Don't blow the budget at the supermarket
It's scary how many budgeting clients go without food so that they can pay their other bills.
Realistically this isn't a long-term budgeting strategy. However, the grocery bill is one that you may be able to reduce with these tips:
Always write a list before you go. This helps you plan your cooking and only buy what you need.
Don't go to the supermarket when you're hungry. Hungry people buy more food and it tends to be instant, expensive food.
If you can, leave the kids at home. It's easier to say no to demands for expensive treats at home than in the middle of the supermarket aisle.
Take your calculator. Don't be afraid to whip out the calculator (or phone) to work out which product is the most cost effective.
Look up and down. The products the supermarket wants you to buy are at eye level, and there are often better deals at the top and bottom of the shelf.
Be wary of specials - they aren't always special. A "three for the price of two" deal sounds great, but do you really need three? If you were only going to buy one anyway, that special deal is actually costing you money.
Shop less. The fewer shops you do, the less you spend. This is because we're less likely to be persuaded by specials if we aren't in the supermarket as often.
It's important you know how much you can spend at the supermarket by having a balanced budget in place. A budget adviser can work one-on-one with you to help you create and maintain your budget. Find your nearest budget adviser at familybudgeting.org.nz or by calling 0508 283 438.
Raewyn Fox is chief executive of the Federation of Family Budgeting Services.
How do you stop yourself blowing the budget in the grocery aisles? Comment below.