If you’re finding it hard to make ends meet, I’m here to help with some clever ways to stick to the grocery budget.
If you want to have more money in your pocket at the end of the week, keeping the costs down in the supermarket will help. I think we can all relate to the rising cost of the weekly grocery shop so budget meals are always welcome. We’re also a nation that throws out way too much food so let’s also look at ways to avoid this.
Here are my 8 tips for budget meals:
- Plan ahead. Knowing what meals you are cooking for the week means you only need to shop for the ingredients that are required for those recipes. This means less chance of throwing out food that’s not used.
- Shop later in the day. Supermarkets often reduce the price of bread, baked goods and BBQ chickens at the end of the day. The good news is bread freezes well and so do most baked goods. BBQ chickens also freeze well; just remove the flesh from the bone and pack into small zip lock bags for sandwiches or use in a recipe such as my Curry in A Hurry.
- Look for markdowns. Supermarkets discount products that are near their BEST BEFORE or USE BY dates. These will still be okay to use and can be much cheaper. BEST BEFORE means you can use it after the date shown whereas USE BY that it shouldn’t be used past the date on the package.
- Make the most of your freezer. Get rid of the frozen water bottles and things that take up space so you can load up on meat and expensive grocery items when on special. Pack meat separately and flatten mince so you can stack the packs to make best use of available space.
- Buy in season. Fruit and vegetables that are in season as they will be cheaper. Freeze vegetables when they are super cheap; just drop them into boiling water for 30 seconds then drain well and freeze. Freeze fruit to use in smoothies or baking.
- Use up overripe fruit. If you have bananas that are overripe then make Banana Cake or muffins or use in smoothies. Apples and pears can be stewed and served as a dessert.
- Get creative with mince. There are so many ways you can cook with mince. Rissoles, bolognaise, tacos, burgers, meatballs, lasagne. Make the mix go further by adding grated carrot or zucchini to the mix. You can also add slices of bread to a wet dish, such as bolognaise, to boost the servings. Adding bran or rolled oats will stretch mince further too.
- Make soups and casseroles. These make cheap meals and are a great way to use up any lack-lustre veggies in the crisper. Make and freeze for easy lunch or dinner options.
And some final words of advice
Avoid shopping several times a week. Plan your menu, write your shopping list and shop once a week. It’s sure to save more dollars than you can possibly imagine.