10 ways to slash your food bill
22 May 2013, 09:23
Boost your health – and your pocket – by eating frugally.
Frugal living is a fast-spreading trend that is gaining popularity
across the globe. But despite this, our saving’s rate continues to
disappoint while our debt dependency rises. To help you tackle your own
budget and live a more frugal lifestyle, we encourage South Africans to
be creative with how they spend their cash – and save.
is one of those things that is non-negotiable. Yet, many of us opt for
convenience food that is packaged like a Christmas present and requires
just a few minutes in the microwave. Not only is this fast-food culture
leading to widespread health issues, it is also packing on the financial
pounds,” says Charl Nel from Capitec Bank.
Together with frugal blogger Ray-Anne Cahill, Charl shares 10 quick ways to cut down on your food bills – and increase your health at the time.
1. Make it instead of buying it
it’s one of the oldest tips in the book, this one is still relevant.
Buying lunch from a city cafe or convenience store today can cost you a ridiculous amount daily, whilst you could
make the same thing for less.
Consider a salad; quick cheese and tomato sandwich with a spread or a wrap filled with chicken.
And make it the night before when you’re cooking dinner. This way,
you’re less likely to run out of time to make it before heading off to
2. Grow your own
So, whether you have a garden or a balcony, plant a range of fresh herbs and or a few veggies; spring onions; spinach and kale.
Not only will you have fresh veg on hand throughout the year you will
save on all that plastic that they get wrapped in at the shops.
3. Work out a meal plan for your family
Just like a budget helps you control your spending; a weekly meal-plan
can help you buy less. So instead of hitting the shops on a hungry
stomach with no game plan; have a list of ingredients at the ready. This
will limit the temptation to throw whatever tickles your fancy into
For more creative tips on how to plan your
family’s meals in advance and how to plan portion sizes for each
individual member of your family, visit Ray-Anne’s blog.
4. Go ‘meat-free Mondays’
Other than the obvious environmental benefits, going meat-free one day a week will help you save some cash. And while vegetarian meals
may be your idea of side-dishes, you can whip up a meal that beats meat
and two veg any day by reading up on this great site: www.food24.com.
5. Turn leftovers into delicious fresh dishes
Be smart and use whatever is left over
in your fridge or cupboards before you head out to restock again. This
will reduce your waste and cut back on doubling-up on the shopping.
6. Take advantage of the restaurant specials
is the perfect time to visit your favourite eatery, without the price
tag! Check out your local papers, run a quick Google for discount
dinners or keep track of offers and you could be enjoying a three-course with a glass of wine for the price of a starter. Smart indeed.
7. Shop for local, seasonal foods
Importing veggies from Brazil or Kathmandu is so last year. Instead, buy veggies and other food stuffs from your local producers. This not only costs less but also supports local farmers so it’s a win-win for all.
8. Hold a pot-luck dinner party
time you invite friends around for dinner, why not ask eat your guests
to bring something for the table? Called pot-luck dinners in the US. Extend this idea to your dinner parties and you’ve saved plenty. What’s more, your guests will more than likely reciprocate so your social calendar gets a boost too.
9. Use less expensive cuts of meat
Instead of buying premium meats for stews and casseroles,
consider buying the less pricey cuts. They’re just as delicious but a
fraction of the cost. If you’re unsure of what to look for, ask your
local butcher to help you.
10. Try a ‘No Shopping Day’ every week
if you are one of those people who stop off at the garage for bread and
milk every day, but return home with a trolley full, try a ‘No Shopping
Day’. Sure, you’ll need to use what’s in your cupboards, but you’ll
save yourself a few extra coins by being vigilant.
many ways to save money, without having to make too many drastic changes
to your lifestyle. It just takes a bit of planning and the breaking of a
lifelong habit like buying your lunch everyday to save
money. Given the pressure we’re all under due to rising electricity and
food prices, being frugal in small ways can go a long way to help buffer