Concerns around supermarket prices (and the general cost of living) are rising for many Australian households. The perfect storm of the war in Ukraine, disasters around Australia and a global pandemic has left folks facing colossal spikes in everyday costs, from food to petrol which no one needs right now. As a result, many Australians are wondering how to save money right now – in any way, really, but especially when it comes to shopping for groceries.
For that reason, we’ve pulled together a list of some of our favourite hacks for saving money on groceries, both on the internet and right here on the Lifehacker website.
Our best tips for how to save money on groceries
Keep your produce fresh for longer
If your food is staying fresh, you don’t need to shop for groceries 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
This clever hack for keeping lettuce fresh for longer comes from, 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 below.
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 and 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 money while shopping
When you’re actually shopping for groceries, there are loads of little choices you can make that will save you a bucketload of money 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 breakdown of the groceries you regularly buy and comparing it across supermarket chains. What’s offering the best value for you?
Alternatively, services like Good and Fugly get ‘less desirable’ produce from growers and deliver it to your home (limited suburbs only, unfortunately). This can mean side-stepping the supermarket entirely and sometimes cutting down the cost of fresh produce.
Consider click and collect
A Yahoo article from 2021 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.
Buy protein in bulk, and toss it in the freezer
Meat is expensive. It’s sometimes 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.
This article has been updated since its original publish dates.