Are you tired of seeing grocery prices going up every time you visit a supermarket ? So am I and it makes you wonder whether the prices will go back down again when petrol prices go down and transport / supply chain issues are resolved. Probably not.
We need to be prepared that these high prices might be here to stay. So you have two options. You can absorb the extra cost into your household budget, or change the way you shop. If you're like me you don't want to absorb the extra costs. The reality is, my budget can't fit in higher grocery costs, higher petrol prices and higher utility costs.
The grocery budget is the most flexible area of the household budget. You can pick and choose what to buy, the brand to buy and to a certain extent, how much you pay for each item.
Here are another 10 tips and tricks I use all the time to keep our grocery budget down to $100 a month for 2 adults and one cat.
* Expensive meals are no longer on our menu plan. Roast beef, legs of lamb, lamb chops, lamb kebabs and casseroles that require more than 400 grams of meat are a thing of the past.
* TVP is used to stretch beef mince in lasagne, spag bol, chop suey and pasta bakes. We don't notice a difference in taste or texture in these meals.
* Dinner leftovers are NOT eaten for lunch the next day unless it's too small to freeze for a single dinner serve. Cooked lunches ( leftovers ) are more expensive than a sandwich or bowl of homemade soup.
* All dinner leftovers are portioned out after we have finished eating. They go into takeaway containers then placed in the fridge. As soon as the food cools, the containers are labelled with the meal name, date and how many serves.
* We are not precious about leftover meals that come from the freezer. It's food, it tastes great, it certainly doesn't taste like the freezer and the consistency is the same or very close to a freshly made meal. It's all in the defrosting and reheating method. Defrost the food in the fridge overnight if possible then add a touch of water to the dish when reheating in the microwave. The water is important for stews, casseroles and pasta dishes and prevents drying out. We had previous friends tell us they didn't like leftovers or meals from the freezer. Little did they know that they sat down to a lunch of soup and sausage rolls from the freezer and the chicken in the sandwiches also came from the freezer. They loved the food and all five of them gobbled it up.
* I don't wander the supermarket aisles just to have a look while grocery shopping. I go down the soft drink aisle once a year at Christmas time to buy apple cider. I never go down fresh refrigerated meal aisle. Mostly I start shopping in aisle 7 which is the flour and sugar aisle.
* We grow most of the fruit and veg we eat. We don't have a big veggie garden but we make the most of the space we have. Some of our fruit trees are dwarf ones so they don't take up too much space. The veggies we grow are the ones we eat the most like potatoes, tomatoes, broccoli, beans, corn and silverbeet.
* I rarely look at junk mail from the supermarkets. There is too much rubbish food in the catalogues and it costs too much. Sure, there are 1/2 prices sales but you'll rarely see it on basic items like generic flour, sugar, milk, butter, cheese meat and fruit and veg. Junk mail is there to lure you in to the shops to buy things you don't need.
* We eat and buy seasonal. I don't look for strawberries in Winter and I don't look for citrus fruit in Summer. We also don't eat salads in Winter.
* I buy and use dried herbs. Fresh ones are far too dear and tend to wilt before using it all.
|Our version of freezer meals|
|Darren digging in our veggie garden.|