They say that man (or woman) cannot live by bread alone but we can also be a bit frugal when it comes to comes to using what we have without unnecessary trips to the supermarket and feeding the garbage bin! It’s scary how much food we, as westerners throw away, and just how much that food actually costs! Planning and consideration are the key points in this section – thinking before you buy and buying to a plan will help reduce your food waste and reduce your costs.
1. Try to trim
If, for example you usually spend around $60 (£60) on your weekly food bill, try to cut it down by $10 (£10). It doesn’t actually sound much but if you calculate that over a whole year you can save yourself a whopping $520 (£520) – enough for a small holiday or a blow out at Christmas. An easy way to trim down your grocery bill is by using coupons. coupons.answers.com is a great place to search for coupons on various household items.
2. Write a list and plan your meals
Write out your shopping list for the week ahead, that way you know what products you will actually need to buy. If you don’t take a list to the store you will end up putting non-essential items in your shopping basket which you don’t actually need and haven’t budgeted for.
3. Weigh up the details
Look closely at the price per kilogram/lb/grams of loose vegetables as you will more often than not find that it is much cheaper to buy loose vegetables rather than the pre-packed vegetables. In most cases, buying in bulk will translate into a reduction too.
4. Try supermarket ‘own’ brands
Think twice when you have a famous brand of food in one hand and the store’s discount own brand in the other hand, you will notice a big price difference between them, but not that much difference in taste or quality. Remember the power of marketing and that often, perception of ‘quality’ is just what the marketing men want you to believe.
5. Buy ’marked down’ food
When out shopping you should always try to visit the ‘Reduced for Quick Sale’ area in the supermarket first as there may be ingredients here which are reduced considerably and may be on your shopping list to use that day or the following day – especially vegetables and fruit. If you manage to grab yourself a bargain, check if the item can be frozen or not, you can then defrost it at a later date but be sure to eat it once it is defrosted.