When you have a busy life that includes studying and partying, food shopping can seem like a chore, especially if you’re doing it on a budget. Since living on junk food won’t save you money or boost your stamina to do the aforementioned studying or partying to the max, it’s worth knowing some clever shopping tricks.
Planning, planning and more planning
First up, spend a little time planning your meals and drawing up a shopping list so you know what you need. Refer to the blog on The Organised Meal for more information on that.
Then pick one day each week to do all your shopping. If you shop in dribs and drabs over the week, you’re far more likely to end up buying things you don’t need and before you know it, you’ll be over your budget.
Find the factory shops
Speak to the locals or Google food factory shops in your area. Many of them offer better prices than your local supermarket, or specials for bulk purchases or food that is just on its sell-by date, but still absolutely fine (in which case, you’ll obviously want to use it soon). If you are buying bulk, consider sharing with some friends – after all, who can eat a 5kg bag of apples all on their own?
Check out the local farmers’ market
Farmers’ markets can be some of the best places to buy food as it comes direct from the farm, so there’s no middleman to boost the prices. You may even be able to meet the farmer and bargain for a further discount if you’re lucky. As an added bonus, farmers’ markets are becoming quite the place to socialise these days – you never know who you might meet there.
Pick (or even grow) your own
It’s amazing what you can grow in a few pots in a sunny spot on a balcony or windowsill – no actual garden needed. Salad veggies and herbs grow particularly easily and quickly so are a good place to start. If you don’t have green fingers and prefer not to overextend your gardening abilities, then look out for local urban farms where you can pick your own, which is almost as good.
With the proper planning, you can always have good food on hand while still keeping within your budget. Your body and your purse will thank you!