The streets of Dubai are paved with gold, we all earn lots of money and we can afford to buy whatever we want – right? Back in the real world, whilst many of us do earn more than we did in our home countries if we’re not from here, it’s all relative and most normal people I know, budget and watch their money and even more so in the Covid Era.
One of the biggest spend areas for many is grocery shopping, so we gathered up a few of our own tips from the team on how to shop a bit savvier when it comes to your grocery.
Meat free days
These are increasingly popular for many reasons, but even with one meat free day a week it’s estimated you can save around AED 175 per person a month. Multiply it up for a family and you see where we’re going here. Add more meat free days to save more.
Online stores don’t have the overheads the traditional supermarkets do, so costs are typically cheaper. There are lots of great online options now, so try a few and see what you prefer. The good thing with online is that it’s harder to impulse buy and easier to stick to a shopping list too. Oh, and you don’t need to leave the house.
We love that our favourite online grocer Kibsons has an “imperfect” section where you can buy fruit and veg that doesn’t look so pretty, but tastes just as great. It’s a bit pot luck as to what is available, but keep an eye as there are some gems to be found.
Know the discount times
Another favourite is the M&S Food Court, but it can come at quite a price and we tend to keep it for special occasion and treats. Did you know usually on a Sunday evening (before the new week ahead – but does vary by the store so get to know your local one or ask the staff) many of the items go on crazy discounts. The shelf life is short, either same day or within a day, but as we know many things have a very safe shelf life and it’s a great way to get some nice dinners and treats for a lot less.
Shop in the world-food aisle
We’re really lucky here that we have so many nationalities and cuisines and our supermarkets have such huge ranges of world food products, many of which are super affordable. Look at rice, noodles, sauces and more which can be up to 80% cheaper than the brands you may be familiar with. Many times they taste even better too!
Obsession with “The Home Edit” aside, organizing your kitchen cupboards and pantry can pay off. Organise your cupboards and label containers so you can see clearly what you have, preventing wastage and duplicate buys. On average if organised, it can save you up to AED 90 a week.
Write a list
Did you know that most households throw away 30% of their grocery shop each year as it’s expired. Too many of us buy perishable items that we don’t use on time. So, create a shopping list for the week, don’t get suckered into impulse purchases and only buy what you need.
Shop alone (aka leave the kids at home!)
When you shop with others, you automatically buy more. Go alone and stick to what you need to buy.
Shop the sales
We use the sales to stock up on more expensive essentials such as dishwasher tablets, fabric conditioner, cleaning products which do all go on multi-buy regularly. Just avoid doing it on anything with an expiry you may go past.
Skip the pre-prepared options
We get that many of us are time poor, but one of the surest ways to spend more is to buy a pre-made salad, convenience meal or anything that someone else has prepared. Typically you pay 50-60% more. Make from scratch, even in batches for the week and save money.
What are your favourite money saving tips?