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Supermarket hacks: 11 ways to save money on groceries
Save on grocery bills with these money-saving hacks to beat fruit and veg price hikes.
The fires are finally out after one of the hottest, most disaster-hit summers on record – but the after-effects are still being felt. As regional Australia takes stock and starts the slow recovery, shoppers across the country are still seeing shortages of fresh produce and higher prices on grocery shelves.
The causes are complex, says Shaun Lindhe, of AusVeg, which represents vegetable growers nationally. “Not that many farms were directly impacted by fires but road closures led to detours of up to 750 kilometres, and more perishable crops were affected by longer transit times,” he says.
Other issues include smoke haze slowing the growth rates of some crops, the ongoing consequences of the drought and, ironically, damage from rain, hail and increased humidity on crops in areas where the drought has broken.
While recovery times will be long-term for the likes of apple growers and winemakers whose orchards and vineyards burnt, market gardeners growing fresh produce should bounce back sooner.
“However, you may have to adjust your expectations in terms of aesthetics,” says Jim Ball, a partner in Victorian Farmers Direct. “The impact is more about the way things are looking; produce is still coming through but if you’re looking for that perfect shape you’ll find they’re more stunted and odd shaped.”
Those national shortages also mean $4 lettuces and $3.50 cucumbers – when you can find them. So how do you keep up your five-a-day without breaking the bank?