Whether you live alone or with a boisterous family of four, one thing we all have in common is that we like to save money and spend as little time possible wondering aimlessly through supermarket aisles. This is why we have decided to provide you with a list of wonderful ways you can save money and time, allowing you to spend both where it matters the most – with your loved ones.

Here are ten top tips that will transform your shopping trips from lengthy and expensive excursions into cheap and easy time-saving trips.

1. Be coupon crazy

Coupons can help you save money when doing that large beginning-of-the- month shop. Be sure to have a look in the newspapers or online to see what deals or coupons South Africa’s large supermarket chains have to offer.

2. Shopping lists create browsing bliss

Creating a shopping list before setting out on your next trip will not only make the whole outing finish a lot quicker, but will also stop you from wasting money on things you don’t need.

3. Don’t shop on an empty stomach

It’s been proven: when you shop on an empty stomach you spend more money on things you don’t need. Not only that, but studies have shown that hungry shoppers often decide to buy higher-calorie foods than those who shop on a full belly.

4. Buy (and save) in bulk

Buying in bulk saves you money and allows you to stockpile the essentials that you end up having to rebuy on a regular basis – saving you the hassle of having to make an extra trip later in the month. However, be sure to check the sell-by dates of any items you buy in bulk.

5. Cash is king

When we pay with plastic, we end up spending more than we think in bank charges. Paying in cash will cancel out these infuriating fees, and will also allow you to stick to a pre-determined budget. You won’t be able to spend more if you don’t have the cash in hand.

6. Think about the size of your fridge first

Although that whole leg of lamb and those five-litre fruit juices might look extremely appetising and be cost effective, it is important to consider how big your fridge is before tossing them into your trolley.

7. Don’t just buy something because it’s on sale

Although sales are amazing ways to save money when buying expensive items that have been marked down, or products you’d like to stockpile for future use, try not to get sucked into the addictive pastime of chasing down a deal, just for the sake of it.

8. But keep note of what sales are on, and where they’re on

Everyone is a sucker for a sale, but it is important to look for the right sales for your family’s needs, and not involve yourself in each and every sale you come across.

9. Keep your receipts

Saving your receipts can help you keep track of how much you’re spending – or overspending – every month. Knowing where the money is going is the first step to creating and sticking to a household budget. Also, keeping your slips will allow you to return and exchange items – most shops won’t allow you to do this without a slip.

10. Make leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch

Save money on buying more… Yes, we know this sounds strange, but hear us out. By buying and cooking a little more for dinner, you are ensuring that you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg on lunch the next day.

What are your top tips for smart shopping? Leave a comment below, or post them on our Facebook wall.