Here’s how you can save money on household basics

5 surefire ways to save!
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Rising prices across the board make juggling family finances a challenge, not to mention the added stress of stretching the household budget to cover the ever-increasing cost of supermarket staples.

Australian frugality blogger Melissa Goodwin is a former accountant turned thriftiness expert.

The mum-of-two made the switch to follow a more economical lifestyle 10 years ago, and she hasn’t looked back since.

Melissa’s approach is less about penny-pinching and more about embracing creative challenges.

To help ease the pressure on your purse, here are her best tips for keeping the pantry stocked and saving money on your weekly shop:

Simply tips and tricks that won’t break the bank!

(Credit: Getty)

Bread and cereals

To make savings on bread, Melissa says to shop later in the day or at closing time to pick up markdowns that can be frozen when you get home.

And she advises using your trusty air-fryer to refresh day-old rolls with a sprinkling of water. To revive stale bread using an oven, dampen it first and then reheat it gently at a low temperature, like 150C, for five to 10 minutes.

Melissa also suggests ditching pricey breakfast cereals and instead using oatmeal. “Make it hot the traditional way or turn it into overnight oats, Bircher muesli, or toasted muesli, she says.”

Meat and Seafood

Melissa advises stretching the budget by buying quantity – such as a whole chicken or shoulder of pork – over pre-packaged cuts.

“Cook the roast, shred the meat, and use small amounts for various meals during the week,” she says. “Turn the remaining bones into a tasty stock to provide the basis for a great meal.”

Save on seafood by using tinned and frozen fish. Supermarkets have cheaper, own-brand offerings of tuna, salmon and sardines.

Dairy is probably the first thing in your fridge to go off!

(Credit: Getty)

Dollar-savvy: Dairy

Savvy shoppers wanting to nab a deal on milk should buy any markdowns they see and pop these in the freezer.

When defrosting, do so in the fridge to avoid spoiling. Supermarkets periodically discount the price of powdered or UHT milk. Both are ideal for use as substitutes in recipes calling for dairy.

When buying yoghurt, use the unit price to compare value. For example, a two-litre tub of Greek-style yoghurt costs 65 cents per 100 grams versus the same product packaged as a four-pack at 94 cents per 100 grams.

Avoid purchasing pre-sliced cheese; if you have a larger whole block, grate and freeze meal-ready portions.

Melissa trims her dairy budget by doing away with butter on sandwiches and wraps and replacing it with mayonnaise.

Fresh food bargains: Fruit and veggies

While common sense dictates shopping for produce out of season means higher prices, shopping in season will ensure savings. You can check what is in season for different times of the year on the Seasonal Food Guide for Australia.

Melissa says other savings strategies include opting for frozen over fresh or shopping at the supermarket or farmers’ market near closing.

And remember, check prices at your local greengrocer. Smaller outlets can have better produce and, at times, be more affordable.

Coffee and tea

Save on these items by comparing prices on websites, apps, or social media, and recommends looking beyond the usual outlets for potential bargains.

For instance, buy coffee and tea at reduced prices in department stores, discount stores, office supplies stores, delis, or coffee shops.

“Frugality won’t solve the many problems brought about by the financial crisis,” Melissa offers wisely. “But it can help stretch the budget just that little further in the short term.”

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