She said keeping a selection of staples on hand makes putting an affordable meal together more convenient and saves the need for convenience-store dashes.
“Think mealie meal, flour, canned beans and pulses, canned tomatoes, rice, polenta and tinned fish. I often make double mince for a dish and then freeze half of it. A good way of bulking up mince dishes is to add lentils,” Biller said.
“Eggs are one of the cheapest proteins and can be used in myriad dishes beyond breakfast. The price of cooking oil is rocketing and with the international conflict, it’s going to keep going up. Reduce the amount of oil. Often we use way too much. Try cooking onion and garlic in a little water before adding other ingredients. When pan-frying foods, before adding oil, fry the food, like chicken, in its own fat. And check the price of oil before buying. I’ve noticed canola oil is cheaper than sunflower oil. Consider using coconut oil. It’s cheaper and solid, so you can scoop out the exact amount you need.
“Up your intake of seasonal vegetables and fruit. Cut back on protein and load up with a selection of colourful veggies.”
5. Should I rent or own?
The cost of a home is another area where huge savings can be made. Consider reorganising living arrangements, such as moving in with parents or having parents move in with you. Savings can be made and costs shared.
Grant Smee, MD of Only Realty Property Group, said another consideration is renting rather than owning.
“If you own a town house, you have your bond costs, insurance, maintenance, levy, rates and taxes to consider. If you rent a similar unit in the same complex, you will pay a lot less for the same thing,” he said.
“The adage is to buy where you wouldn’t want to live and rent where you do,” he said.
“For example, in Cape Town you can buy a place in Kuils River, where the rental yield is fantastic. Then you can rent a R4m spot in a lifestyle estate for about R25,000 a month.”
Another consideration, according to Smee, is to rent in a multi-use space, where extras such as a gym, Wi-Fi, pool, club house and other shared facilities are included in the lease deal.