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How to Save on Groceries

I purchased Jodie Allen’s book on saving money on groceries recently, The $50 Grocery Shop. I know she started the Stay at Home Mum Blog a number of years ago and has been a wild success. I belong to The Cheapskates Club, a membership club on how to save money. I am always keen to be frugal, but I have needed to develop the habit of saving something from every single pay. Managing a freelancing business, and paying for children’s food, education, healthcare and other entertainment can be expensive, so I am keen to follow an economical but nutritious eating plan.

I went grocery shopping this morning for a few things, and itemised what I needed before I went. As you can see, I went to the “expensive” local supermarket just here on the island, and bought generic things where I could. It came to about $40, and I have posted the receipt here.

This shopping list more or less comes out of Jodie Allen’s book, and already having had a few meals in the freezer, I have the ability to do some bulk cooking and some other things in order to make life a little easier with children.

My Significant Other, he put me onto Cheese Toasties, and he does his in the frypan with cheese and butter, and I have become somewhat fond of these. In the morning with pod coffee (one of life’s little luxuries); and after meditation, the day is set.

Frying up a cheese toastie Jason style =)

Tonight I will be making tuna patties out of mashed potato, and mixed frozen vegetables. I will serve these with coleslaw, and it will mean I have something to eat tomorrow while I go to class.

Here are some other tips I have found to make groceries go a little further, particularly with picky children.

  • Have single serve containers of pre-cooked meals ready to defrost in the microwave, also good when you are a single mother and need to eat after work or a long day, or not everyone wants to eat the same thing
  • Ensure you have a crate of bulk milk from Aldi or generic ones from Woolworths or Coles, milk is a complete protein food, so is good to have on standby, if you are devoid of everything else, drink milk * watch for lactose intolerance
  • Always have eggs on standby, they can make a meal, be put in a cake, fried for breakfast, made into an omelette, or a Japanese pancake (okonomyaki)
  • Have some basic appliances like a stand mixer, blender, stick blender, food processor and some other items like a slow cooker to make life a little easier
  • Ensure you have plenty of frozen dinner containers (I buy mine from Kmart and they are dishwasher and freezer and microwave proof)
  • For bulk fruit, peel it, stew it and turn it into really delicious strudels or pastries for something different
  • For citrus, juice it and freeze it
  • Turn overripe bananas into smoothies
  • Before your vegetables get really sad, put them into a soup, with some chicken thigh fillets and stock, then divvy up and freeze as easy meals
  • Snacks such as wafer biscuits and other things can be found on the lower shelves of the supermarket, also look for day-old bread and buns to eat, some second hand charity stores offer free bread
  • If necessary call the local charity to get a food hamper
  • I keep frozen vegetables on hand to ensure nutrition
  • I often have long life apple juice as a treat, as well as water, herbal tea, and coffee
  • Avoid sugar when you can, your immune system will vastly improve
  • Go to mutual friends houses for coffee rather than eating out at a cafe
  • Ensure you eat before you go grocery shopping
  • Put food away as soon as you come home to avoid food poisoning
  • Do once a month cooking
  • Have an idea of a menu so that you don’t have to think everything through all the time
  • Some tinned meats are acceptable for meals and casseroles
  • Turn leftovers into pet food
  • Encourage your children to help you cook and clean in the kitchen, it encourages them to be less fussy, and to also appreciate your effort more.