Often I think of myself as a pretty savy shopper when it comes to buying groceries. With three of us in our home I feed our family for under $100 a week. We grow most of our veggies, I buy bulk meat direct from farmers and when my favourite pantry item is on sale I buy extra.
Saving money on food is great but you don’t need to lose any quality. I prefer fresh foods, so I often shop at local markets for my veggies when I have a dry spell in the garden. I have monthly fridge clean outs and not to mention occasionally going through the back of my cupboards to find things that need to be used.
Getting creative with your weekly shop can save you money as long as you plan it, stick to it and then take note for the next week.
9 TIPS TO FEED YOUR FAMILY FOR LESS
- BUY SEASONAL: Most fruit and veg are available all year round these days with different price tags for each season. The cheapest veggies are always the ones in season. For example zucchini’s are a late spring to autumn vegetable, during their peak season you can grab a kilo for less than $2, in the off-season you can be paying up to $8 p/kilo.
- MEAL PLAN: Think about what you are going to be eating through the week. What you plan on cooking, what left overs can be used for other meals. Get organised, here is a link for a free weekly meal planner which also has a shopping list attached.
- WRITE A LIST: Before heading to the shops write yourself a shopping list detailing everything you need for that particular shop. Then you need to stick to it. No impulse purchases.
- LOVE VEGGIES: Meat is expensive, why not introduce your family to meatless Mondays? Cook up some beans, fry up some tofu or just go completely green. Another way to cut your bill is to portion your meat for each meal. In our home we portion 100g per adult per serve. For a stir fry we tend to use only 100g then buckets of veggies. Meat with bones is always cheaper too.
- CLEAN OUT THE FRIDGE: Channel your inner Masterchef and create a dish using what you already have. Use items from your pantry and fridge. Got rice, eggs, veggies and some left over meat? Make a simple fried rice.
- SORT YOUR LUNCH: Roast off your favourite meat to put on sandwiches, take leftovers from the night before so you wont be tempted to buy an easy meal on your lunch break. Make sure you have plenty of snacks too.
- BUY IN BULK: If you know you go through a particular product buy it in bulk especially when it is on sale. I buy our dry goods in bulk like flour, sugar, rice, pasta, olive oil, vinegar.
- COOK FROM SCRATCH: It is cheaper & healthier to bake a batch of biscuits for the weeks lunch boxes than to buy them. Baking your own bread is also seen as being therapeutic; three cups of flour, yeast and some water will set you back less than 50c a loaf.
- GROW YOUR OWN: Growing your own food can really help you save money, simple things likes herbs which are $2-3 for a stingy bunch from the shops can be taken off your grocery list and save you $$$. I tend to grow tomatoes, lettuces, broccoli, kale, silverbeet, beetroots and zucchini’s as that is what we eat the most. I also have a herb garden near my kitchen door.