7 tips to save money on groceries
You’re not wrong if you thought your food bills were getting more expensive. Recent research¹ has found that groceries are 2.6% more expensive than in 2021, particularly meats, coffee and soft drinks.
Add on the rising cost of petrol, electricity, rent and interest rates, and you could really be feeling the pinch.
But with some careful planning and a bit of imagination, you can still manage to eat well and stay healthy without spending a fortune.
1. Prepare your own food
This first tip might be a no-brainer, but with the recent rise in the cost of food, many people are turning to takeaway, thinking it’s less expensive than preparing meals from scratch.
But a delicious home-cooked meal doesn’t have to cost the earth. Often the tastiest dishes contain only a handful of ingredients. Margherita pizza, anyone?
Home-cooked meals are generally healthier too. No-one seriously puts that much salt on their chips at home!
2. Meal planning
Heading into the week with a meal plan has financial and health benefits. When you’re organised, you’ll be far less likely to impulsively buy a sugary treat for morning tea at the café or grab an unhealthy takeaway on the way home.
If you’re stuck in a food rut and can’t think of any exciting meals, take the time to sit down once a week and browse through recipes. If you want to get really organised, you can create a theme for each night. For example, Sunday soup night, Taco Tuesdays, or stir-fry Fridays. Any excuse to make mealtimes a little more fun!
3. Batch cooking
This one is a real time and energy saver. Rather than cooking different things each night, meals like casseroles or curries can be popped into containers and frozen for later. This is perfect for those evenings where the thought of cooking after a long day at work is utterly groan-inducing. It’ll also curb your temptation to grab a sneaky takeaway on the trip home.
4. Stocktake time
Before you race off to the supermarket, peek into the pantry and fridge to see what you already have. If you’re feeling energetic, pull everything out and have a good old fashioned declutter! It’ll give you the chance to rediscover hidden gems and get rid of anything well past its used by date!
5. Make a list
We all know it’s a bad idea to shop without a list. And it’s even worse if you go on an empty stomach! By the time you reach the checkout and load your groceries onto the counter, it looks like you’re hosting a 10-year old’s birthday party.
Preparing a list will help you buy only what you need and avoid over-spending.
6. Stay out of the supermarket
As difficult as it may be to believe, not everyone loves traipsing up and down the supermarket aisles. If this sounds like you, click and collect is your friend! Online shopping saves you time and stress and helps you stick to buying only what you need.
7. Grow your own
Sure, buying a bag of carrots from the supermarket probably won’t break the bank, but they’re even cheaper (not to mention much tastier) if you grow your own.
And if you don’t have enough space for a veggie patch, you can grow lettuce, tomatoes or herbs in a pot or even a container.
Did you know that for the price of a bunch of fresh herbs, you could buy a punnet of seedlings or a packet of seeds which you could get months or years of produce from?
And growing food isn’t just a great cost-cutting measure. It makes you feel good too! Research2 shows that people who garden have better mental health. Gardening has a soothing impact on stress, anxiety, tension and fatigue and reduces negative feelings and promotes positive emotions.
So, what are you waiting for? Start planting today!
1 Consumer groups Frugl and One Big Switch