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News | How to make your groceries last longer

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With our economy in a bit of a wobble and the severe drought causing food prices to go up and up and up, it’s important to get the most out of your monthly or weekly grocery shop. Here’s a look at five ways that can make your groceries last longer:

Buy in bulk, but buy smart
Buying groceries in bulk is often cheaper than buying individual items, however you should try to stick to non-perishable items like cleaning products, canned food or food you can freeze. Don’t buy fresh food in bulk unless you know you’re going to consume it before it goes off.

Keep extra cans of tuna, pilchards, beans, and even fruit in the cupboard so you’ll have the ingredients for a good meal, even when payday is still a few days away.

Freeze smaller portions and leftovers
If you do buy food items that can be frozen, divide it into smaller portions. Put it in plastic bags and freeze them individually. This way you can only use what you need, and keep food from spoiling due to repeated thawing.

Do the same with tinned food like tuna or salmon – once opened, put what you don’t use in a bag and freeze it for later. You can even do this with some tinned fruit like pineapples and tomatoes.

Know how long fresh fruit and veg last
The prices of fresh fruit and vegetables have increased the most of all the food groups in the last year, making it important to keep wastage at a minimum. Know how long fruit and vegetables last – they all differ – and how to properly store them. Also, rather buy these more often than let uneaten fruit and veggies go bad.

Cook foods that are about to go off
If you see you’ve got food that’s about to go off, cook them and freeze the portions. Vegetables like cooked sweet potato, carrots, beans or even meals like stews or soups are perfect for freezing. The added bonus is that it’s easy to heat up on days you don’t have the time to cook

Stretch the bare necessities
Despite the relatively low cost, necessities like bread and milk can eat up a significant chunk of your grocery budget. It’s important to store these wisely in order to make them last longer. When you buy a loaf of bread, take what you know you’re going to use over the next couple of days and put the other half at the bottom of the fridge (where it’s coldest) or in the freezer, to keep mould at bay.

We often keep milk in the door of the fridge because it’s placed close at hand, however this is not the greatest place to store milk. Temperatures at the door fluctuate more than any other spot in your fridge, which is not ideal for milk. Rather choose a spot somewhere in the middle of the fridge where temperatures are more even. This will make your milk last just that bit longer.

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