Northern Beaches Mums Group
Northern Beaches Mums Group

5 Tricks For Cutting Costs When It Comes To Your Shopping Basket

We have all been feeling the pain of inflation – when we fill up our cars, when we get our electricity bills – it seems that everywhere we turn at the moment the cost of living is getting higher and higher. The supermarket is not exempt from this either. We don’t want to compromise on our nutritional needs, but even lettuce is costing a bundle these days. Our humble groceries are costing us more and more – so how can we still get what we need without spending a fortune? 

  1. Buy fresh produce when they’re in season. Not only will they be cheaper, but they will actually be tastier and have loads more nutrients in them than those that have been imported. Importing fresh food usually involves either snap freezing (don’t be fooled – this is actually a great way to lock in those nutrients. It just usually costs you a lot more), or harvesting the produce before it is actually ready, which is why sometimes the taste is not as vivid as you might remember. Any parent with a toddler will absolutely agree that when they buy a punnet of blueberries in season, their little one will scoff the whole thing down faster than you can say ‘blueberry’. But buy the $9 punnet when it’s out of season, and quite often you will find that the blueberries get left behind as they just don’t taste as good. The other point to consider when buying out of season is that quite often the produce has to be sprayed with chemicals to allow it to survive the transportation. 
  2. Only buy in bulk when it is something you actually use/need. Sure, you might save yourself a small fortune on that deodorant, but if it’s not one that you use, or even like the smell of, then it’s a false saving because if it wasn’t on sale, you would have never bought it to go and sit in your cupboard, never to be used.
  3. Be aware of expiry dates!! Quite often fresh produce is marked down as it is getting close to it’s expiration date. The supermarkets are not allowed to sell items past their expiration date, and will often mark them down significantly to sell the product rather than just throw it out. Depending on the food, this can actually work to your advantage if it is something you are planning on either using or freezing straight away. But you have to be aware of this in the first place, otherwise that bargain on scotch fillet ends up being a total waste of money pretty quickly!
  4. Join a community shopping group. This can often allow you to harness the power of bulk buying without you having to worry about storing and using the items. Shopping co-ops are becoming more commonplace, and are an excellent way to save money. It is also a great way to support your local markets (the big supermarkets won’t really be interested if 10 of you want to buy a head of lettuce but your local farmer’s market will).
  5. Make smart choices when you buy. Choose items that are cost effective but that are not a compromise on quality or nutritional value. Everyone knows how important EFA (essential fatty acids) and Omega 3’s are for you. Chia seeds are a great source of these, but these can also be quite expensive. A great alternative are Aussie Sprouts sprouted seeds though. They are still fairly inexpensive (at around $2.20 per punnet), and are not only a great source of EFA and omega 3, but have loads of other nutrients such as lysine and other essential amino acids (which makes their protein content even higher), a great source of potassium and magnesium, Vitamin C and B Vitamins, and, as they are sprouted, are actually easier for your body to not only digest, but to get even more nutrition from them. They taste amazing, are easy to add to any salad, sandwich, or meal, or you can even just eat them straight out of the punnet. This makes being nutritious also very cost effective, which is really what we want when trying to watch our household budget.

Article by Madeline Calfas RN, Nat. Nutritionist and Aussie Sprouts expert
B.Nursing, B. Naturopathy, Adv. Dip Naturopathy, Adv. Dip Nutrition, Adv. Dip Herb. Med