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save money at the supermarket

Saving money on groceries is easy if you put your blinkers on. Simply, there are certain aisles and foods you should avoid. Being strategic about food choices will soon become a habit if you follow these few easy steps.
For the purpose of saving money at the supermarket, the food types to avoid are easy to recognise. They usually involve packaging!

Here are some quick tips for saving money on groceries

Ways not to save money:

Don’t do this:

  • Buy anything that is over-packaged
  • Avoid the middle aisles of the supermarket where food is generally processed
  • Avoid buying junk food. Don’t buy chips, lollies, cakes and biscuits
  • Avoid canned and processed foods that contain high levels of sugar and preservatives

Here are two better ways to shop and save:

Do this:

  • Shop around the edges of a supermarket where the food tends to be fresher
  • Buy food that is in its natural jacket. E.g Buy an apple. Don’t buy apple in a can

If you avoid the types of food items mentioned above and use these practical money saving tips you will certainly save at the supermarket. Venturing down the middle aisles and buying processed foods will leave you feeling heavy with regret at the checkout when you receive the bill.
Keep it simple at the supermarket and keep practising these money-saving shopping strategies. Over time you will become a very smart shopper!
 

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Freezer cooking, or the concept of cooking freezer meals in bulk (sometimes referred to as once-a-month-cooking), is a timeworn tradition passed down by generations. It provides sanity for frugal foodies across the globe!

Why cook in bulk & get good at freezer cooking

The idea of cooking in bulk is that you stand in your kitchen for a day once a month or half a day once a week.
Whipping up meals in bulk saves slaving away each chopping onions and washing pots and pans. Instead you can spend the time with family and helping the kids write their homework stories completed. You can get Missy into the bath earlier and plan to sit on the couch earlier watching your favourite TV show.
Ideally take an entire day once a month and cook enough up Tupperware containers of Spag Bol, Beef Stew, Lasagna, Chicken Carbonara and Beef Stroganoff to last the month. Label the meals and stack them neatly in the freezer to induce a warm and fuzzy feeling of organisation, happiness and sanity!

Resources for cook-ahead dinners

There are plenty of websites and resources related to cooking in bulk. And I’d be silly not to plug my own book Table Tucker! My book takes the bulk cooking concept further by helping readers to cook in bulk three nights each week. The concept involves cooking two meals at once and delivers grocery lists for the entire year. You can use the book to cook for the month by purchasing the grocery lists for the entire month. All the meals called Combo Meals are suitable for bulk cooking.
Cooking in bulk is extremely effective in helping busy people feel a greater sense of clarity, sanity and happiness. If you can picture coming home to beautiful meal sitting labeled in the freezer every night, then you are on the road to achieving this goal. People cook in bulk because it greatly reduces stress during a busy week of fighting traffic and long work hours. Since I’m not a fan of stress I cook freezer meals regularly. Usually my Sunday cook-ups are enough to keep our freezer well stocked but if time permits, I’ll be moving to once-a-month-cooking soon!

Save money by cooking in bulk

The other purpose of  cooking freezer meals is to save money by buying ingredients in bulk. Time is also saved at the supermarket, as is the petrol getting there. If you get milk, bread, fresh vegetables, dairy products and toiletries delivered to your home via sites like Aussie Farmers Direct you can avoid shopping weekly altogether!
Finally – freezer meals are a healthier option. Cooking meals from scratch  because meals avoids purchasing convenience supermarket meals. You will also know what goes into every dish. You won’t have to read labels to figure out what you are actually eating.
Whether you are a lover of Apricot chicken, a good Bacon and Egg Pie or a Bacon and Mushroom Penne, you will find many great ideas using this cheat sheet.
Use it in conjunction with my Supermarket Chicken, Beef Mince and Sausages tips and you’ll be ready for some quick bulk-cooking adventures!


