Making a dollar last - Frugal tips for grocery shopping

Over the last year or two i have picked up some great tips for saving at the grocery store. So much so that i can feed me and my son for just $50 a week. No joke and yes that includes cleaning products and basically anything you can buy in Woolies. No i dont eat smoked salmon but i could if i wanted because thats how these tips work. You just find a way to make your own habbits work for you.

1. Shop the specials. Grocery stores in Australia release their catalogues at 5pm on monday night. You can start meal planning from then. This gives you plenty of time to get a list together before you hit the shop.

2. Check the cupboards. Once you have a list going check the cupboards and see what you can use up without buying additional ingredients.

3. Meal plan. This is a no brainier however i do it slightly different to most. I don't actually stick to the plan as such i use it more as a way of ensuring i have all the ingredients i need for the correct number of meals in the fortnight. So 14 dinners, lunches for me and breakfast for both of us.

4. Leftovers. My meal plan also allows for how many left overs i will have from cooking the meal. For example i know that 500g of mince to make spaghetti bolognaise will make enough for 5 meals. So i can freeze 3 for lunch another day.

5. Don't buy it just because its on special. This is a trap alot of people fall in. On a Wednesday morning when the Half price specials are launched people hurriedly add them all to their trolley and forget that actually you didn't even need half of it you are only buying it because its cheap. Make your list BEFORE you check the half price specials. If its on there or another brand is, then great grab a few to stock up. If not, pass it up. Which brings me to my next point.

6. Stock up. When something you regularly use is on sale for half price or better, grab several. Sales usually go in cycles, i find Vanish nappisan goes halfprice about once every 2 months so i make sure i buy enough to last me. If i know im down to my last tub, ill buy 2 more when they come on sale saving me ever running out and having to buy at full price.

7. Homebrand. The contents of the homebrand items is exactly the same as the other brands but they don't waste money on advertising or branding so their prices are cheaper. They are however not all created equal so swap one week and see if you like it. I for example dont like the cheapest homebrand peanutbutter which is only $2. But i do like another brand which is only slightly more expensive at $2.50 so i get that one over say Kraft which is about $4.

8. Cook simple meals. Not every meal needs to be complicated. Meat and three veg is a great dinner winner and very cheap. I can get a chicken kiev on special for $1 each and a bag of carrots for $1.20 with half a cup of frozen peas and corn ($2 a bag). Thats dinner for about $1.30 per serve.

9. One ingredient 6 ways. Go for meals that can be changed to match what ingredients you have on hand. Roast chicken is $8 ($5 if its near its useby), one will do me 3 meals, one roast, left over for chicken curry and some for pies then the bones i freeze to make chicken stock from.

10. Shop online. Yes you pay $5 for delivery but the money you save by not impulse buying in store, forgetting things, missing the cheapest brand is worth more. Also you can create your list online during the week so you know exactly how much it will cost at the end and adjust accordingly. 

And finally here are some of the best frugal meals i currently make.
  • Tuna bake 74c per serve (Tin of home brand tuna $2, bag of pasta $.99, jar of sauce $3 Serves 8)
  • Spag bol $1.48 per serve(500g mince $7, can of tomatoes 90c, herbs 10c, chicken stock free homemade, speghetti 90c Serves 6)
  • French toast dippers 41c per slice (loaf of bread $1, 4 eggs $2, dash of milk, optional maple syrup $4, soak bread in eggs and milk, fry until browned on both sides, chop into sticks and freeze until needed then pop in the toaster to eat)
  • Oodles of noodles $3.70 per serve, leave out the ham for $1.70 per serve (packet of fried noodles $2 for 10, egg 50c, ham $2, cheese $1. Cook noodles then fry with the egg cheese and diced ham. Serves 1 per noodle cake) 
  • Any of these with vegies, chicken kiev, frozen fish fillets, steak, roast chicken.
  • Stuffed potatoes (baked potato stuffed with cheese, ham, bbq sauce, broccoli cheese sauce, left over bolognaise, basically what ever you have on hand)

Powered by Blogger.