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YEI members gave us their savings tips on food.

We then asked YEI members to vote on their favourite tips. 

We now have a winner!   

Plus a ton of great food savings tips for you all to enjoy!


WINNER - Food savings


South African seniors are being hit left, right and centre.  Petrol is going up.  Electricity is going up in price.  Food prices have gone up.  Blame the rising oil prices, the virus crisis, global warming and the weak rand.   What this means is that seniors have to get savvy and find super smart ways to save, and they have.  Below, you will find great tips and strategies that seniors are implementing in order to help them slash their grocery costs, without sacrificing nutrition.

We put the top twelve food savings tip to an anonymous vote.  The winner is:  Celeste Brown from Knysna.    Celeste’s savings tip on food has won her a R500 cash prize!

Celeste’s winning savings tip is as follows:

Buy local, buy seasonal, buy fresh.
Know your prices.
Always have flour, salt, yeast and sugar in the cupboard and plain yoghurt and eggs in the fridge: you can turn these ingredients into flatbreads, rotis and naan bread that are delicious served with
a simple but scrumptious dish like Shakshuka (beans, eggs and tomato) or stews and soups.
You can add toppings for open sandwiches or use the base for pizza with toppings to grill. (And you do not always need loads of expensive ingredients on a pizza – grilled veggies like aubergine, garlic and peppers make very tasty pizzas!)
Use all cuttings and peels to make a hearty veggie soup.
Turn leftovers into Frittatas or pies with shop-bought frozen pastry.
Use dried orange peels as a natural air freshener.


Other savings tips that were received were:


  • Freeze fresh root ginger in a ziplock bag… lasts indefinitely, is easier to grate and there is no wastage.
  • Put chillies and garlic in a recycled glass jar with olive oil…. also no wastage. 


Savings tips


  • Use your freezer. Buy meat in bulk and resize to 150gms per person
  • Keep your bread in the freezer. Pack the daily required portion.
  • Left overs which are not for consumption the following day can be saved in the freezer.
  • Save all meat trimmings , bones, and left over veggies and make a bone broth or soup, remember that  left-over veggies should only be added just before serving.


Savings tips


  • All chicken bones/chicken carcass, carrot tops, tomato ends , leek tops and other Veg bits go into a bag in the freezer.When it’s full it’s tipped into a big pot with some water and seasoning to make bone stock ( about 1,5 hrs simmering)- after which it’s strained. Freeze in boxes and use for stock or soup bases.


Savings tips


  • I buy fruit or veggies in bulk when they are in season and much cheaper. The fruits I buy for this purpose are Blueberries, Raspberries, bananas, strawberries, apricots, peaches. I wash them and dry them and open freeze them on a tray. Once frozen, I place the fruit into little packets, label them and place them straight back into the freezer. It’s best to freeze this way because then they don’t stick together. I use the ready prepared fruit in my smoothies.
  • On the veggie side, the good ones to get are celery, leeks, onions, carrots etc. I wash them, dry them and cut them up. I open freeze. Once frozen, I take them out of the freezer, put into little packets, label and place the packets straight back into the freezer. I use these for soups and stews.
  • There is no waste, especially when living alone. This helps me save a bunch of money as well as saving a lot of time.


Savings tips


  • Only buy necessary groceries.
  • Try to have a small garden to grown your own fresh fruit and vegetables.




  • On your infrequent visits to the shops during this time, when you see vegetables on special but leave them because you can’t use them all up during lockdown – STOP! Not everyone has a chest freezer but if you have a fridge, the chances are you have a freezer compartment. If you do, seriously think about freezing your vegetables directly in the packet. Even mushrooms! Okay, mushrooms are lovely fresh, but don’t always keep that well, unless you have a brown paper bag to transfer them to, but if you think about it mushrooms go soft in most dishes we make, so when you see them on sale, buy them and put them in the freezer – no blanching – and next time you need mushrooms for a dish, take them from the freezer [do NOT defrost them] and empty straight from the packet into whatever it is you are making. Spinach is the same. Never throw away vegetables from your fridge, think of freezing them. 




  • Buying in bulk is usually cheaper than small quantities. Where this is the case, buy the larger quantity, share with two or three neighbours, or cook everything and freeze for later.


Savings tips


  • RE-USE : I always re-use leftovers as a new meal, making pies, curries or soups.
  • FREEZE: I freeze extra food or veg that is becoming soft that I may not use in time. I use it in other meals or as a meal on it’s own.
  • COOK HALF PORTIONS: I always cook half portions of the meat, mince or chicken, and keep the other half away for a new meal. I use soya mince or lentils as a substitute to make the mince meals larger. I use extra veg or gravy to make the other meals more filling.


Savings tips


  • Keep your food better for longer with easy storage hacks. The less food you waste, the more money you save.
  • Keep ripe avocados in the fridge so they’ll last longer; wrap leftover cheese in wax paper instead of plastic; and keep herbs with their stems in a glass of water.
  • Check out the “reduced” section. Reduced vegetables are good for soups and stews. Ripe bananas are perfect for making muffins or banana bread. Day old bread is fine for eating and makes good French toast or grilled sandwiches. Ripe melons can be diced and frozen, or puréed to make smoothies.




  • I wait for specials and shop on Pensioner’s day and get the Pensioners discount too’!


Savings tips


  • I buy a cooked chicken every 2 weeks from the supermarket and get 6 meals out of one chicken for my husband and myself. I make and freeze on day of purchase.
  • Thighs with rice and assorted veggies.
  • Drumsticks with mash and assorted veggies.
  • Wings and one slither of white meat with potato or rice salad and other colorful salad.
  • Chop all white meat and divide into 2.
  • Make a chicken a la king with mushrooms and mixed veggies to go further.
  • Freeze.
  • With the other portion make chicken and veggie pasta. Freeze.
  • Use carcass and veggies to make soup. Enough for 2 meals. Freeze.
  • I also buy veg combos for R100 from the supermarket.
  • Also grow some of my own veggies. Some veggies can be grown in pots.



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for South African over-60s


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