If it seems the cost of living is rising much quicker than your salary, you are not alone. Many South Africans (and in fact people all over the world) are having to adjust their spending and eating habits to fit smaller budgets

Planning your meals is one of the easiest ways to trim down on your grocery costs and stick to buying just what you need.

Go big on the staples

One of South Africa’s favourite staples is maize meal, not only because it’s surprisingly versatile but also because it’s very affordable.

Having a pack of maize meal means you are halfway sorted for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

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Krummel Pap & Tomato Relish

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Umdoko (Soft porridge) recipe

You can make canned food good

Tinned food might not be as ‘good‘ as the fresh stuff, but you can still get a lot of nutrients and a healthy meal out of tinned fish, beans and the growing variety of foods that now come pre-cooked and almost ready to eat.

Another advantage of having a healthy stock of tinned food is that you can quickly put a meal together even when the lights go out.

Potato and Pilchard Fishcake Bites recipe

Tuna and Mushroom Casserole recipe

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Use food expanders

While the carb part of your meal can easily fall into budget, the sides or seshebo can quickly throw you off your money saving course.

Cooking your protein and veggies together in a stew type dish can make a little go a long way. Food expanders are cheap foods you can add to your dishes to expand the meal.

Potatoes, cabbage, beans and even oats can be a great addition to your seshebo and help you get more bang for your buck.

Beef, Vegetable and Barley Stew recipe

Sweet potato and mince bake topped with egg recipe