How to reduce your food and grocery bill
6 April 2020
We’re all eating more home-cooked meals at the moment, which can mean higher grocery bills and fridges full of things we don’t need. Supermarket impulse buys (on top of a cheeky takeaway every week) can add some serious bloat to our food spending – which isn’t ideal when money is tight for many of us.
When it comes to food and groceries, a third of Aussies don’t have a budget at all. The average spend is close to $250 per person per week. But parents, savers, and savvy shoppers of all stripes can drop these extra dollars with good spending habits!
Plan ahead with your meal prep
Planning your meals in advance is one of the best ways to get greater control of your food spending. Knowing what your meals will be week-to-week can save you from doing multiple shops and buying unnecessary items. To put a dent in your weekly food spend, plan ahead and swap your home-delivered lunch with something you whip up yourself.
Shop the catalogue to avoid impulse buying
Shop with purpose and say goodbye to spontaneous spending by shopping the catalogue. Regularly flipping through the Woolworths and Coles catalogues lets you know what’s on sale. You never know – you could snag a premium product that may normally be outside of your budget at a bargain price! By shopping the catalogue, you’ll rock up to the supermarket with a definitive list and an estimated budget too.
Organise your pantry and fridge
If your fridge is looking full, organise it so everything is visible. This way, you’ll avoid doubling up on items or having something spoil before you use it. Don’t forget the pantry! Label items and put them in proper storage containers. Use this time to get to know your pantry inside-out!
Turn your leftovers into fresh meals
Leftover bolognese from last night? Turn it into shepherd’s pie! Too much roast veg for dinner? Put it into a salad! We may be stuck at home for a while, but who says we can’t have a little variety? By getting frugal with your leftovers, you can stretch your food budget while reducing waste!
Keep your freezer stacked with pre-cooked meals
Busy days with the kids or long hours hunched over your laptop can leave you browsing the food delivery apps. A Suncorp report shows that Aussies spend, on average, a whopping $65 dollars a week on food delivery, eating out and takeaway. Simply having food in the freezer ready to go can be an easy way to spend less. Plan ahead by cooking larger portions, and stick a couple of containers in the freezer before you start eating.
Consider cheaper cuts of meat
Meat can be pretty costly, especially if you buy it regularly. But there are ways to enjoy this Aussie staple without bruising that budget. Consider cooking dishes that use cheaper cuts of meat. Dishes like beef brisket and chicken drumsticks are affordable and super tasty!
When you’re flipping through recipes for dinner, look for ones that only use ingredients you already have at home rather than hard-to-find items. These specialised ingredients can wind up at the back of the spice drawer or vegetable crisper, barely touched before they go out of date. If you do want more specialised ingredients, consider whether they can be used in different dishes, rather than just that one-off meal.
Plan your grocery budget too
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- How to help save on your weekly shop
- Easy ways to save money every day
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