Tips To Save Money On Food

Today I’m talking about how to reduce your grocery bill and how to start cutting costs in ways that will see you saving more money every week on what you spend on food

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In general, when we’re trying to save money as families groceries is the first place to start. I know that it is sometimes the hardest way to start reducing costs because your family needs to eat but groceries is the way that you can save a lot of money if your savvy and start being careful about what you’re spending your money on.


In New Zealand when I looked at the statistics, there are levels of people that spend money on a basic grocery budget, there’s a moderate grocery budget and a liberal grocery budget.

The difference between someone who spends in excess on their groceries and someone who has a basic grocery budget is $138, in New Zealand.

That is a savings of over $7,000 every year!

You can save $7,000 every year if you start cutting back to a basic grocery budget.

I’m not saying buy cheap nasty food, it just means that you have to stop buying willy-nilly.

There are rules around this and there are guidelines that you can follow that will help you to decrease your budget significantly and help you to stay on track with your expenses


Don’t let what you’ve already got waste away in the back of your pantry or freezer.

Even if you think you have nothing, look again, what have you already got? 

  • Leftovers
  • Vegetables needing to be used up in the fridge
  • Bag of potatoes or pumpkin
  • Frozen chicken, chicken pieces
  • A packet of minced beef, bacon or sausages
  • Cheese
  • Beans, Lentils, or Rice
  • Oatmeal, Flour or Pasta
  • Eggs


  • Chicken noodle or vegetable soup
  • Shredded chicken and vegetable with Pasta
  • Roast chicken/pieces with vegetables


  • Deconstructed Burger with beef patties, lettuce, cheese and tomato
  • Use spices to jazz up your regular beef, and fry together with a vegetable selection
  • Beef and layered vegetable lasagne
  • Spaghetti sauce with pasta or noodles


Have you got a vegetable compartment that’s full of items that need to be used up and you’re just ignoring them because you’re not quite sure what to do with them?

  • Vegetable, Pumpkin or Tomato Soup
  • Stir Fry all your chopped and diced vegetables in garlic and ginger, served on rice
  • Steamed vegetables with rice or pasta
  • Potatoes or Sweet Potatoes peeled and sliced for homemade wedges or mashed


  • Fried rice with eggs bacon, chicken or vegetables
  • Beans or lentils cooked up in tinned tomatoes with onion and other vegetables
  • Chilli beans on rice with sour cream or yoghurt (YUM!)


If you have a dozen eggs, you know that you’ve got eggs there for a family meal at least or a few children to have eggs on toast throughout the week for breakfast.

  • Egg salad
  • Fried eggs on rice
  • Omelette with herbs, tomato or cheese
  • Scrambled eggs on toast


Cheese is an excellent protein that can be added to a lot of items to significantly increase the nutrition and taste of sometimes boring foods. A lot of dishes are much more enjoyable served with cheese.

  • On savoury dishes such as spaghetti
  • Made into a sauce on pasta
  • Simply grilled on bread for cheese on toast
  • With Scrambled or Fried Eggs
  • Grilled on top of Roast vegetables
  • Baked Savouries with cheese in


You might have ideas for things you can make or bake for breakfast

  • Overnight or Baked oats
  • Porridge
  • Muffins
  • Scones
  • Pinwheels, both savoury and sweet


My next tip is to plan your breakfast lunch and dinner every day of the week for each person in your household.

Use ideas from some of the things that are already in your pantry for the first day, and then adding in meals for the rest of the week.  Things that you know your family will enjoy. 


  • Oats
  • Bananas x 7
  • Yoghurt
  • Bread
  • Peanut Butter
  • Blueberries


  • Wraps
  • Salad
  • Mayo
  • Cheese
  • Apples
  • Egg Salad


  • Lasagne & Broccoli
  • Roast Chicken & Veg
  • Sausages & Salad
  • Macaroni Cheese
  • Left Overs
  • Homemade Hawaiin Pizza
  • Pumpkin Soup & Rolls

SNACKS [ include snacks & drinks ]

  • Coffee
  • Milk
  • Herbal Tea
  • Ice Cream
  • Crackers
  • Grapes
  • Pineapple
  • Pretzels
  • Popcorn

Next count how many/how much you need of each item to last the week. Even if you only eat an apple for breakfast, count out how many you will need for the week.

