Everyone wants more bang for their buck, but sometimes it's easier said than done especially with the rising cost of of essential items.
Groceries is one of the biggest household expenses and cutting back on your grocery budget may also mean cutting back on your nutrition.
Nestlé South Africa Nutrition, Health and Wellness Manager, Naazneen Sali-Ameen says there are clever ways to cut save on food costs without compromising on your nutrition,all it takes is careful planning and a bit o creativity.
Sali-Ameen says: "(while) food and non-alcoholic beverages are one of the largest household expenses (12.9%) of SA consumers... it is also one of the easiest expenses to downgrade.”
Here are 10 simple changes to help you eat smart on a budget.
Be creative and make a few meals out of the forgotten ingredients in your kitchen cupboard, fridge and freezer. A lot of great ingredients expire while additional items are purchased from the store. Use this opportunity to start fresh.
Preparation is key. Plan your weekly meals during the weekend so you know exactly what to buy and can limit waste. A balanced meal includes a portion of starch, protein and vegetables/fruit.
Keep these kitchen cupboard essentials handy to whip up a balanced meal when in a rush: wholegrain breakfast cereals, canned tuna (in salt water) or pilchards, whole-wheat pasta and canned tomatoes.
Go grocery shopping on a full stomach to avoid temptation and extra cost.
Cook in bulk and freeze portions – making it easy to reheat for a quick lunch or dinner. If you have meals readily available this will help limit impulsive and expensive trips to nearby fast-food stores.
Try to stick to lower GI carbohydrates such as seeded bread, pastas or sweet potatoes. These foods are cost effective and are packed with nutrients to help keep you feeling fuller for longer.
Shop around for meat and veg. Your local butcher or farmers markets may have cheaper and fresher fruit and vegetables.
Add vegetables and legumes (chickpeas, lentils, kidney beans or butter beans) to meat-based dishes to increase the fibre content, decrease cost and extend the number of servings.
Buy fresh fruit and vegetables when they are in season as they are generally less expensive and of better quality. Autumn fruits include: apples, avocados, grapes, grapefruit, lemons, naartjies, oranges, pawpaws, pear, pineapples, sweet melon and watermelon. Autumn vegetables include: baby marrows, beetroot, broad beans, broccoli, brussel sprouts, butter beans, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, cucumber, mushrooms, onion, parsley, peas, potatoes, pumpkin, radishes, sweet peppers and squash.
Lettuce goes off quicker than cabbage, so plan to have salads with meals on the days immediately following your shop and keep longer lasting veggies for later in the week.
“Managing grocery costs is easier once you know how. All it really takes is a bit of planning and creativity. Half the battle is won by planning your week’s meals in advance and having a well-stocked pantry and freezer with everything you need.”