Spend less on your weekly shop … five easy ways to save
1. Check your pantry before you head out
It sounds so simple but how often do you leave the house en route to the grocery store without having checked what is in your fridge, freezer or pantry? To avoid any double-ups and overspending look at what you already have and assess what meals can be created from what is already in your kitchen. It may surprise you just how many meals you can make with what you have on hand.
2. Make a list and stick to it
Once you have settled on what you need it’s time to make a list. Most of us are creatures of habit and tend to have a range of dishes that we rotate through on a regular basis. Try to incorporate things you normally buy for these dishes and if those items are on special consider buying them in bulk.
3. Shop by season
Buying local produce that is in season is not only cheaper, it’s also better for the environment. This year has been a good demonstration of the fact that there are times when certain foods are in low supply; this can be due to market supply and demand, or damage to crops due to natural disasters like flooding. During these times try to avoid purchasing items that are in low supply as they will be more expensive than usual.
4. Shop the specials
It should go without saying that it’s a good idea to research the specials before you head out to shop. Look for recipes and ideas that use ingredients that are on special. Not only will you save money by buying products on special, you might also find some new family-favourite recipes and add variety to the usual family menu.
5. Make the most of your meat and seafood
Meat and seafood make up a large portion of the grocery bill for Australian households, so be clever with ways to make your meals stretch further. Adding lentils or vegetables to a bolognaise sauce is a great way to bulk out your meal and add extra fibre. Another great way to make the purchase of protein go further is to use the slow cooker. A slow-cooked shoulder of lamb can become pulled lamb tacos, a lamb ragout and a delicious meaty pizza topping. The long and low nature of slow cooking also means that you can use less expensive cuts of meat and still achieve mouth-wateringly tender and delicious results.