11 Apr, 2024

Feeding the whānau on a budget

Pacific grandfather with his grandkids

Have you noticed how much harder it’s to feed the whānau comfortably? The cost-of-living crisis in Aotearoa, has made grocery shopping incredibly expensive. To help you shop for healthy meals while still saving money, we have put together a list of tips to make your grocery shopping experience less stressful.

  • Plan your meals

Going to the supermarket with a plan helps keep control of spending. It also means you can plan some meals with cheaper ingredients, for example pumpkin soup and a couple of other meals with more premium ingredients. By planning, you can also make sure that you’re using seasonal vegetables which are often cheaper. For example, fresh berries in summer and parsnips in winter.

  • Meal prepping

If you have a busy schedule and often run out of time to prepare meals, we recommend introducing meal prepping to your weeknight dinner schedule. One of the most popular forms of meal prepping is cooking large batches of your favourite meals and then freezing individual portions for later. This is a great way to shop smart and save on grocery shopping — buy in bulk, cook in bulk.

  • Shop with a list

Have you noticed going into the supermarket to grab a few things, but walking out with way more? Sneaky food marketing is designed to make us grab more than we need. Watch out for carefully placed temptations (at the end of aisles, at the front of the store, next to big signs) and remember to stick to your list! While these temptations seem like a good deal, they are often not adding nutrition to your week and just add cost to your grocery bill.

  • Buy frozen or canned

Fruits and vegetables used for canning are picked at peak freshness, ensuring the best flavor and nutrient quality. Canned foods can be just as nutritious the canning process preserves many nutrients. You will also end up saving money on groceries by purchasing canned and frozen.

  • Grow a garden (if you have the space/ time)

Growing your own vegetables is a great way to save money, gives you control over how your food is grown and is a great learning opportunity. Growing vegetables at home is not only a cheaper option but can also be an amazing bonding opportunity with your kids. You can teach them where their food comes from and sometimes they might be more willing to eat the vegetables they helped to grow themselves!

Here’s a few tips to build a weekly meal plan that is healthy for you and your whānau:

  • Include protein in your meals

Foods such as fish, seafood, lean meat and chicken are a great source of protein to keep you full. If you prefer vegetarian options- milk, yogurt, eggs, nuts, seeds and tofu are a great way to get protein into your meals. These foods can be more expensive, so make sure to moderate cost per KG and buy when on sale.

  • Limit processed foods

Lollie's, chocolate, biscuits, chips, pies and pastries can be delicious but are not nutritious. They are often high fat and high sugar which can cause obesity, diabetes and other health issues. These foods also have a high cost per KG

  • Fill your trolley with kai from nature

Vegetables, fruits and wholegrains are a fantastic source of vitamins, minerals and fiber. Also have the lowest cost per KG.

  • Stock up on beans, lentils and split peas

They are a great way to bulk up meals to make them go further. They are full of dietary fibre, and are a vegetarian source of protein.