How to save big money on your weekly grocery bill: Expert reveals the best time to shop, which app to use – and what to do when your food passes its use-by date

When you have a growing family to feed, the task of the weekly supermarket shop can be challenging when you’re trying to stick to a budget.

And shopping for grocery food can hurt your hip pocket and take up a big portion of your day.

Here, editor of Money Magazine Effie Zahos shares her top money-saving tips, the best time to shop for groceries – and what to do if your food has passed its use-by date.

Speaking to the Today show, she suggested downloading a grocery shopping list app called Trolley Saver, which helps reduce your weekly bill – and save you time.

The free app offers all the specials available at Australian supermarket giants.

‘The reason why I love shopping online is because you can actually sort your grocery basket to unit pricing,’ she said, explaining how the app compares prices so you can get the best value.

She urged shoppers to be aware of any hidden delivery fees that apply with supermarkets.

‘Just be careful of the delivery fees, you’ve got to really play the game there as to what day or how much you need to spend,’ she said.

Ms Zahos advised shopping late at night for fresh produce so you can prepare healthy meals on the same day.

‘So anything perishable, should be shopped later in the night,’ she said.

‘Mondays are a good time to shop as well, as far as your sanity because people just don’t shop on Mondays.’

For expiry dates, Ms Zahos said there has been an ongoing debate in her households about whether or not to throw food out with ‘best before’.

‘There’s a big argument in our house because my husband won’t touch anything that says “best before”,’ she said.

‘But Food Standard Australia says that you can still eat it, you lose the quality a little bit but I’m okay with that.

‘Obviously expired is expired so for your own safety, don’t touch that. But do organise your pantry based on what’s about to expire… move them forward and don’t be precious about eating something that you can’t.’

Ms Zahos said it was important to be organised when grocery shopping.

‘Well in the finance world, if you don’t have a plan, you’re planned to fail,’ she said.

‘The same applies with food. So base your list on what do I have in the house and then build your inventory from that.

‘And what’s in season and what’s not. So plan in that way, and don’t go to the supermarket without a list. That’s the worst thing you can do because I fall for that, I walk in there and come out with things that I just don’t need.’

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