Meal planning and other ways you can save on food during the lockdown

Photo: Getty Images/Gallo Images
Photo: Getty Images/Gallo Images

You’re not imagining it, your groceries have gotten a bit more expensive. The monthly or weekly grocery and essentials run has become more of a budget burner. This comes as no surprise as food prices are directly related to pretty much everything that happens within the global sphere.

Read more: Cancelling your gym membership and other ways to save money during lockdown

According to StatsSA, food prices have increased since April. This is despite the introduction of price controls on “basic food and consumer items” by government. Food is on everyone’s mind during this lockdown, whether its eating healthier, ensuring they have enough or the actual cost.

Here are 5 ways you can save money on food during the lockdown:

  1. Meal plan

It may sound like a chore, but meal planning and prepping for the week not only saves your money, but time too. It also helps avoid wasting food and allows you to see how much you’re actually eating. So, start by planning your meals for the next few days or week ahead.


  1. Keep food waste to a minimum

Most food can be wasted due it ripening or rotting faster than one can eat it. So, take time to learn how to properly store your produce, where and how and with which fruits and vegetables.

Another way could be to not let leftovers go to waste – have them for lunch instead.

 

  1. Opt for alternatives

There’s a common misconception that store brands do not measure up in terms of quality, but the tide has long-changed as store-branded products are now as good as name-brand products, and a whole lot cheaper.

Also try looking for budget-friendly recipes that you can try out or incorporate into your meal plan.

 

  1. Look for frozen fruits or vegetables

We’re headed towards winter and fresh produce isn’t always at its finest for consumption. Frozen fruit and vegetables are a good alternative and are in some cases more nutritious than fresh ones. A bonus: they are relatively affordable especially compared to the prices of fresh produce, plus you do not have to worry about them ripening too soon or going bad.

 

  1. Grow your own

You may be surprised to learn that there are many vegetables you can regrow from using small parts of the plant or their seeds. So why not save the scraps and start a small garden? Some of the common vegetables (and herbs) that you can regrow from scraps include potatoes, celery, onions and carrots.