130+ easy cook-ahead dinners

  1. Apricot chicken
  2. Bacon and egg pie
  3. Bacon and leek soup
  4. Bacon and mushroom pasta
  5. Bacon and mushroom penne
  6. Bacon fritters
  7. Baked fish
  8. Baked honey ginger chicken
  9. Bean and barley soup
  10. Beef and cheese pie
  11. Beef and mushroom pie
  12. Beef and veggie pie
  13. Beef calzone
  14. Beef cannelloni
  15. Beef chow mein
  16. Beef crepes
  17. Beef crumble
  18. Beef curries
  19. Beef curry
  20. Beef in black bean sauce
  21. Beef lasagne
  22. Beef pasta bakes
  23. Beef pasties
  24. Beef patties
  25. Beef stews
  26. Beef stir-fries
  27. Beef stroganoff
  28. Beef wellington
  29. Butter chicken curry
  30. Chicken and BBQ pizza
  31. Chicken and corn soup
  32. Chicken mushroom casserole
  33. Chicken mushroom pasta
  34. Chicken tomato casserole
  35. Chicken vegetable casserole
  36. Chicken vegetable pie
  37. Chicken vegetable soup
  38. Chicken cacciatore
  39. Chicken chow mein
  40. Chicken curry soup
  41. Chicken fettuccine
  42. Chicken filo’s
  43. Chicken lasagne
  44. Chicken loaf
  45. Chicken parmigiana
  46. Chicken pie
  47. Chicken risotto
  48. Chicken soup
  49. Chicken spinach risotto
  50. Chicken stews
  51. Chicken strudel
  52. Chilli con carne
  53. Coq au vin
  54. Corn chowder
  55. Cornish pasties
  56. Cottage pie
  57. Creamy onion soup
  58. Creamy sausage pasta
  59. Curried sausages
  60. Devilled sausages
  61. Egg, bacon and potato bake
  62. Fish cakes
  63. Fish fingers
  64. Fish nuggets
  65. Fish pie
  66. Fish stew
  67. Hamburger patties
  68. Honey mustard casserole
  69. Lamb curry
  70. Lamb cutlets
  71. Lamb filo’s
  72. Lamb hot pot
  73. Lamb stew
  74. Lamb veggie casserole
  75. Lasagne
  76. Meat lover’s pizza
  77. Meat sauce variations
  78. Meatballs
  79. Meatloaf
  80. Mexican chicken
  81. Mince and cheese pie
  82. Mince filo recipes
  83. Minestrone soup
  84. Moussaka
  85. Mushroom soup
  86. Osso bucco
  87. Pea and ham soup
  88. Pork stew
  89. Pork stir-fry
  90. Potato and leek soup
  91. Potato chowder
  92. Pumpkin ravioli
  93. Pumpkin soup
  94. Quiche Lorraine
  95. Ratatouille
  96. Rissoles
  97. Roast beef dinner
  98. Rogan josh
  99. Salmon and dill linguine
  100. Samosas
  101. Satay beef on rice
  102. Satay chicken
  103. Sausage and veggie pasta
  104. Sausage cannelloni
  105. Sausage rolls
  106. Sausage tomato bake
  107. Sausage, egg and veggie slice
  108. Seafood pizza
  109. Spaghetti bolognese
  110. Spinach and ricotta cannelloni
  111. Spinach and ricotta ravioli
  112. Spring rolls
  113. Steak and cheese pie
  114. Sun-dried tomato chicken pasta
  115. Sweet and sour pork
  116. Taco beef
  117. Thai green chicken curry
  118. Thai red chicken curry
  119. Tomato soup
  120. Tuna Mornay
  121. Tuna pasta bake
  122. Tuscan casserole
  123. Veal casserole
  124. Veal cordon bleu
  125. Veal ragout
  126. Vegetable casserole
  127. Vegetable lasagne
  128. Vegetable soups
  129. Vegetarian filo’s
  130. Vegetarian pizza
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Food delivery is one way to save on groceries this Christmas. Firstly, buying groceries from the comfort of a couch through a food delivery service like Coles Online is relaxing. What is more relaxing and enjoyable is sorting items by price and then discovering that you’ve saved over $100 because you didn’t get sucked in to all that marketing in-store.
But just because you are into saving hundreds of dollars, this doesn’t mean you have to look and act like a Scrooge this Christmas. You can still sing Christmas carols and gorge on Christmas pudding, even if you are cutting back considerably on your grocery spend by using tactics like shopping online and food delivery.
You can save hundreds of dollars at Christmas this year and do it all with a happy-Elf smile on your face.

