Tips to make your food shopping go further

A word from Amy Neilson, local fitness and nutrition coach

Challenge: Think of this before you next complain about food prices and ask yourself honestly how effective you are with your food shopping and how much are you throwing away each week.

We are seeing in the news that since the borders have opened and more overseas workers have been allowed into New Zealand, the price of many products (particularly groceries) should start to ease.

But with the way the world works, these new prices are still likely to take a while to reach our supermarket shelves.

So, in the meantime, how can you make your food go further?

* Veges — Don’t throw away the stalks. (I can already see people rolling their eyes.) But believe it or not, despite looking less appealing, the stalks of veges such as broccoli and cauliflower have as many nutrients as the heads.

* How to — Finely chop to add to a stir-fry or stew (if they are small enough, the fussiest eaters in the family won’t even know they are there).

* Don’t leave the leaves — Likewise with veges such as celery. Why throw away the leaves — and likely half the stalks with them. Celery leaves are hugely good for you and with the price of a bag of greens, they can seriously bulk up your next salad.

* How to — When you first buy your celery, chop off the leafy ends, cut into small chunks and place in an air-tight container in the fridge to keep them fresh.

* Freezing — If you have vegetables you know you are not going to use, chop them up and throw them in the freezer so they are ready to add to meals later. This should not only preserve nutrients but also give you veges ready to go (for free).

* How to — Before going for weekly groceries, give your fridge a good audit. Set aside anything you are realistically going to use over the next 24 hours, otherwise chop it and freeze it. If you have an excess of produce such as lettuce that you can’t freeze, note the excess and make a note to buy less next time.

* Meat — Saving dinner leftovers for lunch? A no-brainer. Even better? Buy meat on the bone and remove it from the bone straight after cooking. Put what you plan to eat into lunch or dinner or an airtight container.

* How to — Throw the bones and leftovers into a slow cooker with herbs and spices to make a tasty soup. Leave for at least 24 hours to add real depth to the flavour and to release the nutrients from the bone marrow.

Simple but effective.

Will you give it a go? Let me know at @amysfitnessandnutrition on Instagram and Facebook.