Australian farmers are concerned about their ability to plant crops over the coming year. As News Corp has reported, the impact on travel restrictions has been acutely felt by the agricultural industry, with a drop in overseas workers leading to a labour shortage on Aussie farms.
This is raising concerns around supermarket prices for fresh produce which, for many Australian households, is an added cost they really don’t need right now.
While we’re not yet sure how this produce pricing situation will play out, it’s always useful to consider the ways we can cut costs and waste in our grocery shopping.
For that reason, I’ve pulled together a list of some of our favourite hacks both on the internet and right here on the Lifehacker website.
Keep your produce fresh for longer
If your food is staying fresh, you don’t need to shop as often and you’re far less likely to toss food in the bin (or compost).
Here are some solid hacks that will help you in that department:
Pop your lettuce in a mason jar
A clever hack for keeping lettuce fresh for longer recently went viral on (you guessed it, TikTok). The basic premise of the video was that if you store your lettuce in a mason jar, topped up with water, that baby should last up to one month.
Check out the video on how to do that here.
Use lettuce to keep avocados fresh
Once you’ve preserved your lettuce for a month, wrap it around an avocado and you’ll be able to keep that baby in primo condition for a week.
Read more on that here.
Turn your tomatoes upside-down
According to NYT food writer J. Kenji Lopez-Alt, your tomatoes are going bad because of the moisture that escapes from the stem. Fix that by popping them upside down.
Details on that here.
Store fruits and veggies in airtight containers or snap-lock bags
Cailie Ford, Clinical Nutritionist Advisor for Good & Fugly told us in a recent interview that “Keeping fruits and veg in airtight storage in the fridge will extend their freshness by at least four days, while retaining the moisture within and avoiding oxidation.”
More details (and more hacks) here.
Save big bucks while shopping
When you’re actually shopping for groceries, there are loads of little choices you can make that will save you a bucketload in the long run. Here are a few of our favourites.
Shop for fruit and veg while they’re in season
This is an easy one. It will ensure the produce tastes its best, and the items you buy will be considerably cheaper. Check out our guide to this here.
Never shop while hungry
Again, simple. If you’re hungry (and haven’t written out a list) you’re more likely to take on an “ah, whatever” approach to your supermarket visit. Plan out the meals you’d like to cook, purchase what you need for those and don’t let your hungry self sabotage your budgeting. It will make a difference.
Compare your supermarket prices
Aldi is famous for having incredible bargains on all your shopping needs. But it’s worth taking a look at the general price break down of the produce you regularly buy and comparing it across supermarket chains. What’s best value for you?
Consider click and collect
A recent Yahoo article spoke to the benefits some Aussies were getting out of using click and collect for their weekly shop. Some find that seeing their list built out in front of them reduces impulse purchases and cuts down the final total considerably.
Take advantage of the loyalty programs you’re a part of
This will vary depending on where you shop, how you pay and what your needs are. But some people do get considerable value out of pairing up benefits from credit cards or loyalty programs with their grocery shop. Just be sure to do the math first to see if you’re signing up for a program you’ll use.
Buy protein in bulk, and toss it in the freezer
Meat is expensive. It’s better value to purchase a big old serving of it, divvy it up and freeze whatever you don’t need. Not only is it cheaper, but you don’t need to make as many trips to the supermarket.
Got any more tips for saving money or keeping your produce fresh? Let us know in the comments below.