We cannot escape grocery shopping. Agree? It is a necessity that Malaysians of all walks of life need to do. Let's not forget how our shopping list changes as we go through the different phases in life. A cart that would once be filled with snacks and food enough for a single couple, will expand to include diapers, baby milk, wet wipes, and the likes for young parents. Diapers alone can go up to RM130 for three packs. Goodness!
Since there is really no escaping it, we might as well make sure we get the best value out of our groceries every time. Right? If you want to save more ringgit and perfect the art of grocery shopping on a budget, here are some tips:
#1 - Shop online
Believe it or not, online shopping actually saves you so much time and money. As a working mother with a three-year old toddler, I usually buy moms and kids stuff I need online. Believe me, it can be quite tiring negotiating with a toddler in a shopping mall. So, online shopping to the rescue!
My favorite go-to website for moms and babies/kids necessities is www.babydash.com.my - just look at this:
NO queues, NO closing times, NO carrying heavy bags, NO traffic and parking hassle, NO wasting petrol, toll and time, NO over-crowded supermarkets. Fast delivery within 1-2 working days. FREE shipping on all orders above RM155 (West Malaysia).
YES to all of the above! If you stay in Klang Valley or any other busy cities, you know what I mean. So yes, I will just get my milk, diapers, baby bathcare, and so much more from Babydash. Oh, and I have joined as a member, so I can make use of member benefits such as collecting points from every purchase, doing reviews, and receiving special member discounts!
#2 - Use loyalty cards
Apart from shopping online, it is highly likely that we still shop offline and we do have a preferred hypermarket or supermarket that we shop at, it could be your neighborhood mart or perhaps the one with the best offers. Either way, look out to see if they have a loyalty program.
With less than RM20 membership fees per annum, retailers or wholesalers like Tesco, Jusco, and Mydin offer their members cash rebates, vouchers, and other promotions via reward points accumulated from their purchases. This is particularly useful when I need to shop for fresh and frozen produce and other household stuff.
For some, we can even purchase three years of membership with the price of two and get discounts at other merchants or restaurants.
#3 - Get updates from newsletters
If you are already a member, you will receive the latest updates and promotional activities from these retailers. You can then use these daily or weekly newsletters to check if the products you want to buy are currently being offered on discount. Alternatively, if you are not yet a member, you can sign-up for their newsletters via their websites.
#4 - Credit cards for more cash back!
You can apply for a credit card that offers great cash back rewards for your retail shopping. It is important to take note that cash back, cash rebates, and reward points come with term and regulations by the issuing banks, such as the minimum amount spent to be eligible for cash back and valid period of reward points. Do make sure you read the terms and regulations before using the cards for your grocery shopping.
For instance, the Hong Leong Wise Gold Visa card offers up to 10% cashback capped at RM100 for every month.
#5 - Strategize your shopping list
You can also learn to identify and organize the products you use, then, categorize them according to the frequency or volume of usage. This way, you can plan your shopping list by monitoring the quantity of products you need and the ones which you don't use as much.
In fact, buying goods that have a longer expiry period such as diapers, tissues, multipurpose cleaners, shampoos, soaps, and detergents in bulk will help you save even more. Even better, buy them during promotional seasons, so you can save and use the items without having to worry about them going to waste.
#6 - Use recycle bags
Bring your own bag and save yourself the extra RM0.20 per plastic bag. You will be doing your part for the environment too! Go green!
Try putting these tips into a checklist every time you do your grocery shopping. Shop smarter and beat inflation!
On a side note, check out CompareHero.my, a portal dedicated to raising financial literacy in our country and to helping everyday Malaysians make smarter and well-informed financial decisions in life.