Tips for a frugal pantry

Want to cut down on your food costs without compromising on nutrition? A few simple changes to your shopping habits can save you dollars at the checkout.

Want to cut down on your food costs without compromising on nutrition? A few simple changes to your shopping habits can save you dollars at the checkout.

Make a list
If you just head into the supermarket with a general idea of what you need you will end up buying too many chocolate biscuits and not enough toilet paper, and nobody wants that. Making a list will help you to take a look at where your money is going, and mean you don’t forget anything (which will help you save on petrol by cutting out the return trip).

Check it twice
Checking the list with your family will help you get input. If you’re buying four different kinds of crackers to cater for delicate palates, you may be able to cut costs by getting everyone to decide on just one type together.

So fresh it’s still growing
Shop at your local farmer’s market. The fruit and vegetables will be cheaper, fresher and tastier, and the money goes straight to farmers, instead of into massive corporations (such as supermarkets).

Bulk is better
Bulk supermarkets such as Costco charge you a yearly membership to shop with them, but buying in bulk will save you so much money you’ll cover the membership cost in your first big shopping trip. If you have the space it might be worth buying a big freezer and just doing a couple of big shops each year.

Freeze in portions
Storing your frozen foods in meal-sized portions will help you not to waste food. It will also make reheating and cooking easier, and the defrosting time will be greatly reduced.

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    COMMENTS

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    Hoss
    11th Nov 2011
    9:38pm
    I have not tried it with lettuce but it does work with spring onions. Buy a couple of bunches, scrape out a little 15cm. trench in a garden bed and place the spring onions upright in the ground and cover them up to about 10cm. You will always have fresh spring onions when you want them. They will even keep growing but make sure there are roots on them when purchasing. John
    Didee
    14th Nov 2011
    1:13pm
    I must try your spring onion trick. I did the same thing with a couple of leeks. Cut off the bottom with roots and planted. They have struck and reaching for the sky now.

    I keep an old garden umbrella close to my vege patch and shade the delicate cos lettuce in the late afternoon if its a hot day. A sprinkle of water in the morning and they are beautiful and fresh to pick for lunch.

    Mimi
    chub
    16th Nov 2011
    2:14pm
    I have bought a 6 tub of lettuce plants, (share with a friend or use yourself) plant in a good sized container, pick a few leaves as you want them. Mine went right through the winter in a sheltered spot.....and always so fresh!! Chub


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