If your grocery dollars are performing a disappearing act and all you have to show for it is your hanger, try these 5 simple budget hacks and get more bang for your buck in the supermarket.
Make a meal plan
Planning out your food for the week BEFORE you go shopping will help you avoid unnecessary splurges or impulse buys while you’re in the supermarket. Put together a meal plan that allows you to buy and use items across meals. For instance, 1kg of mince could be used in bolognaise one night and burgers the next. When you’ve finalized your shopping list, crossing off items you already have in the cupboards and freezer, head to the shops and buy ONLY the exact items on your list.
If you’re worried about distractions and sale items along the aisles, do your shopping online so you can avoid unnecessary temptations. Then put your feet up and enjoy the extra time while your shopping is delivered to you.
Bulk buy in season
Seasonal fruit and veg are cheaper so know when fresh produce comes into season and plan your meals on it. Alternatively you can buy seasonal produce in bulk, then prep and freeze so it’s ready to pop into your meals. Basil can be made into pesto – freeze in ice-cube trays to portion. Fruit can be placed in a snap-lock bag with other smoothie ingredients, so it’s ready to go for your morning breakfast. Look for the Odd Bunch in store for discounted fresh produce.
Ditch the disposables
Handy as they are, disposable items such as wet wipes, paper towels and nappies have a huge impact on your budget and the environment. Reusable cloth wipes and cloth nappies are just as effective and a lot cheaper.
Aussie households place $8 billion worth of food in the bin every year, according to Food Wise, and about $2 billion of that is from leftover food. So save your budget, waste less and get creative with leftovers; cook food in bulk and then freeze in portions. A large batch of rissoles, using 1kg of mince can be frozen into portions and then added to frozen veg and pesto for an quick and easy meal.