Saving money on food is easy to do without having a budget or budgeting skills.
Take a list of what you need to avoid impulse buying. If possible, stock up on good specials. Make sure that specials are cheaper than the supermarket's own brand or the same item in a different size pack.
Avoid buying food and other items you would not normally buy in order to increase the amount you spend to over a certain amount. The non essential spending could add up to be far more than the few dollars discount you will get on petrol.
Shopping when you are hungry or with children could result in you spending more than you intend to.
Prices at weekend markets or at shops which only sell fruit and vegetables are often cheaper than those at supermarkets.
Growing your own vegetables is a good way of saving money and provide great satisfaction.
Buying fruit and vegetables from growers when they are at their cheapest will save money. Freezing and preserving will ensure a varied diet throughout the year.
It may be possible to buy larger quantities of sausages, chops etc from a wholesale meat processor and place the quantity required for a meal in freezer bags.
Keep leftovers and fry them later or use them in soups.
Do not buy lunches or morning teas. At the weekend you can make up lunches for the following week and keep them in the freezer.
Cook two casseroles or other dishes and put one in the freezer.
Only buy takeaways or eat out on special occasions.
Do your own baking whenever possible.
Drinking tap water costs you nothing and is far better for you than drinks which contain lots of sugar and other additives. Try making your own liquid refreshments.
Limit foods that are high in fat, sugar and salt and only eat what you require for a healthy lifestyle. Most people are overweight because they have got into the habit of eating too much or eating between meals.
Instead of eating until you feel full, try deciding in advance the quantities you will eat for each meal and then always stick to this. You will be saving money on food and be healthier. If you stay the same size, you will not have to keep buying new clothing.
It has been estimated that the average New Zealand family is wasting over $560 each year on food. The Love Food Hate Waste campaign is helping to change this by helping Kiwis with useful tips and advice. For more information have a look at their website, www.lovefoodhatewaste.co.nz
A wide range of health information on health problems, diagnosis, medication, services and healthy lifestyles is available by going to www.healthinfo.org.nz.