Food delivery is a sneaky trick indeed

There are plenty of sneaky tricks for stocking your fridge with cheese delicacies, custards, creams, trifles and truffles. But it is possible to do this on the cheap and without the typical stress associated with Christmas grocery shopping.
Just like Santa puts his brakes on to stop on a roof, make sure, when shopping at Christmas, that you exercise the same caution with your sack full of cash!
Actually, consider this:
Would you take an entire Santa sack of cash to the mall or would you prefer to dip into the sack of cash and just spend a handful of the money? Keep this visual in mind. Because your bank account is a whole sack of cash! Here’s a tip: Withdraw a certain amount and just take that. Set a budget.
Nifty little tricks for saving on groceries at Christmas include thinking ahead and getting jobs done before the madness starts.
If you are not organised at Christmas you will:

  • Not organise cheap alcohol online for the holiday period because the night you would have done that, there was a school Xmas concerts to clap at followed by a work party.
  • You won’t remember to check the bargain bins at supermarket because you were too stressed thinking about which present to buy whom, for how much and where. That’s because you didn’t write a list and execute it in November.
  • You might grab a bunch of chef-endorsed Christmas recipe cards in a mad attack of Xmas panic, which include too-expensive ingredients.

Here’s my cheat sheet on how to save money on Christmas shopping this year. It includes 45 hot tips on how to save money on grocery shopping this Christmas.
Here are some other sneaky tricks like food delivery


45 ways to save on groceries this Xmas

Alcohol

Purchase alcohol ahead of time and in bulk from discount retailers.

Bargain bins

Check out the bargain bins in supermarkets at Christmas for further savings.

Bulk discounts

Shop for food at bulk discount stores like Aldi and shop strategically with a list.

Chef endorsed

Beware supermarket recipe cards. Prices for ingredients may be inflated.

Chocolate pudding

Make a chocolate instead of plum pudding to reduce costs. The kids will love you.

Christmas club

Earlier in the year join a Christmas club for delivery of a grocery hamper at Christmas.

Christmas co-op

Create a Christmas food co-op through Meetups.com. Buy ingredients in bulk and swap.

Christmas Eve

Get huge discounts by buying food on Christmas Eve.

Christmas menu

Checkout my Easy Christmas Menu in Printables. 

Compare food delivery services online

Comparison shop

Try http://grocery.bestpricedirectory.com.au.

Cut and clip it

Read the paper for food deals and coupons around Christmas time.

Eat alternatives

Be happy to eat alternative but still delicious food. E.g. Chicken with cranberry sauce!

Eat first

Never do Christmas grocery shopping when hungry. You will buy unnecessary food.

Eat out

Eat at a restaurant on Christmas day. It can be cheaper and is less stressful.

Fishmonger

If you have a great fishmonger in your area, share their details here.

Frozen seafood

Buy frozen seafood or buy seafood on Christmas Eve.

Frozen turkey

If you buy a turkey buy a frozen one and only buy the size you need.

Generic platter

Don’t buy fancy packets. No one can tell it is a generic brand on a nice platter.

Give them veggies

Use veggies to fill up platters. They look stylish and are cheap and healthy.

Go crackers

Rice crackers and other nibbles bought at bulk grocery stores is much cheaper.

Go the BBQ

Have a BBQ at Christmas. BBQs are cheaper, simple and fun!

Good party trick

Hide generic packaging before your party guests arrive. They will never know!

Keep it simple

Do not buy more than you need. Make sure you can eat the leftovers.

Make dip

Buy the ingredients on a dip packet.  Make cheap dip from scratch and get double the dip!

