Be­ware the bulk buy

NT News - Real Estate - - Realestate Market Place - AN­THONY KEANE

THE price of some gro­ceries has fallen but money can still be wasted when shop­ping for home-cooked meals.

A lack of un­der­stand­ing about bulk buy­ing and unit pric­ing can be costly, while the mod­ern trend of prep­ping a pile of meals in ad­vance can also have draw­backs. Lat­est Aus­tralian Bureau of Statis­tics data shows the cost of take­away food and eat­ing out has jumped more than 10 per cent in the past five years, but sev­eral pop­u­lar gro­cery items – in­clud­ing bread, poul­try, eggs and milk – cost less.

Trol­ley Saver founder Sam Lee said peo­ple shouldn’t bulk buy some­thing for a dis­count if they were not likely to use it all.

“When un­used prod­ucts are thrown away, so are the sav­ings,” he said.

Mr Lee said sur­veys of Trol­ley Saver app users found that al­most half of shop­pers had thrown away pre­pared meals.

“The main rea­son is that eat­ing the same pre­pared meal lacks va­ri­ety and they still end up or­der­ing take­away,” he said.

“An­other rea­son is some in­gre­di­ents in pre­pared meals will spoil quicker af­ter be­ing cooked than if the in­gre­di­ent was stored in the pantry and cooked at a later date.”

Queens­land Con­sumers As­so­ci­a­tion spokesman Ian Jar­ratt said unit pric­ing – how much a prod­uct costs per 100g or 100ml – was the key to spot­ting sav­ings. He said the price dif­fer­ences be­tween pack­age sizes for the same do at the mo­ment,” Mr Jar­ratt said. “But big­ger is not al­ways the best value.”

Mr Lee said peo­ple could help stop stored food from be­com­ing an ex­pen­sive waste by freez­ing prepped meals, buy­ing good qual­ity pro­duce that lasts longer, and buy­ing re­frig­er­ated items at the end of their shop­ping trip, to min­imise their time at room tem­per­a­ture.

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