• In today’s bustling world, saving money on groceries is a welcome feat for many households. With a bit of planning and savvy shopping, you can cut costs without compromising on the quality and variety of your meals.

    Here are 10 practical tips to help you save money on your next grocery run:

    1. Craft a meal plan

    Planning your meals for the week might seem like a small step, but it pays off in spades. Create a grocery list based on a few simple recipes, ensuring you avoid impulsive purchases that can inflate your bill. This not only helps reduce food waste but also encourages more home-cooked meals, steering you away from pricier takeout options.

    2. Optimize produce choices

    Embrace cost-effective alternatives for fresh produce by choosing frozen, canned, or dried options. These alternatives offer the same nutritional benefits while being gentler on your wallet. Swap out expensive fruits or veggies with more budget-friendly choices in your recipes and prioritise the use of delicate produce to prevent waste.

    3. Look for sales and discounts

    Keep an eye out for sales and discounts at your local grocery store to score on saving. Combine virtual coupons with your online orders, sign up for rewards programmes, and plan your meals around sale items to maximise savings. Prioritise what’s on sale and incorporate those items into your weekly meal plan.

    10 Ways to save money on your next grocery run

    4. Check unit prices

    Understand the concept of unit prices to make informed decisions about the size and brand of products you buy. Larger packages may seem pricier upfront, but they often offer better value per rand. Scrutinising unit prices help you choose products that align with your budget.

    5. Re-evaluate protein choices

    Protein-rich foods can be costly, but there are ways to trim expenses without sacrificing nutrition. Explore plant-based proteins like beans and tofu, opt for more affordable meat cuts, and consider buying in bulk when proteins are on sale. Stretch your meat further by blending it with veggies and grains in various dishes.

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    6. Decode expiration dates

    Understand that expiration dates are often about quality rather than safety. Minimise food waste by paying attention to “best if used by” dates and incorporating older products into your meals before they expire. This approach ensures you’re consuming food at its freshest without rigidly adhering to date labels.

    10 ways to save money on your next grocery run

    7. Shop your pantry and freezer

    Before hitting the store, take inventory of your pantry and freezer. Utilise what you already have to create meals, reducing the need for additional purchases. This not only saves money but also prevents food from going to waste.

    8. Bulk buying basics

    Consider buying staple items in bulk to take advantage of cost savings. Warehouse factory stores offer great deals, but if a membership isn’t feasible, opt for larger sizes at your regular store after comparing unit prices. This approach can be especially beneficial for items with a longer shelf life.

    Buying in bulk

    9. Explore different stores

    Break free from grocery store loyalty and explore different options based on sales and prices. Discount retailers like Makro and Shoprite often offer competitive prices, and even spaza shops can be surprising sources of affordable staples. A little flexibility in where you shop can lead to significant savings.

    10. Rethink convenience

    While convenience items can be tempting, assess whether the added cost is worth the time saved. Choose convenience wisely, considering alternatives like frozen vegetables that offer time savings without breaking the bank. Use these conveniences strategically to enhance your home-cooked meals and save money in the long run.

    With these 10 practical strategies, you can navigate your next grocery run with ease, enjoying delicious meals while keeping your budget intact.

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