Make sweets

Make your own Christmas cake, pudding and mince pies. This is cheap and fun.

Meat for platters

Deli meats are expensive. Buy these meats in bulk and slice them up yourself.

Meat wholesalers

Source local wholesalers. They often advertise in local papers. Save up to 50 percent.

Nibbles platters

Arrange your own nibbles platters. Do not buy supermarket platters.

Nice lunches

Plan lunches with leftovers you know you will have.

Nice tradition

Make your own food. It is much cheaper and a nicer tradition.

Party food

Costco offer a great selection of bulk-buy party foods and bulk-buy gourmet cheeses.

Pavlova

Make your own Pavlova and save.

Plan leftovers

Check out our 50 simple ways to use up leftover Christmas ham in Turbo Tips.

Plan menus

Plan your entire Christmas menu before shopping. Check out my Easy Christmas Menu.

Pot luck Christmas

If you are hosting Christmas organise a potluck Christmas. You can split the costs.

Read junk mail

Read junk mail and clip the coupons. But be aware. Do not buy ‘just because.’

Service person

Ask at the service desk about any discounts on offer to special customers like you.

Set a budget

Set a budget for Christmas day food. E.g. $200. Stick to it.

Shop alone

Go shopping alone without children, friends or family members. Make clearer decisions.

Shop online

Buy your list online and sort by price. Save time and money.

Simple food

Commit to a simple Christmas. Don’t buy food just because it is tradition.

Turkey pieces

Buy frozen turkey pieces instead of the whole bird.

Use-by specials

If you buy on Christmas Eve you can take advantage of use-by specials.

Wholesale Turkey

Look for a wholesale poulterer in your area to buy your Turkey.

Wholesale wine

Check out our 65+ awesome ways to save on alcohol quick list for saving on drinks.

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Looking for hot cooking tips, which will put extra $20 notes in your wallet and give you time to read a novel or take up an evening belly-dancing class?
Whether you love a perfectly sliced piece of cheese or a fat hit of fish and chips on a Friday night, these tips will curl your lips faster than any fast-cooking French Fry.
In my house, no-one has noticed the lentils in the Spag Bol. In fact, my ‘bulked-up’ version of this delicious tradition has only received grunts of approval, as my hubby and little ones wipe the grease from their lips and crunch into their garlic bread.
Don’t burn hard-earned cash on the stovetop. Add these secret money-saving cooking tips to your collection and make room for more savings!

Cooking tips | Love your freezer

Cheese slicer

Invest in a cheese slicer. Kids will think your cheese slices are the real deal! Plus you will save big dollars by not buying processed cheese slices.

Chest freezer

Invest in a chest freezer. Buy meat in bulk from discount suppliers, cook in bulk and also avoid random trips to the shops where you are open to purchasing smaller and more expensive cuts of meat in a hurry.

Slow cookers

Slow cookers are a must-have for saving time and money in the kitchen. Cook several bulk slow cooked meals each week, add leftovers meals to your freezer, and use extra portions for lunches. These also allow you to buy lower quality meat which you can produce great tasting and tender meals with.

Bulk-buy cling wrap

Purchase cling wrap in bulk. Buy the biggest cling wrap you can find. Now place it on the bench in front of the bread board for easy use throughout the week.

Cooking tips | Bulk is beautiful

Bulk it up

Try bulking up a casserole with a can of chickpeas, lentils or barley. Housemates, partners and children really do not notice!

Bulk a meal up with carbs

You can stretch out stews and meat dishes further by adding potato and rice to the meal.

Keep it simple

Eat simple food and cook simple recipes. Bring things back to simple. Avoid gourmet recipes and watch your savings grow!

Sunday roast

Cook a Sunday roast and use leftovers for lunches. Avoid expensive deli meats and enjoy delicious tasty sandwiches.

Cooking tips | Go homemade

Make it from scratch

Cook it fresh. Packaged and processed meals cost more. This way you will also be able to control sugar, salt and preservative content in your diet.

Reuse leftovers

Mince up vegetable leftovers into muffin batches for kids’ lunches.

