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Shopping on a shoestring 

With the potential ‘Janu-worry’ woes on our minds, we’ve compiled a quick list of simple ideas on how to stretch your budget, even with those few weeks of school holiday left.   

Prep, planning, perfect  

Planning your weekly meals is the best way to ensure you stick within your budget range and avoid the outcome of mindlessly adding groceries to your cart that you don’t need. Log the groceries that you need on a physical or mobile shopping list and tick through them as you go. This way, you won’t forget anything and can spend more money on other important things.  

Also read: How to meal-plan like a boss

Money on the table  

It’s easy to swipe and tap cards, but keeping tabs on money spent can be difficult. Because you don’t physically see the money going out of your account, you might not realise just how fast you’re spending it. Plan ahead to draw the cash you’ve budgeted for food and stick to the amount. Keep your slips once you’ve paid and make a note in a special receipt book of how much you have le to spend. This gives you a clear idea of what you have left.  

Mental maths  

Adding the grocery prices to your phone calculator as you shop will help you to make sure that you don’t lose track of how much you’ve placed in your cart. Make sure that you only buy what you planned for – sometimes it’s easy to be swayed by flash sales of ingredients that you’d never usually purchase.  

Bulk buy  

Buying in bulk is still the way to go for saving cash. If there are sales on fresher produce (like meat) then they can still be bought and frozen until needed. It may feel like a bit of a big financial ask in the moment, but doing this consistently helps in the long run because you’ll end up in shops less. Take a few extra seconds to compare prices of the same product – you may even save a few rands when opting for a no-name or less expensive brand.  

Go DIY  

Although it might seem tempting, try to cut back on buying pre-cut veggies and staples, as these are usually marked up. While it’s true that some extra time is needed for prepping whole butternut, beetroot or onions, you’ll benefit from having fresher produce to use as you need it. 

Words by: Sjaan Van Der Ploeg 
Photographs: Shuttershock 

Also read: Time-Saving And Budget-Friendly Family Meals

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