Feeling ready for a bit of a shake-up when it comes to your weekly meal routine? Keen to nail your flavours, technique and shopping prep, as well as change things up from the regular spag-bol? One area we can all create a positive change in—while also enjoying tasty treats—is our food consumption. Yes, you can still chow down on healthy and delicious eats, while saving cash, reducing food waste and minimising single-use packaging—that’s a trifecta!
Keen to learn more about how? We’ve teamed up with AGL to share some top hacks you need to know about to make positive changes and save some coin at the breakfast, lunch and dinner table.
Buy In-Season Fruits And Vegetables
Let’s start with the easiest and one of the most eco-conscious hacks of them all—buying seasonal fruit and vegetables. Sure, a bowl of juicy mango slices is the MVP of snacks during summer, but come winter, they’re going to add serious $$ to your weekly grocery bill. Buying what’s in season is also a great way to try new recipes and get out of a food funk. That means you’ll not only get the cheapest deals, but you’ll also be tucking into the tastiest, freshest produce available. Don’t know what’s in season? Google is your best mate here, with loads of easy-to-read charts available to help you plan out your shopping list. There are some exceptions to the rule, like apples, bananas, raspberries, carrots, corn, mushrooms, potatoes, pumpkin and cucumbers which are all Australian-grown and in season year-round.
Fill Your Basket With Fresh Produce At The Farmers Markets
This hack is not only great for your health, wallet and environment, but it’s also the perfect excuse to catch up with your mates on the weekend. Grab your reusable bags, basket or nanna trolley and make a beeline for your local farmers or produce market. Peruse the stalls slinging picked-that-morning produce and get the chance to yarn with the farmers themselves who grew it. Buying direct from the supply chain means you’ll walk away armed with the freshest of fresh fruit and veg, not to mention you’ll get more bang for your buck. You might even branch out and try things you wouldn’t have considered before.
Go BYO For Dinner
With the temps dropping, the urge to order takeaway and get snuggly on the couch is high. But with takeout comes unavoidable single-use plastics which we all know is a big no-no. Instead, opt to eat out when organising your next date night or mid-week catch-up with your bestie. Even better, choose a restaurant that is BYO. Not only will you save coin on the steep markup restaurants put on their booze, but you can also take the bottle home with you and recycle it or ask them to recycle it in their own bins.
Take The Time To Write A Shopping List
There’s nothing worse than throwing out wilted lettuce, a half-eaten slab of halloumi or past-their-prime berries at the end of the week—you’re literally chucking your hard-earned money in the bin. Reducing your weekly waste can be as simple as taking the time to write a shopping list so you’re only buying what you need. Make the experience a fun one—pore over some cookbooks or carve out some time to search for healthy dinner recipes on TikTok. We love Emily Mariko, Sophia Row and The Salad Lab. Check what staples you already have, compile your list and hit the shops. Trust us, the prep beforehand will save you time spent in the aisles and money in the bank.
Get Friendly With Your Freezer
If you’re doing your best to shop seasonal but there are just some goodies you can’t go without, then purchasing frozen fruit and veg is a literal game-changer. Despite what you might think, there’s actually amazing nutritional value in frozen veggies, which are plucked from the farm and frozen immediately, locking in all the good stuff. It’s also a great way to reduce food waste. Before something is past its prime, bag it up, scribble the current date on it and chuck it in the freezer. You’ll thank yourself later when you’re making a mid-week stir fry and you remember your freezer is a treasure trove of frozen beans, snow peas and corn.
Editor’s note: This article is sponsored by AGL and proudly endorsed by Urban List. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who make Urban List possible. Click here for more information on our editorial policy.
Image credit: Urban List