Saving Money on your Shopping

Reporter: Marguerite McKinnon

From time to time, we've all been shocked by what we pay at the grocery checkout. Figures suggest 20 per cent of all household expenditure goes on putting food on the table and fill the pantry. So how can you reduce that amount? One magazine claims it can do it by $50 a time.

They have come up with 33 money saving tips which are listed below, this information comes from the May 2008 edition of the 'Healthy Food Guide'.

1. PLAN A WEEKLY MENU
2. SHOP WITH A LIST
3. USE SUPERMARKET FLYERS - Grab the discounts and save
4. SHOP AT ALDI - save 10%
5. STOCK YOUR PANTRY - keep a list of essential items (buy these on special)
6. CHOOSE AFFORDABLE RECIPES
7. SNACK SMART - buy treats in packets and create portions for school or work.
8. USE SPRAY ON OIL instead of bottle
9. DRINK HEALTHILY - alternate juice or soft drink with water.
10. GO ALCOHOL FREE - if you skip 2 glasses of wine each week you could save.
11. THINK BULK ON REGULAR PURCHASES - it's cheaper in bulk!
12. KEEP YOUR FRIDGE WORKING FOR YOU - store fruit and veges in bags in crisper and use old first!
13. USE YOUR FREEZER - put extra wine, lemon juice, stock, tomato pastes, in unused icecube containers or packs
14. MAKE THE MOST OF LEFTOVERS - use in stirfries the next night eg
15. FREEZE FRESH HERBS - tear off and freeze in icecubes with water. Not good for salads but great for cooking.
16. IMPROVE STORAGE TECHNIQUES - choose right size, too big lets in air, separate into plastic bags, upturn jars.
17. DATE IT - keep on top what's best, and mark date of produce to save throwing out good or missing food before use-by
18. REVIEW YOUR MENU - replace a meat meal per weak with an egg-based or pulse-based meal - frittatas, salads etc
19. INEXPENSIVE INGREDIENTS - use rice, pasta, potatoes, breads, noodles, seasonal produce and less protein(meat)
20. REVIEW YOUR RECIPES - use cheaper cuts of meat and use seasonal veges in each meal. eg diff chicken cuts
21. ADD LEGUMES - make soups or casseroles go further by adding a tin of chickpeas, kidney beans etc.
22. EXTEND MINCE - add cooked red lentils to meat dishes eg Bolognese = healthier and cheaper!
23. STAY IN SEASON - eg. out of season beans $7 compared to in-season beans $3
24. LEFTOVERS SOUP - at the end of each shopping week, chop up leftover veges and make soup, puree and freeze
25. EXTEND YOURSELF - add extras to leftovers and change the meal - potatoes, mixed veges or tin of beans
26. PASTRY PARCELS - you can make food into pies, or as a topping to food or dessert: tinned apples and cinnamon
27. SAVOURY PANCAKES - turn leftovers into savoury pancake filling! chicken casserole, pasta sauces, veges!
28. CRUMBLE IT - too much fruit? cut up, drizzle with honey and bake in a dish, cover oats/nuts - instant crumble YUM!
29. SHOP ONCE - stops you from impulse buying and saves extra cost later at the corner shop
30. SHOP ONLINE - again it takes away the impulse buying - once you reach your budget you can add or delete. Simple!
31. HAND-PICK YOUR PRODUCE - pick individual items as made-up trays can have nasty surprises. select ripeness too
32. BUY FRESH FOODS WEEKLY AND AVOID WASTE - you'll soon work out how much you eat per week. No waste.
33. USE DISCOUNT CARDS - sign up to store loyalty programs - eg Franklins and Bakers Delight.

BUDGET SAVERS WE LOVE (ACCORDING TO HEALTHY FOOD GUIDE)
Frozen Veges - as good for you as fresh and last longer
Tinned Apples - make a cheap desert with filo pastry
Green vege bags - keep veges fresher longer
Minced Garlic - cheap and simple way to have this healthy ingredient
Red Lentils - Add to soups and casseroles to stretch food longer
Multi Pack Plastic Containers - cook in bulk and save time and money
Grated Parmesan - you can freeze this and pull out when you need it - never goes mouldy
Freezer Bags - buy meat on special and freeze to use when you're ready
Cans of Beans - and fibre, stretch a meal
Bag of Rice - buy in bulk and save. Cook and freeze portions
Filo Pastry - turn leftovers into another meal by wrapping them
Olive Oil Spray - versatile and inexpensive and you'll use less oil
Tinned Tomatoes - bulk up a casserole or soup AND get another serve of veges
Pasta - cheap to buy, goes with almost any leftover and is filling.

http://www.healthyfoodguide.com.au/