celebrity you love on that TV cooking show. Also remember that with ‘new’ features — say a nappy with new, innovative tabs — companies are hoping you’ll pay extra for the newest thing.

TODAY: And it doesn’t pay to be healthy either? 

JO: Making existing foods ‘healthier’ is a huge goal for food and beverage companies, who recognise you naturally want to live a long and healthy life but don’t want to give up the potato chips and other food vices. Be suspicious of anything with a new ingredient which is good for your health. A good tip for saving money is that some supermarkets now sell imperfect fruit at a cheaper price. A few blemishes might make it uglier — which is a matter of opinion — but the fruit will still taste delicious.

TODAY: Finally, is it true that even the store layout can trick you into spending more?

JO: Here are two tips it’s worth remembering when it comes to store layout:

Eye level is buy level: This is the oldest supermarket trick in the book. The products that directly stare out at your face will be more expensive than the alternatives at your feet. Food companies pay supermarkets to be placed at eye level.

Beware the checkout aisle: When you’re exhausted from a trip around the supermarket, the checkout is a minefield for the weak hearted. But stay strong. Impulse items that people buy waiting in the checkout line can be marked up 100 per cent. This includes soft drink bottles in the fridge near the store’s exit and the chocolates — so resist that impulse buy!