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Budgeting and Saving Q+A Live Blog: Experts Reveal Top Tips for Getting More for Less

(Unsplash: Peter Wendt)

Naveen Umakanth asked for some tips on how to save on groceries when you’re on a vegetarian diet, here’s the question:

We are vegetarians. We are unable to cope with the rising prices of fruits, vegetables, dairy products and bread. Please help us on how to do?

here’s how Jody Allen the dish:

Hi Naveen! Agree, you can do a lot of things. Some grocery stores offer a line of “less than perfect but still perfectly edible” fruits and vegetables at a discount. Go to your local markets as closing time approaches and negotiate the prices of the remaining produce.

Eating what’s in season always guarantees you’ll get the best fruits and vegetables at the best price – and there’s nothing better than growing your own if you have the space to do so.

As for the bread – get a bread maker – I got mine for $20 from a pawn shop and it was still new in the box. Consider buying large buckets of bread mix from your local bakery (they don’t advertise it, but most are more than happy to sell you products in bulk).

And also look at “regrowing” some vegetables that you have already purchased. Spring onions, potatoes, and celery can all regrow quite easily!

And here’s what Emily Stewart suggest:

You’re not alone. A lot of people are struggling to pay for their usual groceries right now.

One important thing you can do at the supermarket is to always watch the unit price. It sounds complex but it’s a great way to compare different brands but also different sizes. It appears on the label and is called “price per 100 g” or “price per litre”.

Larger sizes tend to be cheaper, so can you buy staples like rice or flour in bulk?

If you eat a lot of beans, lentils, and peas, try buying them in dried form rather than canned. (Canned legumes are pre-cooked and stored in water, while dried varieties need to be added water, so you end up getting more from the bag of dried legumes).

These also make great fillers in soups, casseroles, curries, etc. and can prolong the vegetables you buy.

Remember that canned and frozen fruits and vegetables are often less expensive (but still nutritious).

If things get really tough, there are food banks available. There is a great website called AskIzzy that can put you in touch with services in your area.