If you are a person on a tight budget, you might be looking for ways to save money on your grocery bill. Groceries are one of the biggest expenses for most households, but there are some tips and tricks that can help you reduce your spending and still enjoy delicious and nutritious meals. Here are some ideas to help you drop your grocery bill and feed your family well.
Tips to drop your grocery bill
- Shop according to the season. Buying fruits and vegetables that are in season is usually cheaper than buying imported or out-of-season produce. You can also look for local farmers’ markets or community gardens that offer fresh and affordable produce. Seasonal fruits and vegetables are also more flavourful and nutritious than those that have been stored or transported for long periods of time.
- Bulk buy non-perishable items. Buying in bulk can save you money on items that have a long shelf life, such as rice, pasta, beans, lentils, canned tomatoes, oil, spices, etc. You can stock up on these staples when they are on sale or at a lower price, and store them in a cool and dry place. Buying in bulk also reduces the amount of packaging waste and the number of trips to the store, which can save you time and petrol.
- Online shop. Online shopping can be a convenient and cost-effective way to buy groceries, especially if you have access to delivery services or online discounts. Online shopping can help you stick to your budget by allowing you to compare prices, avoid impulse buys, and plan your meals ahead of time. You can also use online tools or apps to track your spending, find coupons, or get cashback rewards.
- Research, research, research. Before you go to the store, do some research on the prices and specials of different items. You can use flyers, websites, or social media to find out where to get the best deals on the products you need. You can also make a shopping list based on your research and stick to it when you shop. This can help you avoid buying unnecessary or overpriced items that can inflate your grocery bill.
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Recipes for meals under R100
Here are some examples of meals that you can make for under R100 that are big enough to feed a family of three.
- Chicken gizzard stew with steamed gem squash. Chicken gizzards are an affordable and tasty source of protein that can be cooked into a hearty stew with onions, garlic, carrots, potatoes, stock, tomato paste, bay leaves, thyme, salt, pepper, and paprika. Serve the stew with steamed gem squash halves that have been scooped out and filled with butter and cheese. This meal costs about R80 and serves three people.
- Thai fried rice with prawns. Fried rice is a great way to use up leftover rice and any vegetables you have in your fridge. Heat some oil in a large skillet or wok and fry some chopped onion, garlic, ginger, carrot, cabbage, peas, and prawns until cooked. Add some cooked rice, soy sauce, fish sauce, sugar, lime juice, and scrambled eggs and toss everything together until well combined. Garnish with some chopped spring onions and peanuts. This meal costs about R90 and serves three people.
- Easy butternut soup with bread rolls. Soup is a comforting and filling meal that can be made with simple ingredients. Peel and chop a large butternut squash and boil it in some water with salt until soft. Drain the water and blend the squash with some cream, butter, nutmeg, salt, and pepper until smooth. Reheat the soup if needed and serve with some warm bread rolls spread with butter. This meal costs about R60 and serves three people.
- Spicy soya mince with samp and beans. Samp and beans are a staple South African dish that are rich in protein and fibre. Soak some samp and beans overnight in water, then cook them in fresh water with salt until tender. Drain the water and set aside. In another pot, heat some oil and fry some chopped onion, garlic, green pepper, carrot, celery, and soya mince until browned. Add some stock, tomato paste, curry powder, cumin, coriander, turmeric, salt,and pepper and simmer until the sauce is thickened. Serve the spicy soya mince with the samp and beans and some chopped parsley for garnish. This meal costs about R70 and serves three people.
- Portuguese Steak with Spicy Potatoes: For a special treat, you can make a Portuguese steak with spicy potatoes for under R100. You will need beef steak (about 150g per person), butter, garlic, wine or sherry vinegar (or lemon juice), parsley or coriander (optional), salt and pepper. Fry the steak in butter until done to your liking (about 4 minutes per side for medium-rare). Remove from the pan and keep warm. In the same pan, add more butter, garlic (crushed or sliced), wine or vinegar (or lemon juice), parsley or coriander (if using), salt and pepper. Simmer until slightly reduced (about 2 minutes). Pour over the steak and serve. For the spicy potatoes, you will need potatoes (about 2 per person), oil (preferably olive oil), paprika (smoked or sweet), salt and pepper. Cut the potatoes into wedges or cubes (you can peel them or leave the skin on). Toss them with oil (enough to coat them), paprika (about 1 teaspoon per potato), salt and pepper (to taste). Spread them on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake in a preheated oven at 200°C for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden and crisp.
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