I have mentioned before I am really frugal with my food shopping coin. We use to live off one income. Our food budget was $100 a week for 2 people! So this post shows you some tips on how to shop on a budget and still eat good food.
1. Shop the specials and know the best prices for each product, especially meat. for example, a good special for chicken thigh cutlets is $8.99 per kg, Breast is $11.99 per kg etc. I know all the lowest prices for all the cuts of meat I cook with. This helps me me make good buying decisions every week.
2. Pre shop and do your research. If you have a car, use it to shop at the 3 different supermarket chains. For example, you can see New World's and Countdown's mailer every week online so I pre shop based on what information I am able to to get from them.
3. Know what supermarkets are best for what products. We know Pak n Save is good for bulk, but bulk what? I know that I can get Aborio rice, Cous Cous at Pak & Save for cheap, They also carry the Pams Range. Pak n Save is not known for variety. If you want variety go to Countdown. Countdown is good for seafood and meat and sauces. Countdown's meat consistently delivers and is the best value, don't expect to find trendy cuts of meat there regularly though, go to New World for that. New World is good for its International isle, deli food and butchery. If you want a gourmet cut of meat or a wide variety, go to New World. New World has good meat specials too. You just have to look out for them. So you know, we do the bulk of our food shop at countdown as it has the best discounts across the board.
4. Only buy products that are discounted. Be strict with this. Its pretty simple- supermarkets carry so many ranges of product that there will always be one of something you are after on special.
5. Don't be afraid to buy reduced to clear produce- Reduced to clear meats can be frozen. 50-70% of our food in our freezer is reduced to clear. Know what times of the day and what days of the week to get the reduced to clear food as well as know where to find it in the supermarket. It is sooo valuable to know this information. Its one I will leave up to you to figure out though, as It could mean that I miss out on a Ingham Chilli lime butterflied chicken @ $6-$9 cause you bought it before me.... and I cant have that!
6. Get all the discount/loyalty cards for each supermarket. New World has one and Countdown has Onecard. Onecard is awesome, it is a points reward scheme- every 200 points you earn you get a $15 countdown voucher. They have one card bonus points as well which help boost your point count. They also record your buying habits and email you specials based on those. So I get emailed 3 times a week products on special that are relevant to what I have purchased in the past. Good for wine + meat specials.
7. The Farmers Market. Best for fish, veggies and speciality foods like cheese.
Below are some images of what I have bought this week. We actually only have spent $105 on food for the week. Below is everything we have bought on special.
Chicken Schnitzel. $6, 3 meals for me.
These Ingham chickens are usually $11.99 each, We got them for $8.99 reduced to clear. We bought 3. We have bought them before at $5.69 each - that week we bought 9 of them. If they are really cheap, we will buy them all. We have done it before and will do it again
Chicken boneless Thigh cutlets. The packs of 3 were anywhere between $3.90- $5.05 each. We bought 6 packs. That is 6 meals. These are great for curries, pasta's and stirfry's and they don't need to be de-boned.
Just so you know we don't buy everything on special or reduced to clear. I do have my organic cream top yogart that I now cant live without plus our Sour Dough obsession is a splurge for us.
During the week we cook just your standard food and the weekend is where I get creative. Its just impossible to be gourmet everyday. It would be too expensive! And the food we would be eating would be too rich!