Smart-shopping, money-saving tips

•Make a shopping list before you go shopping and stick to it to avoid impulse buying.

•Take your calculator with you to help you stick to your budget.

•Never shop on an empty tummy. Going to the grocery store on an empty stomach will leave you more likely to buy on impulse.

•Plan a week’s menu in advance and buy accordingly so that you can take advantage of specials. Check out local newspapers for specials and save discount coupons for extra savings.

•Compare prices and quality when shopping. Remember that no-name brands and buying items in big sizes are not necessarily cheaper. Scan the supermarket shelves as the more expensive items are usually placed at eye level.

•Practice portion control and cook just enough for everyone. This will save your rands as well as help your waistline.

•Experiment with your cooking by using left-overs in other dishes.

•Pack your own lunch for work. You’ll not only eat healthier food, you’ll be less tempted to raid the vending machine later – a bad move for you both your wallet and waistline.

•Cut out convenience foods such as soda, cookies, processed foods and pre-packaged meals. They’re both expensive and fattening.

•If you can’t go without snacking, make your own pre-packed snacks by buying a large packet of raisins, nuts, dried fruit or pretzels and separating them into individual portions yourself. You can also snack on freshly-cut fruit and vegetables.

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