By now you would have noticed the cost of your groceries sky-rocketing. It’s really starting to hurt, hey! Find out why our supermarket trolleys are costing us more, plus we’ve gathered some clever and very helpful money-saving tips on how to save at the supermarket checkout and feed your family on a budget.
Is supermarket anxiety a thing? I’m thinking heck yes.
Supermarket prices got you feeling anxious? SAME. via GIPHY
2022 is chaotic and it’s reflected in supermarket prices
It was recently reported that families can expect to pay more for fresh AND frozen food in the coming weeks as the war in Ukraine and the floods in New South Wales and Queensland continue to put pressure on suppliers. Suppliers who were still coming back from the grips of the pandemic, turning a tough climate into an even more gruelling situation.
Previously when supermarkets have had supply issues we’d jump to the freezer department of our local store as fresh food prices start to rise as an easy fix. But in this case, there’s little relief to be found in the sub-zero temperatures either.
Ritchies IGA chief executive Fred Harrison said the price of fresh broccoli had jumped to $7 a kilogram and that processors were battling to get frozen vegetables into supermarkets.
“Vegetables are very scarce at the moment due to the floods, so we’ve seen cabbages, potatoes and broccoli in particular jump 75% compared to a couple of weeks ago.”
It’s expected that fruit and vegetable prices are set to remain high for at least six months, with Fred Harrison stating frozen vegetable prices are also set to rise in price.
“There’s a major shortage – whether it be McCain Foods or Simplot, suppliers are really battling to get good stock weight to us.”
So, in short, we’re going to be paying more for fresh fruit and vegetables (if we can get them). And we’re also going to be paying more for frozen fruit and vegetables (if we can get them).
Basically, sit tight and prepare to spend more than you’d like and get creative when stock is low.
Not just fruit and vegetable prices hiking up
As essential grocery items such as fruit and vegetables increase in price, so too do the prices of soft drinks, tinned foods, meat (red meat especially) and other common items like toothpaste. Prices creep up as high fuel prices, increased material costs, increased delivery costs, energy price rises and other costs all affect the chain from supplier to the supermarket shelf.
- Overall, drinks prices hiked the most with a massive price increase of 7.7%, followed by fruit and vegetables, and pantry staples, which went up 5% on average.
- The popular soft drink, Fanta, was up an incredible 94% at Coles, while a two-litre bottle of Coke increased by 55% in price across both supermarkets.
- It’s not cheaper to buy cans either. The Kirks pack of 10 cans were up by 70% and Nescafe and Moccona instant coffee rose between 50-74%, according to Frugl Grocery data.
- When it came to buying meat a casserole is fast becoming an expensive meal with diced beef prices soaring by 22% and the cost of basic beef mince rising by 14%.
- The prices of pantry staples such as cooking oils went up by 19%, name-brand canned fruit jumped by 17% and even the humble baked beans and tinned spaghetti rose by 21%.
What can we do?
The bottom line is that we all have to eat but it’s getting harder and harder to stick to a budget. So it’s time we really focus on what and how we’re cooking, minimising food waste and just really stretching our grocery money wherever we can!
Scroll down for some fab money-saving tips!
13 money-saving tips for your grocery budget right now!
1. Meat is not the star of the show!
Try to NOT make your protein the hero of the meal. Instead of frying a chicken breast for each person and adding a salad, make it go further. You can get two or three schnitzels from a single large chicken breast. Or make it go further by cutting it up for a stir fry or shredding it for soup.
2. Plan, plan, plan
Cook with intention. Don’t leave deciding what’s for dinner to the last minute because chances are you won’t have what you need at home. Meal plan for a few days BEFORE hitting the supermarket so you know exactly what you need to buy.
3. Add water
If you have juice and cordial drinkers, you can make it last a little longer by sneakily diluting it a fraction. Add some water to the juice bottle, chances are the kids won’t even notice!
4. Shop what is in season
Stick to buying fruit and vegetables that are in season, it’ll have a huge impact on the price per kg. Support your local farmers by shopping at a farmer’s market or farm gate if you can.
5. Frozen vegetables are awesome
Don’t be scared of frozen vegetables – they’re just as nutritious as buying fresh and so much more affordable. Plus they have an EXCELLENT freezer shelf life! There’s also no waste – you pay only for what can be eaten!
6. Plant your own
Plant your own salad greens or, if you have some extra room, a vegetable garden. You can grow fresh herbs, baby spinach, capsicums even zucchini in pots. Why not give it a go and have fresh produce in your own backyard?
7. Cut back and fill up
Make meat go further by cutting back on it in recipes and adding hearty fillers. For example: if you usually use 500g of mince in your spaghetti recipe, try using 300g of mince and adding lentils. Potatoes, beans, pasta and rice are also great, inexpensive fillers.
8. Potatoes are superstars
Potatoes are pantry heroes! The most versatile vegetable of them all, they can be mashed, boiled, fried even baked and loaded for a meal.
9. Make your own
You can cut corners with your grocery bill in even little ways. Use bi-carb soda or vinegar for surface cleaning, you can even make sour cream from normal thickened cream and even make your own yoghurt with a Thermomix or Easiyo system. Every dollar counts as a money-saving tip, right?
10. Be open to buying alternatives
Frozen or tinned fruit is a great alternative for fresh fruit-loving kids!
11. Don’t waste a thing!
Really try to reduce your food waste at home. Buy only what you need so it can’t get forgotten in the fridge and eat your leftovers for a meal the following day! If you do have some sad looking vegetables, cut them up, add a cheese sauce and bake until cooked through for a yummy vegetable bake!
12. Snacks from scratch
Processed foods and snacks are creeping up in price. Bake your own biscuits, muesli bars and muffins from scratch. You get much more value for your money AND they’re likely healthier than what you’re buying in the supermarket.
13. Remember your budget
Finally, if you have a super strict budget, use the calculator on your phone as you shop so you know exactly what you’re spending! If you shop online, a running tally is super helpful in what you can afford and what should stay on the shelf.
Do you have any tried and true ways you’re saving on your groceries at the moment? We’d love to hear your money-saving tips and share them!