How sustainable eating can save you up to 14% on grocery bills

Adopting sustainable eating habits might save you money on groceries. File picture: Freepik

Adopting sustainable eating habits might save you money on groceries. File picture: Freepik

Published May 8, 2024


Sustainable eating isn't just beneficial for the earth; it could also save you a significant amount of money.

A 2021 study from the University of Oxford found that following a sustainable diet might cut your food expenses by up to 14%.

This can come in handy as the price of food has soared along with the cost of living, leaving many South Africans struggling to make ends meet.

Between March and April 2024, the average price of a household food basket increased by roughly R58. The average household has grocery bill has increased from R5,277 to R5,336.

This is according to data from the Pietermaritzburg Economic Justice and Dignity Group’s (PMBEJD) Household Affordability Index, which analyses food prices at 47 supermarkets and 32 butcheries in Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town, Pietermaritzburg, Mtubatuba, and Springbok.

Richard Smith-Bernal, the founder of Juice Smith, shared five reasons why adopting sustainable eating habits might save you money on groceries:

Reduced food waste

Sustainable eating practices prioritise reducing food waste, which can considerably reduce household budgets.

You may prevent wasting perfectly delicious food by planning your meals, using leftovers, and buying only what you need.

Decreased healthcare costs

Sustainable eating habits are frequently linked to better health outcomes, such as lower risk of chronic diseases like obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.

Maintaining a healthier lifestyle may allow you to save money on healthcare in the long run.

Seasonal and local sourcing

Buying locally produced, in-season produce can be less expensive than purchasing imported or out-of-season products.

This technique also benefits local economies while reducing the environmental impact of long-distance transportation.

Reduced reliance on processed foods

Sustainable eating focuses on whole, minimally processed meals, which can be less expensive than highly processed, convenience-oriented alternatives.

According to the findings, sustainable eating benefits both your budget and the environment.

Extended shelf life of whole foods

Whole foods, such as grains, beans, and nuts, typically have a longer shelf life than processed and packaged goods.

By including more of these mainstays in your diet, you can reduce the number of supermarket trips and the likelihood of food spoilage. This saves money and reduces the need for continuous restocking of perishable items