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Are rising fuel costs eating away at the food budget?

02 June 2022 - 08:13
Become a more savvy shopper with these 10 hacks.
Become a more savvy shopper with these 10 hacks.
Image: 123RF/deryabinka

Here are 10 hacks that can help make you a more savvy shopper — and save on petrol.

• Make use of supermarket online delivery services: Download the apps — the three main players in the market are Checkers Sixty 60, Pick n Pay asap! and Woolworths Dash. The standard charge for delivery from all three supermarkets is R35. It will save you time, is less hassle and probably cheaper than the petrol used to drive to the supermarket.

Be a savvy shopper and stock up on VAT-zero items: The list of items includes: fresh and frozen fruit and veg, mealie meal, rice, brown bread, eggs, cooking oil, milk, dried beans and lentils.

Stock up on staples you can store before price increases are implemented: items such as long-life milk, canned foods; dry goods like mealie meal, rice, flour and sugar; dried herbs and spices; canned tuna and pilchards; condiments, oil, grains and pulses, tea and coffee. To keep ultimate freshness store dry goods including flour, grains, pulses, even ground coffee and coffee beans, in the freezer. And remember to check on the sell-by dates before buying large quantities.

Fresh and seasonal is the best buy: Fresh fruit and vegetables are more affordable and far healthier than ready-made items. Buy loads of winter veggies — think butternut, sweet potatoes, potatoes, gem squash, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, beetroot and baby marrows. Look out for the vegetable specials in the supermarkets, especially around month-end, when you can buy a bag of four different vegetables at a bargain price.

Plant-based meals are growing in trend: because they are healthier and kinder on the environment. A way to start is to aim to enjoy one meatless meal a week.

Never shop hungry: It’s a mantra we’ve all heard before, but one can be tempted to buy unnecessary items.

Get to know your favourite supermarket: This makes for getting the job done quickly and familiarity means you get to buy just what you need and can avoid the tempting aisles.

Get organised: Popping into convenience stores for everyday items can be way more expensive than shopping in a supermarket.

Check out special offers before buying: Compare the weights and size of products on offer. Do the sums before buying more than one item as it's not always necessarily  cheaper and check the sell-by dates on products before buying. 

Cooking several meals that can be frozen is a great time and money saver. Or make up large quantities of a base for many different meals such as savoury mince, homemade tomato and onion sauce or a meatless dish like melanzane — layers of aubergine, tomato and cheese which freezes really well. A good way to use up fresh produce just past its best is to make sauces, soups, stews and casseroles which can easily be frozen.

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