Food is a necessity. We all need it, but the costs get higher every year. And with today’s modern, busy lifestyle it can be a challenge to keep yourself well fed on a tight budget.
To help keep grocery costs low, browse food blogs and recipe websites for ideas, and read Sunday Times Food. Get invested in making delicious meals without breaking the bank; you’ll get results you can enjoy!
Here in South Africa, we love our meat, but the costs are soaring. Meat is expensive but there are a wealth of wholesome alternatives – pulses, vegetables, pasta, rice and so on. Why not give it a try?
In colder weather, we enjoy soups, stews, and casseroles. Choose affordable meat cuts like stewing beef; perfect for stews, and they’ll come out more tender, too. Wholesome, versatile vegetables like potatoes, parsnips, and carrots get you the nutrition you need without wearing holes in your wallet!
Don’t buy “extras” if you can make it yourself.
Some stores will sell you a can of tomatoes with added herbs at double the price of plain tomatoes. Why not buy the herbs and add them yourself? The same applies to most products. If the label says “specially prepared,” ask yourself if you can make the preparations yourself. Many “special” preparations are easy and inexpensive to do.
Shop with a list.
It won’t let you down. Plan your shopping trips in advance, draw up weekly meal plans and stick to them. Browse prices on your local grocery store’s website and make notes so that you don’t overspend.
Remember: grocery stores put their most tempting products right next to the checkouts so customers will see them as they wait to pay for their shopping. Resist the urge. If you think you’ll be tempted, select your one indulgent snack in advance and put it in your cart as soon as you enter the store… that way you know it’s there and you won’t be tempted to splurge.
When you go shopping with your family it’ll quickly turn into a free-for-all. Everyone will want to add their favorites to the trolley! Save yourself the stress and go alone.
Resist the urge to bulk buy.
Stores are always offering specials: Buy One Get One Free, Half Price, and so on. But do they save you money? It’s not a saving if you’re not going to use it. It won’t help you at all if it just ends up in the trash!
Bigger doesn’t always mean better value. Check the weights and do the math. And remember: you can often find frozen items at half the price of their fresh counterparts.
Check competitor brands against the store’s own brands. A “bargain” price brand name product might cost more than its identical store brand counterpart. Remember: most stores place their most expensive items on the shelf at eye level to encourage shoppers to buy them. Value products are usually stacked closer to the floor.
Check sell-by dates on fresh produce. Will you use it before the time’s up? Can you freeze it?
End of day specials.
Some supermarkets offer special prices on fresh and deli counter products near closing time. You can pick up some fantastic deals then.