Go easy on your wal­let

Sim­ple so­lu­tions will help ease the fi­nan­cial strain of shop­ping

Life & Style Weekend - - HOME - with Jody Allen Jody Allen is the founder of Stay At Home Mum: stay­ath­ome­mum.com.au

GRO­CERY bills are our big­gest ex­pense, and as much as we love to save our money – we do have to eat and live. Shop­pers are get­ting more savvy about what we are buy­ing, and how we are buy­ing it. We no longer just go into a shop and pay what­ever they are ask­ing.

This is a good thing for us, the con­sumers.

I’m show­ing you how to cut your gro­cery bill in half by go­ing through a few items you buy dur­ing your weekly gro­cery shop, and treat­ing it like money.

◗ BIS­CUITS: Buy the cheap bis­cuits – the generic su­per­mar­ket brands are of­ten as good as the known brands. Also look for the spe­cials. I per­son­ally love the ones at Aldi – they have a great range of bis­cuits and they are cheap cheap cheap. Bake bis­cuits in bulk and keep the dough in the freezer so you al­ways have fresh bis­cuits on hand.

◗ BREAD: Grab out your bread­maker. The pre-made bread mixes work out to be about $1.30 per loaf, are fresh and de­li­cious and you can make them only when needed.

Buy large bread mixes direct from your lo­cal bakery sup­plier and most su­per­mar­kets. When sealed well, your nor­mal loaf of bread could be as cheap as 30c. This is par­tic­u­larly good if you need to eat gluten-free bread, as it is no­to­ri­ously ex­pen­sive to buy at the shop.

◗ BUT­TER: Use less of it. Of­ten kids won’t even no­tice if you don’t put it on their lunches. I hate to say this but – use mar­garine in cook­ing. Mar­garine is cheap and a good but­ter sub­sti­tute for when money is tight. In win­ter, keep your but­ter on the counter in a con­tainer – that way it is eas­ier to spread and you use less. Don’t buy the ex­pen­sive but­ter, the cheap stuff is just as good in cook­ing. Whip your but­ter in the food pro­ces­sor for a few min­utes. It will dou­ble in size, and save you money.

◗ CE­REAL: Generic rice bub­bles taste no dif­fer­ent to the real thing. Go to Costco if you have one close to you, and buy the bulk packs of ce­real.

Only give your chil­dren a small amount of ce­real at a time in the morn­ings. If they are still hun­gry they can have more. This stops waste.

◗ CHAM­PAGNE: The good old cham­pers is lovely, but if you are on a bud­get here is a way to fake it that I dis­cov­ered on YouTube. Grab some white wine and run it through your Soda Stream – in­stant fake cham­pagne.

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