Learn to cook

If you can’t cook, learning to cook is singularly one of the best actions you can take towards reducing grocery spend. Cooking meals from scratch saves much money because you can use fresh instead of processed ingredients. Learn to cook by video. Use YouTube’s extensive library of visual cooking lessons. Share your finds with other Frugal Foodies in the Savings Room or invest in a basic and functional cookbook like Table Tucker.

Leftovers as lunch

Always make extra and take the leftovers for lunch. Again, avoid buying expensive deli meats.

Bulk it up

Add lentils to meat patties to make them go further. Freeze extra patties. Bulk up meat sauce with red kidney beans or lentils. Stretch a meal. Stretch a dollar!

Older fruit

If fruit is getting old don’t waste it. Turn it into a smoothie!

Package it yourself

Package your own food. For example, make or buy a large cake and cut it up into pieces. Freeze it for kids’ lunches or treats.

Make it yourself

Always ask. Can I make this myself? If you have the time you can save big money over time with this one single action. You are in the kitchen anyway right? Try to multitask as much as possible to save money over time.

Recycle packaging always

Find ways to reuse packaging instead of buying bags.

Cereal boxes

Reuse the bottoms of food boxes to use as dividers in the pantry or in bedroom drawers.

Baby food

Save on baby food by turning your leftovers into baby food.

Cook extra

Regularly cook extra to always have a stock of frozen meals on hand. Avoid buying takeaways when you do not feel like cooking.

Deep fryer

Fish and chips are becoming increasingly expensive. Invest in a deep-fryer and make fish and chips at home yourself. Keep a stock of battered fish and chips in the fridge for those ‘we want takeaway’ moments.


Cooking tips | Need more great tips?

If you need more ways to save money at the supermarket download money saving cheat sheets and printables! Use up leftovers, create quick and easy meals, find healthy budget lunch and dinner ideas!

  • 75+ awesome ways to save on alcohol
  • 250 essential tips for saving on food and groceries
  • 50 sneaky ways to hide fruit and veggies in food
  • 130+ easy cook-ahead dinners for the freezer
  • 150+ beaut budget dinner ideas
  • 50+ simple meal ideas using sausages
  • 250+ super foods for a better you
  • 100 happy and healthy high fibre foods
  • 50 great ideas for using up roast beef leftovers
  • 100 wicked ways with a supermarket roast chicken
  • 300+ easy ideas for a happy lunch box
  • 100 easy dinner ideas using minced beef
  • 50 simple ways to use up leftover Christmas ham
  • 100+ budget meal ideas using Aldi ingredients

Printables for creating budget meals and weekly menu planning

  • Essentials grocery list
  • Blank grocery list
  • Monthly menu planner
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Looking for hot cooking tips, which will put extra $20 notes in your wallet and give you time to read a novel or take up an evening belly-dancing class?
Whether you love a perfectly sliced piece of cheese or a fat hit of fish and chips on a Friday night, these tips will curl your lips faster than any fast-cooking French Fry.
In my house, no-one has noticed the lentils in the Spag Bol. In fact, my ‘bulked-up’ version of this delicious tradition has only received grunts of approval, as my hubby and little ones wipe the grease from their lips and crunch into their garlic bread.
Don’t burn hard-earned cash on the stovetop. Add these secret money-saving cooking tips to your collection and make room for more savings!

Cooking tips | Love your freezer

Cheese slicer

Invest in a cheese slicer. Kids will think your cheese slices are the real deal! Plus you will save big dollars by not buying processed cheese slices.

Chest freezer

Invest in a chest freezer. Buy meat in bulk from discount suppliers, cook in bulk and also avoid random trips to the shops where you are open to purchasing smaller and more expensive cuts of meat in a hurry.

Slow cookers

Slow cookers are a must-have for saving time and money in the kitchen. Cook several bulk slow cooked meals each week, add leftovers meals to your freezer, and use extra portions for lunches. These also allow you to buy lower quality meat which you can produce great tasting and tender meals with.

