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Expensive food: How Ralf Zacherl saves money with “chain cooking”.

Fortunately, inflation pressure in Germany is no longer quite as high as it was a year ago. Nevertheless, the current inflation of “only” 3.2 percent means that prices will continue to rise. There is therefore little sign of a lasting relaxation among consumers or in the supermarket.

At the BILD consumer dialogue with moderators Patricia Platiel and Frank Ochse, experts such as television chef Ralf Zacherl and consumer rights activist Arndt Kempgens gave tips on how to save money despite the increased costs.

Healthy and cheap?

Star chef Zacherl briefly and succinctly states the first rule for eating healthy and still inexpensively: “Stay in season!” This means using products that are regionally available in the seasons. Buying food out of season often means having to pay two to three times the price for it.

Zacherl’s second tip: Make clever use of special offers and discounts: “Shortly before a weekly market closes, you can often get fresh goods and good fruit and vegetables for an absolute bargain.”

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Save on cooking

The professional chef knows from the catering industry: What you buy has to be used. Otherwise you make a loss. You should also follow this simple rule at home:

Zacherl: “My grandma already did that: chain cooking. One day I cook twice as many potatoes and use the rest to make farmer’s omelette the next day. Or I take the leftover lentil soup that is still hot and fill it into a pickle jar. This way it will last for a month.”

Food should be used well and rarely thrown away. Zacherl: “Food is often edible for longer than that indicates the best-before date. First do a visual and a smell test.” Then you can also taste it to be sure.

Shop carefully

In addition to obvious price increases, customers should also keep an eye on hidden inflation, explained BILD-Sparfochs Frank Ochse: “Suddenly the packs become smaller or are filled with less content. And the companies come out and say: The trend is towards smaller portions. But the price is the same as before.”

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If it doesn’t go up at the same time, consumer rights activist Arndt Kempgens warns: “This is called shrinkage inflation. The pack shrinks and the price increases. You should take a closer look.” The consumer advice centers, where customers can report this cheating, provide guidance.

But there is a tendency to hope that customers will find more savings offers in the supermarket again, says BILD-Sparfochs Frank Ochse: “Fortunately, the permanent price reductions are already starting. If there is no further crisis now, things will get better from now on.”

After readers raised the topic, Kempgens gave another hot mulled wine tip: “It is allowed to pour yourself the shot or schnapps you brought with you. The mulled wine stand is on public property. The landlord has no house rights and cannot intervene.”

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2023-12-11 08:12:28
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