We kiwis love our cheese, but just at the moment it feels as if our inalienable cheese rights are being threatened!
Anyone who has visited a NZ supermarket in the last few months will have noticed that the price of a block of cheese will soon be listed on world commodity markets alongside gold.
I realised this morning to just what extent our nation of turophiles (cheese lovers) has been affected, after what can only be described as a bizarre conversation with Big Mac (my other half). We have had a little furry visitor in the kitchen recently, so Big Mac had purchased a mouse trap and was about to load it with cheese.
“Noooooooooo….!” I cried as I dived across the kitchen and wrestled the cheese block out of his grasp, “You can’t waste cheese on a mouse! Use peanut butter instead!!!!”
So how do we save money on cheese, given that most of us are not prepared to give up eating it?!
There are a number of Cheese Shopping tips or strategies you can adopt:
- Buy strong smelling and tasting Tasty cheese, so that by using just a little bit in your cooking or sandwiches you can still get a nice cheesy taste (you can switch to parmesan or blue vein for the same reason).
- Compare supermarket House Brands versus other brands. Each supermarket chain will often make their House Brand cheese cheaper than comparable brands, or discount it as a Special sale price.
- Grate the cheese instead of slicing it, so that you can sprinkle it on and make it go further.
- Buy large economy blocks in order to get the lowest price per 100 g. Then grate the cheese into useable portions, seal in plastic bags and freeze for later use.
- Use less cheese than normal in order to reduce your fat intake and live a longer, healthier life! Substitute cheese sandwiches for other healthy types of sandwiches – using different combinations of ham, lettuce, tomato, avocado, pickle, fish, egg, spinach, corn, baked beans, spaghetti, etc.
- Shop around– my sister tells me that she compares prices on dairy products each week between the grocery chains, and finds that the cheapest prices vary between Pak n Save and Countdown.
- Watch out for Specials in your local newspaper or vouchers in the fliers in your letterbox – you will often pick up great deals this way.
- We also had a letter onsite from a member recently with a great idea for making cheese go further – she grates Tasty cheese into a bowl, adds boiling hot water, and then mashes the cheese with a fork until it turns into the consistency of a cheese spread. She finds that this makes a little cheese go a long way on sandwiches for her family.
- Special Tip from “Big Mac” (my other half, and the chief groceries shopper in our household): he believes that Edam provides the best value for money – it has a stronger, nuttier taste than many of the cheeses, melts easily when grated onto homemade pizzas, and is cheaper than Tasty, for which you are paying for a long aging process over many months.