5 Hacks to Help You Stretch Your Food Budget
If you’ve been feeling the pinch of skyrocketing food costs, have hope! If you’re looking to stretch your food budget and simplify your life, read on for some tried-and-true money-saving tips, doable techniques, and fresh concepts.
To be fair, implementing just one of these tips alone is not very likely to yield significant results. But a combination of all of these approaches in tandem could yield some great savings.
Top 5 Saving Tips for Grocery Shopping
Don’t make breakfast a fancy affair
Breakfast is one meal that doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. Breakfast foods like eggs, muesli and toast are not only inexpensive but also filling.
Make your own homemade muffins and fast breads. Don’t waste your time with mixes and other empty shortcuts. Cereal for breakfast can break the bank. Unless you spot a great sale, you should only buy cereal in bulk when it is actually on sale.
Have breakfast for dinner once a week
Plan a breakfast-for-dinner night once a week. It’s a win for the kids and for your grocery bill. Breakfast with eggs, pancakes, waffles, and juice is filling, inexpensive, and vegetarian.
Using your imagination with leftovers is a great way to save money on groceries. The baked potatoes from last night’s dinner can be repurposed into delicious hashbrowns or fried potatoes to complement your scrambled eggs for breakfast.
Plan meals around sales
Meal planning that takes advantage of sales can reduce food expenditures by as much as fifty percent. When there are significant sales, you can stock up on products to last until the next sale.
Almost every supermarket and food store in the country issues a weekly sales flyer, which is also available online. This would be such a helpful resource for organising meals. Eat what’s on sale to save money on groceries.
Plan your meals ahead of time
The easiest way to waste a lot of money on takeout, delivery, and fast food is to not plan your meals in advance. Meal planning for a week or two ahead of time requires some work upfront but may save a lot of time and money in the long run. Your days of “What’s for dinner?” panic are over.
If you know you’ll be using the other half of the onion later in the week, store it in the fridge, carefully wrapped in plastic wrap.
You can’t use half a pepper, or half a can of beans, or half a pound of mince. Saving money on food can be as simple as dividing a single serving into two separate meals, provided you have a plan for the leftovers.
Buy seasonal produce
It’s hard to walk past your favourite fruits and vegetables in aisle, but focusing on seasonal produce can save hundreds of rands each month. For example: Buying seasonal apples will allow you to stock up on some of the lowest-priced produce for that period of time.
Eggs are an amazingly diverse ingredient
Eggs are a fantastic source of fat and protein. You will feel fuller for longer after eating a meal that is high in protein and fat. Frittatas (with meat or vegetables), egg biscuit sandwiches, egg burritos, scrambled eggs, baking, fried rice, quiche/mini quiches, etc. all feature eggs as an ingredient.
Store your food properly
Learn how to properly store and package food to prevent spoilage and put an end to food waste. For instance, don’t trust the flimsy plastic wrap to ward off freezer burn — wrap meat in heavier plastic, foil or freezer paper. And what about bulk foods? Don’t let excess air make items get stale – repackage into smaller containers instead.
Try to use as many food parts as possible
Many people unnecessarily dispose of bones and vegetable trimmings that can still be put to good use in a variety of dishes.
For example, you could chop up broccoli stems and cauliflower leaves for stir fry or steamed vegetables, and they are full of flavour and nutrition.
Croutons, bread pudding, and bread crumbs made from stale bread (give them a whirl in the food processor with some of your favourite herbs) are delicious.
Vegetable peels that can be eaten should be removed and stored in the freezer for use in making stock.
Invest in affordable pantry staples
Staple grains like oats, rice, and barley have remained stable in price despite cost hikes, especially when you buy them in bulk.
Legumes are far less expensive than meat per kilogram, and frozen vegetables are full of protein and healthy fats. Frozen vegetables can extend a variety of meals or make a fun addition to a salad.
Watch out for the sales — a tin of tuna or shredded chicken breast has many uses from sandwiches to salad, and are especially useful for quick healthy meals when you’re running short on time.. Canned beans, like kidney or butter beans, provide a quick way to add protein to any meal or make a hearty, affordable stew.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Keep breakfast affordable
- Use the same ingredients in different recipes
- Plan all your meals ahead
- Have breakfast for dinner once a week
- Make use of all local sales
- Invest in staple pantry items
- Reuse your leftovers in your next meal
- Use a credit card with special offers
- Stockpile on staple goods
- Buy sales food in bulk
- Look for cash-back store cards
In addition to providing volume, high-fibre foods also take longer to digest, helping you feel satisfied with fewer calories. Fibre can be found in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
- Take a look at membership cards and loyalty programmes.
- Shop during the week.
- Purchase in quantity.
- Purchase locally.
- Attempt private label retailers.
- Consume Regular Meals to Avoid Feeling Too Hungry.
- Drink water first, then stop consuming beverages with added sugar.
- Consume Snacks that are Low-Calorie and Nutritious.
- Recognise Your Stressors.