Thrifty Tip #9: Simplify Your Shopping List

Image is courtesy of Vintage Supermarket Photos
When we enter a supermarket we are assaulted by a vast array of colourful, tempting and gorgeously-packaged products.    To be thrifty we almost need to shop with blinkers, to avoid the value-adding and buy only those products that will provide true value.  

The products that provide the best real value for money are those with the fewest ingredients and the least amount of packaging, products such as seasonal fruit and vegetables, legumes, cheese, milk and eggs.

Some may argue that processed food is cheaper than fresh food and thus thriftier.  However, when it comes to food, thrift is about providing quality and maintaining good health.  By avoiding processed foods we avoid all sorts of nasty chemicals as well as hidden sugar, fats and salt.  From an environmental standpoint, unprocessed food usually generates less packaging waste that will later need costly disposal in landfill.  If we buy locally-grown food in season we can also reduce the food-miles of the meals we eat.

If we want to value-add, we can do it at home ourselves, by turning those apples into apple sauce, apple pie or apple cake.   Vintage cook books can be a wonderful resource for economical and seasonal recipe ideas, and can often be purchased cheaply on-line or in op shops.  I love to flick through old cook books and imagine the cooks of days gone by looking for ways to use or preserve seasonal ingredients, just as I do today.

This post is part of my series, Thirty Days of Thrifty Tips.

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