Cut the fat in food bill

Plan ahead so you do not bust your budget in your grocery shop.
Plan ahead so you do not bust your budget in your grocery shop. GeorgeRudy

GROCERY shopping is a necessary evil. But there are so many ways to cut the fat - and frugal living means you have more money in your pocket at the end of the week. Here are some grocery shopping tips.

ALWAYS SHOP WITH A LIST: Sit down and plan your weekly/fortnightly/monthly meals including school and work lunches - and work it all out.

An Excel spreadsheet or similar is perfect to set out all the ingredients you need.

By not using a list you risk missing an important component of the food shop, and it means more trips back to the store where you can be tempted to buy more than you need.

HAVE A BUDGET: Know how much you can spend on groceries and stick to that limit.

Having a book or using the internet so you know the prices of grocery items is time-consuming but can help you stick to that budget. If you overspend at the supermarket, get your cash out first and leave your card at home. Take a calculator - that way there is no possible way you can go over budget. Harsh, but it works.

BUY IN BULK: Only buy non-perishable items in bulk (unless you have the freezer room) especially items like toilet paper and toothpaste that have no expiry date. Store them in your linen cupboard when they are on sale and save.

Don't just buy items on sale for the sake of it - make sure they are what you need. No point buying something on sale if no one in the family will use it.

EAT LESS MEAT: It is easy to find ways to make your meat stretch that little bit further.

Bulk up with vegies in a pie or with pasta and sauce. Try eating a few vegetarian meals a week. Think outside the square and look at food from other cultures.

Adding lentils and grated vegetables to things like spaghetti sauce is a great way to bulk up food and hide veg from the kids.

BUY A SLOWCOOKER: It will be the best investment you have ever made. Generally you just cut up ingredients, throw them in the crock pot, leave them for eight hours and come back to a perfectly cooked meal.

Topics:  frugal jody allen shopping

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