Special Feature

4 Tips to Keep to a Budget this Raya!

by Lisa K. Photography FriedChillies on Sat, June 09, 2018

Plan your menu for a stress-free Raya & minimise wastage.

Keep your budgets in mind!

Ok people, Raya is just around the corner and this is when you start seeing our moms or pro-cook of the family start buying ingredients more than usual to start stocking up. Frantic buying and last minute purchasing always leads to over spending and food wastage. Then there is the issue of ‘there is no space in the fridge!’ Same dilemma, different year..

Fret not, your Raya prep can be as relaxing and stress free if you follow these simple steps. Even though our GST is at 0% at the moment, it is wise to think ahead and plan and you can save money but still have a fantastic Raya without burning a hole in your wallet.

Buy in bulk.
The more you buy, the cheaper it is. This applies to pantry and grocery items like onions, lemongrass, sugar, fresh herbs, vegetables and even bottled & canned drinks. There are always handy discounts and deals in supermarkets during the festivities.

Keep your eyes peeled for the supermarkets restaurant owners always go to to purchase their stock. Chances are the prices are a few ringgit cheaper by the kilo. You can always share the bulk groceries with a family member or neighbor. I bet they would like a good deal too.
Use your common sense as well. If you are not sharing and need only 2kg of potatoes, you don’t purchase a 5kg sack. Like duh…

Plan your menu.
Planning what and how much of cooking you are going to do does really help with managing your expenses and eliminate the sudden unexpected costs popping up along the way. Also you don’t over purchase and face the dilemma or running out of fridge space.
The rule of thumb to planning a menu is not to calculate down to a T, but always have a little bit extra just in case. 9 times out of 10, you will end up using the extras without wasting it. Most of all, you will keep food wastage to a minimum, hopefully none at all.

Have a budget filler.
When you go visiting, the food is pretty much the same selection just different variations. After a while it does get boring and you’ll feel lethargic from all that meat and carb overload.

Do something different for your own house and have a budget filler, which is something like Fried Mee Hoon, Fried Mee or Nasi Goreng. You can cook this in bulk, and kept in the fridge ready to be re-heated for you next wave of guests. The condiments and garnishing to create these dishes are relatively cheap and tasty as well. I dare say that these budget filler will finish up faster than the rest of your Raya staples.

Go through your pantry.
A good practice to have in your kitchen is to use the old stock first before opening new ones. The pros call it FIFO – First In First Out. I have use this method for my own kitchen and I am proud to say there is minimal and almost zero wastage from my pantry, everything is fresh.
So before you go bulk buying and stocking up, do go through your fridge and pantry beforehand. You are very much likely to find a few useful ingredients which you can use up and clear out some space for storage.

Well there you have it. These 4 simple tips are a sure way to help you and your family keep to your food budget. More money for duit Raya I guess! When Raya is on full swing, remember #keepcalmandrayaon.