Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


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.

“Eating 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

While 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 work.

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 your trolley.

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

Now 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

Next 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

Lastly, 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.

There are 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 against debt.

- Women24

Tags food budget

How to keep her interested

26 October 2016, 13:32

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
William Korir
ODM kicks 6 MPs out of Parliament...

ODM has kicked 6 rebel members out of house committees. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Karua now headed to Jubilee?

Is Martha Karua now headed to the Jubilee Coalition? Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Kenneth defends move to support U...

Peter Kenneth says that moving to support President Uhuru Kenyatta and the Jubilee Party is his democratic choice. Read more...

Submitted by
S Mbinya
How to keep her interested

It is not only men who lose interest in relationships. Read more...

Submitted by
S Mbinya
What to do after breakup

Your life does not end after breakup. Here are tips to move on: Read more...

Submitted by
S Mbinya
Rare gift for President Uhuru Ken...

Young Jubilee supporters have a rare surprise gift for the President. Read more...