Christmas and the holidays are fast approaching, so now is a great time to tighten up the grocery budget and save money for all the fun stuff! We are spending a month in New Zealand, so it is easy to cut back on the groceries when there is something so fun just around the corner…..
My tips this week are;
- STORE FOOD CORRECTLY
Make sure you are up to scratch with which foods should be stored in the pantry and which in the fridge, and how they should be stored. I find if I keep all my fruit and vegetables in plastic bags in the drawers at the bottom of the fridge I get the longest time out of them. There are heaps of tips for storing foods correctly, I will put together a full post on this topic. For example, celery is best stored with the leaves and base removed and then washed and put into a plastic bag. Baby carrots are best stored with the green leaves removed, otherwise all the goodness is drawn up to the leaves and out of the carrots themselves. It is so annoying throwing good food out that has just gone off before being eaten, it’s like throwing cash out.
2. BULK UP MEALS
Using cheaper staples to bulk up dinner meals can help reduce your costs, for example, I like to add lentils to my bolognaise sauce along with the mince, no one notices and they absorb the flavour without adding to it, this can almost double your bolognaise. Other ways to do this are; adding potato to curries, buckwheat grains to your slow cooked lamb shanks or risoni to your soups.
3. MAKE YOUR OWN
Make your own bread, pasta, biscuits, muesli bars, muffins…… the list is endless. This is even easier if you have a Thermomix, but even if not, try and make your most bought items. You could do one big bake off a month and freeze a heap, it will save in the long run. I buy flour in the 5kg bags and it lasts forever. Muesli bars can get quite expensive and making your own is really easy even without a Thermomix, there are a heap of recipes out there, I have one here; no bake muesli bars.
4. HAVE THE OCCASIONAL EGGS ON TOAST DINNER
Some days get hectic and dinner plans can get disrupted, instead of getting takeaway or going out, there is nothing wrong with the occasional eggs on toast for dinner, your kid’s will probably love it!
5. KNOW WHEN & WHAT SPECIALS ARE ON
It really is worth spending a few minutes checking for any local specials before going to the supermarket, even checking a few days before you plan your trip. It can be a good time to stock up when your usual products are out cheap, for example in our household our favourite coffee is quite regularly out half price, so I would hate to have to pay full price if we ran out one day so I always have 3 or 4 spares in the pantry.