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12 Tips to Save Money on Groceries

By Sabrina Loh

If you feel like the price of groceries has been rising, you’re not mistaken. Since April 2022, the price of food items like chicken and vegetables has spiked by more than 10% in Malaysia, and unfortunately for all of us, will continue to increase by 60%.

While some of those price hikes were because of the shortage of resources from the Russian-Ukrainian war and the pandemic, we can also thank inflation for the price surge.

But it’s not just the rising prices. Even on a regular day, it’s so easy to overspend at the grocery store when everything looks so tempting and perfectly organised. Before you know it, you’re checking out your cart and your grocery bill makes you want to cry.

Here are 12 tips to help you shop for your groceries without breaking the bank.

1. Make a list

Walking into a grocery store without a plan is never a good idea if you’re trying to save money. Plan your meals for the entire week, and try to repeat the same ingredients. Make a list of everything you need to ensure you won’t spend impulsively on ingredients you won’t use.

2. Join loyalty programs

Most grocery stores offer loyalty programs that are free to join. You get to enjoy member-only discounts that can earn you significant savings over time.

3. Look at the price per unit

Sometimes, the cheapest price isn’t the best deal. For example, one brand might charge RM32 for 1 litre of olive oil, so that’s RM0.032 per litre of olive oil. Another company costs RM25 for 600ml of olive oil, so that’s RM0.042 per litre. In the end, the RM32 olive oil is actually cheaper per unit. Using your phone to make this simple calculation can save you more money.

4. Shop wholesale

Buying from a wholesale store is usually cheaper, as they acquire the stock at a much lower price. Some popular ones in Malaysia are NSK, Bulky, and HS Grocery.

5. Use a cash back credit card

Some credit cards offer cash back rewards and exclusive discounts every time you use them to buy groceries. This can be a great way to get some money back!

6. Buy generic brands

Name-brand items tend to be more expensive, so opt for the cheaper generic brands, which are usually located on the lower or higher shelves.

7. Stock up on sale

When an item that you regularly use goes on sale, take advantage and stock up on it. Just be aware of the item’s shelf life.

8. Shop around

Instead of having an allegiance to one supermarket, consider exploring different grocery stores to compare prices. One store may have a better price on eggs, and another may have cheaper fish.

9. Look for ‘ugly’ produce

Many grocery stores sell ‘ugly’ produce or products that are close to expiry for half the price. Look around for this section!

10. Avoid shopping when you’re hungry

When you’re shopping on an empty stomach, everything looks delicious! You may be more tempted to buy what you don’t need, so always shop on a full stomach.

11. Be aware of sneaky tricks

Grocery stores put things they really want you to notice at eye level, and these items are usually not the cheapest. Look beyond just the eye level and learn more about these sneaky tricks!

12. Check your receipt

Mistakes happen, so make sure you pay attention when the cashier is ringing up your cart. If you notice an error, notify them and they’ll refund the money you were overcharged.

Use BigPay to shop for groceries (and more!)

Earn points every time you spend, and use them to redeem discounts on airasia flights and rewards later.

With our current promotion, you’ll also earn RM100 back for every RM1000 that you spend. That’s huge savings right there!

Download the app on iOS or Android. It’s 100% free to get and free to keep.

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