Lifestyle

Studying spend trends

WEEKLY CHORE: You might be surprised about what a study of grocery spending reveals.
WEEKLY CHORE: You might be surprised about what a study of grocery spending reveals. Jupiterimages

HOW can consumers save money on groceries?

That is the question Queensland University of Technology researchers Dr Clinton Weeks and Gary Mortimer aim to answer through a national grocery shopping study.

Sunshine Coast shoppers are encouraged to take part in the Australian-wide survey which examines how we shop at supermarkets, what strategies we adopt to reduce spending, and how advertising, prices and consumer education affect what we buy.

"Supermarket shopping is the biggest most regular cost for families each week," Dr Mortimer said.

"We spend such a large proportion of our household income on groceries, yet little is known about how we go about reducing this weekly expenditure.

"Retailers are fundamentally businesses aiming to get us to spend more money."

Most people want to save money but retailers keep encouraging them to spend more through innovative marketing appeals, price promotions and manufacturing tactics, Dr Weeks said.

"We're interested in the strategies people use when shopping and the impact that consumer education can have," Dr Weeks said.

Sunshine Coast mother, author and Frugal and Thriving blogger Melissa Goodwin said saving money on groceries wasn't difficult.

"Saving money can start as a challenge but after a while, it becomes a habit. And you can start by making just a few changes," she said.

Ms Goodwin said the key to spending less on groceries was to spend as little time as possible in supermarkets.

"We do our major grocery shop once a fortnight," she said.

"Shopping the perimeter of the store and not going down aisles that you don't need to (confectionary aisle or soft drink aisle, for instance) will save you time as well as temptation."

Ms Goodwin shares the top strategies she uses to keep her family's food costs to a minimum:

Cook meals from scratch: Steer away from pre-packaged convenience foods. Ensure you're not sacrificing your family's health in the quest to save as much as you can on the groceries. Basic foods are healthy and cheaper than pre-packaged foods.

Menu plan: It's a great way to make the most of seasonal produce, discounts and, particularly, using up what's in your kitchen before it expires. A menu plan will make cooking from scratch easier and avoid wastage because it helps you prepare food in advance, bulk cook and freeze and plan leftovers. It will also make evenings easier (no deciding what to cook each night or running to the store for forgotten ingredients).

Shop around: Buy outside of the supermarket from discount butchers, greengrocers, markets, health food stores and Asian grocery stores. Save money on household goods such as toilet paper by buying at discount stores including Kmart, Big W or the $2 stores.

Aldi can also be an inexpensive alternative to the major supermarkets.

Make your own cleaning products: I make our household cleaners from vinegar and bicarb soda. We make our own laundry soap, too. Avoiding chemical cleaners means a big saving in our budget.

GROCERY SHOPPING STUDY

To participate in the QUT Grocery Shopping Study, visit survey.qut.edu.au/grocery and register. Alternatively, email grocery@qut.edu.au or post your name and address to: Grocery Study, Reply Paid 2434, Brisbane Qld 4001.

Shoppers don't have to do anything outside their normal routine of grocery shopping.

Participants will be mailed a consumer information sheet every week for 10 weeks, and then asked to send back each week's grocery receipt in a reply-paid envelope.

All shoppers who participate for the full 10 weeks of the survey will go into a draw for gift cards ranging from $20 to $1000.

>> Read more lifestyle stories.

Topics:  family lifestyle shopping spending trends


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

An emotional Mike Baird: 'There was great personal cost'

"After 10 years in public life, this moment for me has arrived."

A festival of love, sex and tantra this weekend

"Our aim is to liberate sexual energy, channel it in a positive way”

This is why we will keep writing shark stories

ONCE BITTEN: Evans Head resident Craig Ison with the board he was riding when he was attacked by a great white shark at Main Beach.

The media is constantly accused of sensationalising the shark issue

Local Partners

Mark Salling's child porn court date cancelled

Mark Salling's upcoming court hearing has been cancelled

Steve Carell pulls cruel prank on fans of the office

Steve Carrell decided to pull a cruel prank on fans of The Office

Married at First Sight: M'boro dad to feature on reality TV

LOOKING FOR LOVE: Farmer Sean Hollands, 35, from Maryborough will feature on the upcoming new season of Married At First Sight.

A bull riding accident put everything into perspective for Sean.

Cat Empire goes prowling down memory lane

FUN: Australian band, The Cat Empire. Photo contributed.

During a tour next month with Xavier Rudd.

Your chance to drive like Magnum P.I.

Tom Selleck in Magnum P.I. with his trusty 'side-kick' Ferrari.

FERRARI that appeared on classic detective show goes to auction.

Ocean Sleeper discuss being 'Six Feet Down'.

Ocean Sleeper make waves with their new EP. Photo Contributed

Gippsland band shines at Unify

Thousands of jobs part of $1b retirement village project

THIS YEAR: An artist impression of the new Aveo retirement village in Springfield.

Aveo Springfield unveiled this month, homes ready by July

KNIFE-EDGE: The housing tightrope we now face

Even the smallest interest rate rise will be hard for some to handle.

One if five home owners at risk, according to new analysis

Historical home leaves family's hands after 75 years

SALE CONFIRMED: The Gympie Regional   Realty team which sold the Ramsey property are (back) Mel Gastigar, Dorothy Palmer and Margaret Cochrane, with (front) home seller Terri-Jayne Ramsey.

Ramsey family played a huge role in Gympie's growth.

Pat Rafter's $18m Coast home proves hot property

PAT'S PAD: The Sunshine Beach home of tennis ace Pat rafter is on the market for a record price.

"It's a record for our company and for the Sunshine Coast.''

INTERACTIVE MAP: Which Northern Rivers towns boomed in 2016?

BOOM TOWNS: While Ballina properties continued to attract top dollar in 2016, it was areas to the south that experienced price hikes, including Wardell, Evans Head and Woodburn.

Click on our map to find the median sale price in your town

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!