As we enter into November, especially whilst downgraded to Level 1, we’ll naturally be dining out more often, celebrating the end of another tough year. Time out of the house attending company year-ends, drinks with friends and school closure parties means far less money spent on stocking your own fridge – which can be a nice saving ahead of the festive season. In preparation for the annual gift-purchasing bonanza, here are 5 helpful tips for slashing your grocery expenditure each month:
- Track your expenditure
Ever taken the opportunity to track your grocery expenses each month? Prepare to be shocked! Popping into your local store to grab a couple items a few times a week adds up to a mammoth bill. Tracking starts with working through your bank statement and slips and taking note of where, when and what food you’re buying each month. It’ll become far more apparent where you’re able to cut down (and you’ll be surprised at how much you can save).
- Avoid wastage
We’re all guilty of over-purchasing, especially when it comes to fresh produce. That extra bag of spinach that you never got the chance to use and loose carrots that roll around in your fridge drawer don’t stay fresh for long. During a time when you’re not eating at home often, it might be worth considering a meal-kit subscription service like UCOOK, to avoid wastage, and ensure healthier home-cooked options. UCOOK meal kits are delivered to your home and contain fresh, locally sourced ingredients in the perfect portions, thereby eliminating food waste. Make sure your Monday and Tuesday nights are well organised as spontaneous evenings out usually occur in the latter part of the week. The meal kits are priced from approximately R90 per person per meal.
- Stock your freezer with frozen meals
Instead of splurging on expensive takeaway meals, stock your freezer with a couple of nutritious options that are easily heated. Being unprepared usually leads to expenditure that isn’t always necessary and you’ll thank yourself for taking care of dinner well in advance.
- Stick to seasonal produce and fruit and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables that are in season or abundantly available, are priced lower than those sourced from other parts of the world. For example, summer is berry season – unless you’re buying them frozen, avoid berries in winter when they might be imported from other markets (and therefore at a higher price). Fruits and vegetables are highly nutritious and a cheaper option when you’re trying to conserve funds. Search for recipes online like chickpea curry, vegetable biryani and other interesting vegetable dishes that are easier on the budget, but as filling, nutritious and delicious!
- Shop online
South Africans are in for a nasty surprise as fuel prices are expected to increase dramatically in November 2021. What better reason to scroll from the comfort of your own couch and select the items you need, and only those items? Opt for online shopping when working to a budget to avoid giving into the temptation of unnecessary items in-store and avoid the car trip there.