Dazzling deals: I have absolutely no qualms about stealing from the supermarket since they’re giant multinational rip off merchants. I never outright pocket, but there are some tricks I employ in the fruit & veg section to save a few bucks.
- Double your bunch: At my local supermarket things like spring onions (the long green guys) are held together with an elastic band. I grab two bunches and secure them with the one band, discarding the other band. I save about $3.
- Herbs are packaged in the same way but with a protective sleeve, so I’ll swap the sleeves between an expensive item (like basil) and a cheaper one (like parsley) since I just hate having to pay extra for the tastier herbs. This saves about $2.
- If tomatoes aren’t looking too fresh, I’ll buy the organic ones but sneakily pull their greens off so they pass as regular tomatoes, saving around $3 a kilo.
- Ch-ch-check please! If you have the option then always use the self serve check out since you’ll avoid suspicion on the above magic tricks, and you can key in your zucchinis as lebanese cucumbers (no one will ever know!), saving around $3 a kilo. The cost of both of these varies throughout the year so you could probably save by doing the exact opposite during winter.
- To be honest I also steal boxes of soft drink and tins of olive oil - because that stuff is heavy the cashier don’t expect you to lift it up to be scanned so I leave it in the trolley then forget to mention it and most of the time I walk out without paying for it. I’ve probably saved a few hundj this way because I drink a lot of Diet Coke and use olive oil in most meals.
Dumpster Diving: I don’t have a great deal to say on this topic, although I do it from time to time it isn’t a part of my routine. Obviously there are a bunch of different reasons why some people don’t wanna dumpster (“it’s grody”, “I’m heaps too busy”, “it makes me feel poor & sad”, whatever), and that’s fine.
- Bread is the easiest thing to dumpster because it’s thrown out daily by every bakery. I only ever buy it if I’m feeling extremely lazy. Locally I have great success with Baker’s Delight bakeries, who throw out their loaves, sweet breads, and cheese breads/pizzas in separate garbage bags.
- I had a friend working in a high priced pastry joint, who would put together a special box and leave it by the dumpster for us. A few times it got nicked by young punks before we collected it, but having someone on the inside is a good option because they can 1. pick your favourites out, & 2. call you to let you know when to collect your booty.
The Best Stuff: My tastes are always changing but there are a few ingredients I always keep in my stash because of their versatility and long life.
- Red Lentils. These guys have just always been there for me when I’ve needed them and I can’t even explain how great they are. They last for years in a jar or zip lock bag. They only take 15 minutes to soften. They thicken soups and sauces, adding substance but not dramatically altering the flavour. Full of protein. ~$4.00 a bag. If you are cooking a pot of rice then add a cup of lentils and it will all cook at the same time and be way more nutritious than just dumb rice.
- Frozen spinach. I hate cutting up fresh spinach because there are bugs and dirt, and it’s just more complicated than you’d even imagine. Frozen spinach is already cut up, and frozen into little cubes, and the nutritional content matches that of the fresh guy only it doesn’t taste as good, but it’s great for adding to meals that need some more green. It costs about $4.00 a box, lasts 4eva, and is enough to add to 5+ meals. Home brand is fiiiine.