Mind for Life



|By Nilofar Dorani

|Dietitian (APD), Nutritionist at Mind For Life

Did you know that a new report on the nation’s eating habits revealed that
Australians make 51.5 million visits to fast food restaurants every month. That
means we’re spending around $11.7 billion a year at restaurants and a whopping
$10.6 billion on takeaway food.

While you are probably not eating out that often right now, takeaway food can
still make a big dent to your budget, especially if you have lost your job and
everyday life is becoming increasingly difficult.

So use that extra time at home as an opportunity to get into the kitchen and get
creative. By adopting some simple changes to your eating, shopping, food
storage and cooking habits, you will be well on your way in reducing your overall
cost of living.

Here are some money saving strategies to implement during this challenging time to keep you on track of your food and grocery spending:

Cooking tips

• Cooking in batches will not just save your power and gas bill, it is also a cost
and time-effective way to cook, chill and warm up your food on demand.
• Using fruits and vegetables that are in season is a smart way to save money
while still enjoying a variety of fresh foods.
• While fresh is usually best, in times like now, opt to buy frozen fruits and
vegetables that are just as good to enrich your dishes such as soups, pies,
milkshakes and smoothies.
• Choose fruit and vegetables that are slightly imperfect (there is nothing wrong
with them, they simply have not passed the standard requirements). It will
save you money and prevent them going to landfill and adding to our
environmental wastage.
• Use canned beans and legume varieties. Use them as a healthy alternative to
meat or you can add them to your favourite vegetable dish for extra taste and
nutrient enrichment.

Shopping tips

• Avoid shopping at the grocery store when you are hungry as you will
tend to buy more that you really need.
• Buying items on special will save you a fortune at the checkouts and
give you the flexibility to try something you haven’t tried before. You
can even try this strategy with all your shopping items.
• Why pay for the fancy packaging that will get dumped in the bin
anyways; instead buy home brand products as there is usually no
difference apart from the lower price.
• Always check what you need before going shopping. Having a list
and sticking to it will keep you on budget and in control of your
• Always shop smart by comparing different products and their net
price for more value for money.
• Try visiting grocery stores at night as some of the items such as bakery
products, dairy, meats, fruit and vegetable prices may be marked down.

Reducing Waste at Home tips (An average Australian household
throws away almost 300kg of food per person each year!)

• Buying bulk is a smart way to save money but remember to pack
them away in individual containers or ziplock bags suitable for
• Try not to throw out any leftovers. Instead have them the next day
or be creative and add them into your dishes such as in soups,
omelettes, pasta, quiche, pies, or nacho’s.
• Put your fruit and vegetable scraps to good use by composting them
into your garden instead of disposing them to landfill.
• When buying food items, don’t forget to check for any damage, use
by or best before dates if you are not likely going to use them
anytime soon.

Food Storage tips

So take advantage of these simple cost saving ideas to help lessen
the financial burden for you and your family in this difficult time.
• Store your food at the correct temperatures to avoid spoilage while
extending their shelf life as well.
• Check that the fridge temperature is adequate and store different
food items separately to prevent cross-contamination. Also don’t
forget to cover all your foods properly to keep them fresh for longer.
• Check the temperature of your freezer to avoid freezer burns and
freeze different foods separately.
• Some foods are easier to store than others. For instance, bread can
be kept in the freezer and defrosted just prior to use.

So take advantage of these simple cost saving ideas to help lessen the financial burden for you and your family in this difficult time.


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The Expert Behind The Blogs


Accredited Practicing Dietitian, Nutritionist

Balanced eating and lifestyle are the main predictors of our health. As a devoted
dietitian, my role involves advocating and working with the community,
identifying diet related complications and nutritional barriers while developing
tailored healthy diet plans and implementing lifestyle strategies to improve
individuals’ physical and mental wellbeing.

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