Make a list of the ingrediants you need to buy in order to eat these meals this week.



  • Grapes x3 bunches
  • Bananas x28
  • Apples x28
  • Broccoli x3
  • Pineapple x1
  • Potatoes____
  • Kumara____
  • Lettuce____
  • Tomato____
  • Capsicum____
  • Pumpkin____


  • Eggs
  • Oats
  • Peanut Butter
  • Lasagne
  • Crackers
  • Pretzels
  • Popcorn
  • Macaroni
  • Coffee
  • Herbal Tea
  • Wraps
  • Bread
  • Bread Rolls
  • Flour
  • Tinned Tomatoes


  • Chicken
  • Minced Beef
  • Ham
  • Milk
  • Ice Cream
  • Yoghurt
  • Butter
  • Blueberries
  • Cheese
  • Mayo
  • Sausages

One person has an apple a day = Apples x7 OR 4 people have an apple a day = Apples x28

Your goal should be to buy exactly what you need in order to stay away from the supermarket till next shopping day. Don’t buy too much…just make sure you buy enough to last.


The next thing is know exactly what shops you want to go to.

Sometimes it’s easiest to go to one shop, one time, you might go to the cheapest one and you get everything there and often times things are just a stock standard price everywhere, in New Zealand especially and there’s not much you can do. 

But, I have learnt to shop around online. There are often certain sales in certain stores rotating over the weeks. 

So look online to see what places you’ll go to and create a list for each place based on your grocery list.

Make sure you’re connected online to your food outlet stores, often they have notifications when things are on sale, maybe they notify you on an online brochure of things that they have that are cheap this week. Stores often have a Facebook page that they notify people on so just have a quick look at those and make sure you’re not missing out on some really good deals for that week.


My fourth tip is planning to shop after breakfast or directly after lunch, don’t go before dinner, make sure you’ve eaten and have a full tummy.

You will always buy extra items that you don’t need. You will always buy things you feel like at the time and they’re just unnecessary expenses. 

You can easily waste $20 on pizza bread or the extras that you think the kids will like for afternoon tea just try not to go hungry to the shops.


A lot of plans can go out the window when we get tired or bored with what we’re going to cook and I encourage you to stick to it.

This is where the rubber meets the road! It’s very tempting to start thinking;

“I’m going to fudge this, I’m just going to go to the shops and buy something super simple”

“I can’t be bothered eating out of the cupboards”

“I can’t be bothered sticking to what I’ve got here, nobody’s enjoying this”

(Yes, you may have to change it next week if that’s what you’re finding), but for now, stick to the plan.

Your budget will be so much healthier for it! 

When you’re wanting to save money or simply you don’t have the extra money you will find something in your cupboard. If you can’t go to the shops and you’ve decided you won’t, you will make do with what’s there so just keep going with it, you can make changes next week, but your family will be fine with the plan you’ve created.


The last tip is to use it all up before you buy more. 

We waste a lot of food, so a way to save on your budget with groceries is to have Zero Waste. 

Keep doing with what you did at the beginning of this process which is looking at what you’ve got to see what you can make with it. 

I make it in my menu plan on the last night that I’m going to use what’s left. 

It’s not necessarily always leftovers, although often it is a meal of leftover curry in the freezer or some leftover lasagna from a few nights before. I do incorporate these but I also use up all other leftover food. 

There might be some rice that’s leftover and I can add some vegetables and an egg and make some fried rice. I use what’s left and that’s Incorporated into my meal plan.

We can throw a lot of money out into the rubbish or the compost each week and it’s a really good way of actually getting to the end of the week and you can clean out your fridge, and a great way to empty your pantry and making sure that you have not wasted food.

So I just know that I’m going to use up all the perishables before I buy more if I have leftover carrots, zucchini and celery, I make vegetable stock out of it, I do something with it so there’s no waste.

I’m hoping that this has motivated you to start thinking about how you can save money!

If you would like some more ways to save money in your pantry then look at the other videos links below and if you would like to see more of my videos please subscribe below hit the like button is probably the best compliment you can give me until next time