Bulk-buy cling wrap

Purchase cling wrap in bulk. Buy the biggest cling wrap you can find. Now place it on the bench in front of the bread board for easy use throughout the week.

Cooking tips | Bulk is beautiful

Bulk it up

Try bulking up a casserole with a can of chickpeas, lentils or barley. Housemates, partners and children really do not notice!

Bulk a meal up with carbs

You can stretch out stews and meat dishes further by adding potato and rice to the meal.

Keep it simple

Eat simple food and cook simple recipes. Bring things back to simple. Avoid gourmet recipes and watch your savings grow!

Sunday roast

Cook a Sunday roast and use leftovers for lunches. Avoid expensive deli meats and enjoy delicious tasty sandwiches.

Cooking tips | Go homemade

Make it from scratch

Cook it fresh. Packaged and processed meals cost more. This way you will also be able to control sugar, salt and preservative content in your diet.

Reuse leftovers

Mince up vegetable leftovers into muffin batches for kids’ lunches.

Learn to cook

If you can’t cook, learning to cook is singularly one of the best actions you can take towards reducing grocery spend. Cooking meals from scratch saves much money because you can use fresh instead of processed ingredients. Learn to cook by video. Use YouTube’s extensive library of visual cooking lessons. Share your finds with other Frugal Foodies in the Savings Room or invest in a basic and functional cookbook like Table Tucker.

Leftovers as lunch

Always make extra and take the leftovers for lunch. Again, avoid buying expensive deli meats.

Bulk it up

Add lentils to meat patties to make them go further. Freeze extra patties. Bulk up meat sauce with red kidney beans or lentils. Stretch a meal. Stretch a dollar!

Older fruit

If fruit is getting old don’t waste it. Turn it into a smoothie!

Package it yourself

Package your own food. For example, make or buy a large cake and cut it up into pieces. Freeze it for kids’ lunches or treats.

Make it yourself

Always ask. Can I make this myself? If you have the time you can save big money over time with this one single action. You are in the kitchen anyway right? Try to multitask as much as possible to save money over time.

Recycle packaging always

Find ways to reuse packaging instead of buying bags.

Cereal boxes

Reuse the bottoms of food boxes to use as dividers in the pantry or in bedroom drawers.

Baby food

Save on baby food by turning your leftovers into baby food.

Cook extra

Regularly cook extra to always have a stock of frozen meals on hand. Avoid buying takeaways when you do not feel like cooking.

Deep fryer

Fish and chips are becoming increasingly expensive. Invest in a deep-fryer and make fish and chips at home yourself. Keep a stock of battered fish and chips in the fridge for those ‘we want takeaway’ moments.


Cooking tips | Need more great tips?

If you need more ways to save money at the supermarket download money saving cheat sheets and printables! Use up leftovers, create quick and easy meals, find healthy budget lunch and dinner ideas!

  • 75+ awesome ways to save on alcohol
  • 250 essential tips for saving on food and groceries
  • 50 sneaky ways to hide fruit and veggies in food
  • 130+ easy cook-ahead dinners for the freezer
  • 150+ beaut budget dinner ideas
  • 50+ simple meal ideas using sausages
  • 250+ super foods for a better you
  • 100 happy and healthy high fibre foods
  • 50 great ideas for using up roast beef leftovers
  • 100 wicked ways with a supermarket roast chicken
  • 300+ easy ideas for a happy lunch box
  • 100 easy dinner ideas using minced beef
  • 50 simple ways to use up leftover Christmas ham
  • 100+ budget meal ideas using Aldi ingredients

Printables for creating budget meals and weekly menu planning

  • Essentials grocery list
  • Blank grocery list
  • Monthly menu planner
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If you want to learn budgeting tips for saving money on groceries, there are some tricky win-win tactics you can use, which will have you humming like a tradie with a trowel.
These tactics involve stepping inside the pantry (or opening the pantry doors) and spending some quality time with your packs of unused pasta, soups, sauces and seeds. The second tactic is to put your groceries into Yoga mode. Stretch those sho