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How to save money on food

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  • Write a shopping list and make time to go to the shops each week
  • Commit to eating only what is in the fridge for a week at a time
  • Shop online
  • Try visiting growers markets or fresh food markets for fruit and vegetables
  • Buy bulk meat from butchers
  • Plan meals that provide leftovers for lunches
  • Bulk up meals with frozen vegetables and beans
  • Eat a soup before dinnerto reduce your appetite
  • Halve minced meat amounts in recipes by adding beans.

Especially on Shopping List...

For most people, the first half of the week is a great time to sit down with household members and plan what ingredients are required for a couple of different meals. This also eliminates the need for the supermarket drop-in, which can easily result in an extra $50 spent on impulse buys.
The second important area is preventing fresh produce going to waste. How many times have you had to discard rotten fruit and vegetables at the end of the week? Rather than buying too much food, commit to preparing just two or three large meals each week. Larger meals, such as stir-fries and mixed pastas, can be reheated for lunch or for a few nights' dinners, and larger serves mean that all the vegetables and meat you have purchased can be used. If you're super-organised, you can even prepare bulk meals one weekend and freeze them so you always have a meal to reheat when you don't have time to cook.
Surprisingly, it's often not our dietary staples that we waste money on, but impulse buys such as snacks, coffees and bars. If you consider that a large coffee with syrup can cost up to a dollar more than a regular coffee, or that a snack bar from home is half the price of one from a vending machine, it really is worth getting organised and having these products handy.
If you enjoy a treat, designate a day to have them and keep things simple (and cheaper) on other days.
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