We all love a bargain, but what if you could boil bargain hunting down to an art and halve your grocery bill each week?
Sounds impossible, right?
Well, it turns out it might be a whole lot easier than you think and you could be saving thousands a year.
One mum who is, is Kimberly Bertram.
A Sydney mum-of-three, Kimberly is a bargain hunter extraordinaire, who manages to keep her weekly grocery bill under a staggering $70 using one simple method.
Timing it right
For Kimberly, it’s all about the big supermarkets’ daily markdowns.
“I shop at Coles and Woolworths and it’s all about timing,” she tells Yahoo Lifestyle.
She says once you work out your local ‘golden hour’ - the time a shop starts to mark down the prices on soon-to expire goods - then the savings are almost guaranteed.
“The best markdowns are always going to happen in the afternoon to late night, at the close of business,” she explains.
“The option for the store is either they sell it or they throw it away.”
Putting in the hard yards
Kimberly says if you want to get serious about markdowns however, you’ve got to be willing to put in some legwork to begin with.
“If you do want to find that golden period initially you have to put in some groundwork,” she says.
“It took me about a month of going backwards and forwards to the shops and working out when the markdowns happen.
“I think it was maybe two weeks, I went to the shops literally every day and I’d go at different intervals just to figure out when the markdowns were going to come out.”
It might sound like extreme lengths to go to for a discount sticker, but Kimberly is saving up to $200 a week and over $10k a year.
The average Aussie family spends $269 a week on food and drink according to ASIC’s MoneySmart survey, and that’s not including toiletries and extras.
“Our weekly grocery spend is about $60 and $70 a week,” Kimberly says. “That includes nappy pants (for her youngest), it includes toiletries, and pantry items.”
She says it does requires some readjustment to your shopping habits.
While most hit the shops armed with a menu and list, Kimberly on the other hand plans her meals around her shopping.
“(After) I go markdown shopping and I’ll say, ‘Ok I’ve got X, Y, Z, what can I make?’,” she explains.
One example is the impromptu pork roast she whipped up when she found two roasts for a cool $2.20 apiece.
Or the minestrone that fed the whole family, and checked out at just $1.25.
Kimberly knows that the unique style of shopping is not for everyone, but she says she wouldn’t change her methods for the world.
She has built a community around her approach to thrifty living through her Facebook page Markdown Addicts Australia which now boasts almost 100, 000 followers.
The super-saving mum still relies on her local community however, and says she’s met her best friends through the markdown community.
“I have about four ladies in my local community we all look out for each other, if I don’t get down to the shops I’ll often get a photo on Facebook saying ‘hey I bought this would you like some?’,” she reveals.
“We’ve actually become really good friends that way.”
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