A few simple tricks to help you buy nutritious food options for the week without burning a hole in your wallet.
A few simple tricks to help you buy nutritious food options for the week without burning a hole in your wallet. GeorgeRudy

Cut costs in food shopping

DO YOU know how much money you spend on groceries each week?

The price of food continues to rise each year - as does our weekly grocery bill.

Thankfully, there are a few simple tricks to help you buy nutritious food for the week without burning a hole in your wallet.

Preparation is key

THE most important thing while shopping on a budget is to be prepared.

Take the time to sit down and plan out your meals and snacks for the week, then develop a shopping list based on this. This avoids those impulse buys and ensures you've got the healthy food on hand all week.

Before you recycle that junk mail, why not have a quick flick through to see where the best specials are in town.

You could even try planning your meals or snacks around the weekly specials.

Don't forget to check the pantry before you go to avoid doubling up.

Purchase seasonal

HAVE you ever noticed that in summer you can get three mangoes for $3, but in winter it will cost you the same for just one?

That's because mangoes are in season during summer and therefore cheaper.

Buying food in season not only means improved taste, but it is cheaper and more environmentally friendly.

Cost per gram

WITH so many varieties of the same product on the shelf, it can be difficult to know which product to select.

In terms of shopping on a budget, you may like to use the cost per gram (or per kilogram) to select the most cost-effective product.

Take the time to check, even for items on sale - you may find that buying a larger pack is still cheaper than the smaller pack that's on sale.

Try meat-free

WHEN looking at the cost per kilogram of meat versus vegetables, meat will nearly always be more expensive.

So to cut your shopping bill down, try a meat-free meal one day a week.

Replacing meat products with plant protein sources such as beans and lentils can also help to bulk out your meals while keeping the cost low.

Never go shopping hungry

MOST of us are aware that our buying habits change dramatically when we are hungry. But it's not just hunger.

Studies have shown our buying habits can change when we're stressed, bored, angry or upset.

Your willpower may be reduced because of these stressors, which could mean that a packet of Tim Tams might just sneak into your trolley.

So set yourself some goals (and a budget) and start saving today.