Bulk up a bit

10 ways to save on food

Sometimes buying staple foods like flour, sugar, rice and pasta works out cheaper when you buy big.

Think of it as a long-term investment. It really depends on how many mouths you have to feed. Here's some tips to help you get the best value from your food shopping:
 

1. Know your food costs

Do a bit of research and get to know the base cost of staple foods.  While you shop, compare food prices on the supermarket shelf by the value per 100g or per serve.

2. Budget for bulk buying

Set aside part of your weekly food budget for pantry staples and stock up when these items come on special. Look out for PAK'nSAVE bulk deals that come on special.
 
3. Deals that will save you money

Specials or sale offers can differ from store to store. Look out for value packs and larger sized packs.  Bulk deals are popular for stocking up when you know you have an upcoming event or if it’s a family favourite that you know will get eaten up in no time!  Also look out for bonus packs; they’re perfect for shoppers who like to stock up while the price is low.
 
4. Buy more and save

Compare prices for larger packs of items. For example, the price for a dozen eggs is usually better value than a ½ dozen eggs.  A packet of 12 disposable razors is likely to be cheaper (per razor) than buying a packet of 3.  A bag of 4 capsicums is often better value than buying a single one.
 
5. Store food carefully

Think about where you will store your shopping as some items can go off if not stored in the right conditions.  Remember to regularly check expiry dates and use up older items first.
 
6. Transfer bulk foods

Divide foods such as sugar or flour into smaller useable portions and store in clearly labelled or transparent containers that are airtight, space-efficient and stackable.

7. Anticipate the specials!

Set aside part of your weekly food budget for pantry staples and bulk up when these items come on special. Before heading out to the supermarket check promotions and deals online and sign up for weekly specials.

8. Freeze your shopping

Bread and rolls bought in bulk will freeze well for up to one month.  Large cuts of meat can trimmed to portions that suit your family and frozen. Save even more by buying nuts in bulk. Most nuts will store well in an airtight container kept in a cool dry place.

9. Label for freshness

Stock up on bulk items and mark the purchase date on the top of the can, bag or container so you always use the oldest purchases first.

10. Substitute ingredients

Seek out less expensive ingredients to substitute in recipes. Check out our Swap & Save Chart for more ideas.