5 Ways to Save on Groceries Without Compromising Your Health
By Kaitlyn Black a.k.a @plant_based_powerlifter
Nov 20, 2018
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Plan ahead - meal plan, shopping lists and eat before you go!
You’ve heard it all before – make a shopping list and stick to it. However, in order to save as much as possible, you must arrive at the store with a plan. Write out your weekly meals in advance so that you ‘ll have enough food and limit food wastage.
Another good practice is to eat before you leave. Shopping when you are hungry can lead you to become distracted by your stomach and buy more food than you need – particularly low nutrient foods like chocolate and potato chips. These foods can be enjoyed now and then and planned for in small amounts but shopping is best done mindfully and with purpose.
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Opt for canned, frozen or dry produce
Not only are canned, frozen and dried foods cheaper than their fresh counterparts, they are also just as nutrient dense. Fruits and vegetables are typically processed at their peak ripeness and nutritional content and freezing, canning or drying stops decomposition of nutrients and increases the food’s shelf life. Prioritising frozen, canned and dried foods also reduces waste, helping you save more in the future.
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Familiarise yourself with food prices and choose varieties with the lowest unit price
In order to gauge an accurate budget for your groceries, take some time to learn the general prices of items you typically buy. Add them together as you go and if you find the cost is getting a little high, you can choose to leave items out or switch them for more affordable varieties. An easy way to get an idea of how much your groceries will be is to shop online using the Coles Click and Collect and Woolworths online shopping services. These show the unit prices for all products and often have more specials than in store. This also avoids spontaneous spending and prevents having to return items when you’re already at the register!
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Plan at least one meatless meal a week
Regardless of your ethics or the green in your thumbs, eating some meatless meals can benefit you. I’m not talking about fancy mock meats, I’m talking about hearty bean soups, bean burritos, tofu stir-fries, chickpea curries and more. Focusing on getting your protein from plant sources such as beans and legumes during some meals will help you save a considerable amount, with the added bonus of extra fibre and potassium in your diet.
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Shop seasonally and locally for produce
Shopping seasonally is one of the best things you can do to avoid over-spending on groceries. Foods that are in season and grown in Australia require fewer resources and will therefore be cheaper. Seasonal fruits and vegetables also tend to be tastier and more nutrient dense as they are more likely to have ripened on the vine and be at their peak when purchased.
Make sure to check newspapers for produce that is in season each month or check online seasonal produce guides.