It’s probably safe to say that for most households in Mauritius, and indeed, around the world, grocery shopping takes up a big portion of the budget. It can thus be a little tricky to manage your finances, particularly when you’re buying supplies for a big household.
To ease the strain on your wallet, below are some tips to keep in mind when buying groceries in order to cut costs without compromising on quality. These can also help you save you some valuable time!
Shop During Sales
This goes without saying, but it’s much wiser and more budget-friendly to buy a lot of your groceries during sales. These include a variety of food products like canned goods, milk, and eggs. You should also consider taking advantage of a clearance sale in Mauritius if there’s one. During these promotions, you can enjoy even bigger discounts on a variety of items, including cleaning and hygiene products, home essentials like batteries, baking supplies, cereal, and even baby food.
Just remember to pay attention to the shelf life. If you’re going to use or consume the products ASAP, feel free to pick up those that only have a couple of weeks remaining before their expiry or best before dates. If not, check if the products can last for a few months at least so as not to waste money.
Buy in Bulk
In relation to the previously mentioned tip, it’s also a good idea to buy in bulk if you want to save money on your groceries. This becomes more important if you have a large family. You don’t even have to wait for sales or look for wholesale discounts (although these could drive up your savings more)—just look for the biggest pack.
This tip extends to a variety of items, including rice, nuts, laundry detergent, bath soap, shampoo, pet food, toilet paper, and more. If you want to appreciate just how much you’re able to save, take out your calculator and do the math. You’ll notice that not only do bulk purchases cost less, they also last much longer.
Sign Up for Rewards
A lot of grocery stores have rewards programs to help build customer loyalty. Most of these are for free, although there are some that will charge you a minimal fee for lifetime membership. After you sign up, you can earn points every time you shop. There are also a lot of exclusive discounts and other kinds of offers that you can enjoy.
Depending on the store, you can use your rewards points like cash on a one-is-to-one basis; sometimes, you can also exchange a certain number of points for discounts, gifts, or other freebies. For example, if you have accumulated 100 points, you may be offered to exchange 20 of those points for a 5% discount on your purchase.
Nowadays, and especially due to the COVID-19 pandemic, online grocery stores are more popular than ever. In short, the competition is high. That’s why a lot of them are always coming up with promotions and other discount offers to entice Mauritians to shop with them.
Simply put, if you want to save even more money, one of your best options is to shop for your groceries and other household supplies online.
Use Your Calculator As You Shop
If you’re finding it hard to stick to your budget, it can be helpful to be ready with your calculator while you shop. The first thing to do is to set an amount, say Rs 5,000. Then, input the amount of each item you add to your card onto the calculator. Seeing the numbers first-hand can help make you feel more accountable and prevent impulse buying.
Of course, don’t forget your shopping list. In tandem with your calculator, it can help you minimise costs whenever you shop.
Check Your Pantry Before Shopping
Before you even open your online grocery shopping app or step foot inside a store, make sure to check your pantry and kitchen shelves first. This way, you know exactly what you have and you won’t end up with too many stocks that you won’t be able to use or consume.
Do note that this is mostly applicable for food. For other household items that don’t have expiry dates or have very long shelf lives, it’s not too bad to have excess stock. Still, you shouldn’t hoard supplies. A couple of extra bottles of shampoo can last a long time.
Buy Store or Generic Brands
Last but certainly not least, if you really want to save money, it’s a good idea to switch to store or generic brands. This applies to both food products (e.g., butter or mayonnaise), as well as non-perishables (e.g., toilet paper).
This is, of course, assuming that you don’t have a preferred brand or very specific requirements. For example, if someone in your family has certain allergies and is prescribed by their doctor to use only that specific product, then you should follow that recommendation. However, if you don’t care about the brand of dishwashing liquid you use, then go for a cheaper yet no less effective store brand.
With these tips, you can hopefully have more wiggle room in your budget and allow your wallet to breathe a sigh of relief.
Happy grocery shopping!