Our Chef's Tips For Shopping

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As you might already know, we can waste a lot of food if we don't plan well. Groceries are one of our biggest expenses and you want to make sure you never short on food. Also, cooking your own food is much less expensive than eating out however you don't want to lose time and energy for unnecessary steps. 

Our Chef's Tips For Shopping

Menu Planning

This is the best way to ensure that your list is complete, and that you have enough to serve your family dinner for the week. We often plan a weekly menu and then duplicate it for the next week, this way we can shop for two weeks at once. Be sure to plan a leftovers night.

Shopping List

If you go without a list, you may as well just throw your money away. You need to prepare a list of everything you need, pulling from your weekly menu and check to make sure you don’t have it in your pantry, fridge or freezer. Make sure you’re not forgetting anything. Now stick to that list! If you can prepare your shopping list categories by aisle, it should save you time in the long run.

Have A Budget

If you want to stay within your budget, it’s best to know where you’re at. When you can see you’re going to go above, perhaps save the not-so-necessary item for the following week's shop. At home keep a list handy to write down things are low.

Shopping Time!

  • Eat something before you go so you're not tempted to buy things you don't need. The same applies for kids and teens. Hungry mouths can influence even the strongest willed parents. 
  • Buy a few things for quick easy lunches and snacks but don't lover do it and pack your own as they are so much cheaper.
  • Read labels as you might be surprised by unwanted ingredients in your meals.
  • Buy a mix of frozen and fresh veggies as it can be cheaper & convenient to make meals later in the week (as fresh veggies often don't last long).
  • Cut back on meats as they are expensive. Serve some vegetarian meals here and there - Thai vegetable curries or Chinese stir fries are great.
  • Buy in bulk on things like sale items, toilet paper, long-life milk etc. so you won't need to run to the supermarket all the time. 
  • You can look for specials or use coupons for cheaper buys. Try the store brands as they can be more economical.
  • Avoid buying junk foods, sugary snacks and cereals as they cost more and contain less nutrients. Go for fruits, veggies and whole food items.
  • Shop around & compare major retailers as they alternate their specials. For example, Coles may do a drink special and the following week Woolworths will do the same. 
  • Know when your stores re-stock fruits, vegetables and meat as you will buy the freshest things - supermarkets work towards the weekend.
  • Cook in large batches and freeze so you can have some leftovers for dinner later in the week or early in the next.

Storage 

  • Ideally the meat should be at the bottom of your fridge in a designated cold compartment. This way if anything leaks it wont drip onto any other raw items.
  • Vegetables need to be in the covered areas (eg veg crisper) otherwise they dry out quickly.
  • Use your freezer for meals that have been pre prepared or for back up meat or seafood. Don't waste space with things like bulky packaging. Transfer items to ziplock bags or space efficient containers.
  • You may want to invest in a deep freezer as it can hold a lot more pre-prepared meals.
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